Style with Kyle: Hair is independence

October 23, 2017

For senior Kyle Sandell, hair is a “visual expression” of himself — his love of water polo and his development as a person. Hours of spending time in chlorine-filled pools and under the bright sun has made his hair bleached and blond like most other water polo players at Los Altos. But unlike his teammates on the varsity water polo team, Kyle has, by far, the longest hair.

Kyle’s locks are the result of a bet with his friend last year. After Kyle started growing his hair for a few weeks, he decided he liked the look of it. But his decision to grow out his hair has not always been met with support, especially by his parents.

“[My parents] even tried to pay me to get my hair cut again,” Kyle said.“My mom was like ‘I will give you $70 to get your hair cut back to normal.’ And I just stuck with this because I like it [and] it’s my decision… Now it gives her something to poke fun at.” 

[My parents] even tried to pay me to get my hair cut again…And I just stuck with this because I like it [and] it’s my decision… Now it gives her something to poke fun at.”

— senior Kyle Sandell

To Kyle, hair isn’t just dead skin cells on top of his head — it exists as a symbol of his independence.

“My fashion was very defined by my parents for some time,” Kyle said. “I wore what they bought me, I cut my hair how they told me to get it cut and I just did that. And then [my hair] was the one thing that I kind of started doing myself… like I’m going to do my hair like this and I’m not getting a number three buzz cut.”

Further, Kyle’s hair symbolizes his independence from society’s standards. In a world where man buns are dying and undercuts are on the rise, long hair is becoming rarer and rarer for men. Even though Kyle will continue to grow his hair out as a high schooler, he admits that when he grows older his hair probably won’t grow longer.

“I feel like having longer hair on guys isn’t the social norm,” Kyle said. “A lot of people keep their hair relatively short and when I’m an adult if I decide to cut it short it’ll be kind of a compliance thing… Having longer hair as you get older is kind of weird, you just start looking like Snape. ”

 

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