Hair, which has been associated with beauty throughout the ages, has also been the most distinctive symbol of individual and social identity. Hair has provided the direct and indirect emergence of similarities and values as well as differences between individuals and society. In different periods, hair has been a symbol of power, an object of punishment or votive offering. The variable structure of hair in terms of representation made it necessary to understand and interpret these representations.Presence of works of art that are made with the hair itself or are related to the hair in many disciplines of visual arts unavoidably brings up the question why hair has been preferred as an object of art or representation of art. In order to find an answer to this question, visual art works related to hair in social, cultural, symbolic and aesthetic aspects were evaluated using qualitative methods.
It is observed that during the period from ancient times to today, the meanings that have been attributed to hair change within the frame of individual and social values. Hair, represented in various forms both in art and as a sign of beauty and power, has expressions that reveal or hide relationships from death to life, from nothingness to existence, from chaos to order, and that differ according to the individual. The point of view of the artists and their interpretation of hair in their works create various possibilities of meaning. In this respect, there are various propositions reaching the essence behind the hair used in artistic context. Although they are created with a distinctive artistic language, it is also possible for the audience to understand the works of art and make additional interpretations by giving them new meanings. Based on these results, it can be suggested that in the social process the hair has not been only identified with women, but also has been the representation of social position and power of men, the roles of women and men have changed from time to time, and the change of roles has caused a sexist perspective to the works of art. Moreover, considering the sociopolitical and psychological conditions of the 21st century, it is important that the works of art made with hair will continue to find many different areas of representation
Keywords: Hair, symbol, art object, representation