Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Persian Letters

Approved Hairstyles To Be Named After Iranian Cities

"Just a Tabriz today, please."
"Just a Tabriz today, please."
Yes, coming to an Iranian barber shop near you… Ali Abedi, the secretary of the Hijab and Chastity conference held in Tehran, has said that the country's newly approved men’s hairstyles are to be named after Iranian cities and provinces.

“For example one hairstyle can be named, 'the Shiraz hairstyle,'” Abedi was quoted as saying by Iranian news websites. Apparently, naming the hairstyles will make it easier for customers to tell the barber which state-sanctioned haircut they want.

Iran’s Culture Ministry recently unveiled a number of approved hairstyles that are considered Islamic. Iranian officials have said that the move is aimed at fighting the spread of unconventional hairstyles and promoting Islamic and Iranian culture.

Women are next. The head of the conference, Zhale Khodayar, said that the Culture Ministry is also going to print pictures of approved hairstyles for women in a magazine. 

But are they likely to catch on? A hairdresser in Tehran, Saeed Vedayi, is quoted by the “Jam-e Jam” website as saying that the new cuts won't be popular among Iranian youth "unless their taste changes.” As Vedayi reminded us, in recent years young people were more interested in getting “Western haircuts” with names such as “Typhus,” “Metal,” “Pineapple," and “Electric Shock."

(Although, confusingly, another barber, Moloud Emami, said that the approved haircuts are similar to those that are already popular among young people.)

We'll see. RFE/RL spoke to a 14-year-old boy in Tehran who confirmed what we might suspect: that he doesn’t think any of his friends would want a hairstyle that's named “Shiraz." ”It doesn’t sound cool and why would they want a haircut that's approved by the government," he said.

For more than 30 years the Iranian authorities have tried to control every aspect of people's lives including their appearances with a mixture of force, warning, and preaching.

Many young Iranians have fought back by resisting state guidelines and rules: young women and girls have done their best to remain trendy and attractive despite the compulsory hijab; young men favor trendy hairstyles and ponytails and dress to impress.

With that latest foray into personal grooming, the authorities seem to be waging yet another losing battle.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Behzat from: Berlin
July 15, 2010 08:48
Why is this news worthy? Cerntainly there are more important topics to publish when it comes down to Iran, rather then haircuts. Also the author of this article, Esfandiari, could in the future take a more objective tone. Make sure to interview both side's of the story when it comes down to the regime, or else it become's no different then the regular propaganda story within the country.

by: monireh from: USA
July 15, 2010 15:23
Do you remember Amir javadifar? I think more important news to remind and remember is that A year ago on this day Amir javadifar was executed. It is more important than the hair stylist name....

by: D. Wood from: USA
July 16, 2010 02:42
Excellent article. Issues of personal freedom, in my opinion, are always relevant and newsworthy.

by: Ali
July 16, 2010 16:21
@ Behzad it 's not important and newsworthy that 60 million Iranians don't have the right to get dressed the way they want and choose their hairstyle? I grew up in Tehran and I was detained just because I had a trendy haircut and was wearing a red T-shirt! Are you sure you're Behzad from Berlin or rather an Iranian agent in Tehran with no respect for freedom!

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org