I don't know if many of you have taken the time to notice, and maybe it is because I am around teenagers all day, every day, but the youth of this country are really setting trends in the hairstyle department, especially the boys.
Every year brings a new crop of designs to the heads of the students on our campus. Yes, there is always the prerequisite colors. Red is a big on on our campus because red and white are our school colors. I find it interesting that no one ever goes for the white, and I must admit I have never seen a student stripe their hair red and white. Probably the next most popular color is purple, followed loosely by kelly green and then in a far fourth place, comes orange. And I am not even going to mention the black; dark inky black that many of the girls color their hair. And they are not Goths; very few of those in the Hispanic community. Interestingly enough, much of the hairstyle craze every year is shown off by the boys on campus. Nodding to the passage of time, we rarely see the Mohawk or the Mohawk Spike any more, thank goodness (not an attractive style on anyone, including Mr. T.)
At the beginning of the 2012-13 school year the T.V. show Jersey Shores was a big hit amongst the younger crowd. We saw a lot of up-swept hairstyles on the boys, imitating those characters. But one really stood out. He was a freshman in my third block class. He worn his hair up-swept and it stood up almost 12 inches from the top of his head. I know this because I asked him if I could measure it! Picture an office trash can, made of hair, sitting on top of a head and you've got the idea. I asked him how he got his hair like that. He told me that his sister did it for him and it took her 2 hours and a lot of styling gel to get it stiff enough to last all day, which it did. He became pretty well known on campus and would let kids practice tossing paper balls into his "do" during lunch. He complained once that he had to go use the restroom during class because he thought some kids had thrown their baby carrots in his hair. Too funny. How could I not laugh?
Around Christmas time he must have gotten tired of getting up two hours early to do his hair (or his sister put a stop to the craziness) because he came to school with his hair down. I was so shocked at how beautiful his hair was! It was thick (I suppose it would have had to have been to do the style) and swept his shoulder blades in length. I don't usually notice my kids physical appearance much but this was just such a reversal of his whole aura (he was still the class clown unfortunately :/) He wore it down for the rest of the year.
So, fast forward to the beginning of the this school year. My student had passed on to being a sophomore. The first week or so I looked for him as I took my walks on campus. I didn't see him. Until about a month in when I saw him entering a math class. I had expected him to recreate his up-sweep hairstyle. But true to form he was now on to the latest craze the boys were sporting: a buzz cut with designs shaved into the hair on the top and sides of the head. He was too far away for me to see the design that day but I had plenty of other boys in my classes to get the idea. Some of them were team logos, some were lightening bolts, some were names. One kid had the audacity to have "805" shaved into his hair. This is a sign of gang affiliation and, much to his disappointment, the administration made him wear a beanie every day until it grew out.
It will be interesting to see what type of interesting haircuts the kids will come up with next fall. Never a dull moment in high school!