Shaving tracks and patterns into your hair is kind of the modern (mostly) male equivalent of Marie Antoinette era wigs – showing your allegiance for brands, teams, politics and personal style through highly decorative hair. 

In the 80s, at the height of hip hop, the back of the head became another piece of valuable real estate for branding yourself or expressing your creativity and individuality. Barbershops, kitted out with new and improved tools and equipment, were able to express an individual’s personal passions through the blank canvas that is hair. The precision skills and dexterity required to bring to life a design led to barber expos and contests – memorably captured by photographer Bill Gaskins in his seminal Good and Bad Hair. 

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