#SocialSeen: Hair, tresses, locks, mops, barnets… the mane event at Leeds Gallery

Saturday girl 3

When I heard Leeds Gallery was running an exhibition called ‘Saturday Girl’, focused around young women’s relationships with their hair, I was excited to drag the social team over for a gander.

Having worked closely with ghd, Cloud Nine Hair & Neal & Wolf over the years – telling journalists, consumers, stylists… anyone who’ll listen – about the sheer emotion connected with ones crowning glory, I was particularly keen to see this concept brought to life through Casey Orr’s photography.

Casey shot a series of beautiful and intriguing portraits of real young women in Leeds whose fabulous hair made them stand out from the crowd…

It’s not staged. She set up a pop-up studio and approached her subjects whilst they were out with friends, shopping and hanging around – being looked at. Fantastic.

Casey says, “These girls are experimenting with fantastically creative ways of expressing themselves. We have always dyed and cut, sprayed and shaved; as a way of stating individuality and belonging to a tribe. All this big hair also reflects past trends in hair fashion, passed down to them intuitively through culture”.

Coincidently, I recently came across a study by researchers at Yale University, which found that “a bad hair day” impacts self-esteem by increasing levels of self-doubt and personal criticism. So not only is Saturday Girl fascinating to see from an aesthetic point of view, it’s also a study of empowerment and a celebration of self-expression.

I personally would have liked to have known more about the women in the pictures, their stories etc. But then again, I am nosy.

We also love Leeds Gallery in Munro House where the exhibition is based. It’s bright, airy and friendly, and a nice place to grab a sarnie.

Saturday Girl is on until to 31st March.

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Saturday Girl 1