Retrofuturist Flashback: Hair of the Future

BY Robert Lamb / POSTED June 12, 2014
Hair of the Future! (Glenn Asakawa/Denver Post/Getty) Hair of the Future! (Glenn Asakawa/Denver Post/Getty)

There’s not a lot to this one, but it’s still an interesting look into the future via the past, albeit not a particularly deep one. But look, we’re talking about the future of hairstyles so the bar was probably pretty low to begin with.

We see here a couple of 2002 conceptions of future hairstyles featured at the HAIRevolution exhibition The display featured various trendy and pop culture-influenced hair styles from the past and then-present (AKA also the past). But with these two sketches, the exhibit dared to envision human hair in the year 2050.

Don’t strain your eyes. Here’s what the captions say:

On Left: “After 50 years of biological warfare, environmental aggression, hard living and toxic air… comes the 2050 woman. The merging of beauty and defense in an effort to fight off all aggressors and protect the hair and skin. The 2050 woman is prepared for her daily environmental assault with a portable oxygen supply, which flows from her own hair. Daytime protection is the new accessory. 2050 marks the beginning of defensive beauty.” – Mark Garrison

On Right: “Your hair will be your antennae that pick up vibrations from the environment and effect how you feel., There will be no more following trends, instead your hair will be an extension of your being. Everyone will be more of an individual.” – Gad Cohen

Granted, there’s a good bit of mumbo jumbo in both descriptions, but both concepts are still rather interesting. Wearable computing certainly seems to be the future and what if oxygen masks became part of the cybernetic human as well? How might we incorporate these technologies into our fashionable whole?

Also, the one on the right matches up so perfectly with Æon Flux’s hair. I wonder which came first…


About the author: Robert Lamb is a senior writer and podcaster at HowStuffWorks, where he co-hosts Stuff to Blow Your Mind with Julie Douglas. He has a love for monsters, an aversion to slugs and a hankering for electronic music.

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