KELLY JUNE MITCHELL

Photography Video Styling

The cultural connotations of hair run deep. On women especially, hair cannot be separated from ideas of beauty and desirability. Somehow considered both attractive and repulsive depending on the context, hair occupies a strange limbo teetering between reflections of personal tastes, cultural beauty standards, and an indicator of health. Around five years ago, I noticed my hair falling out more than usual. I would run my fingers through it and come away with a fist full of loose strands. My hair going from an attractive aspect of my physical appearance to something repellent in that single gesture. Eventually, I found out the hair loss was an indicator of a bigger problem hiding in my body. A benign tumor was found in my pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain). Though relatively manageable as far as brain tumors go, the diagnoses radically changed my relationship to my body, and perhaps somewhat superficially, my hair.

These photos are a personal consideration of that relationship: A mix of images of “healthy” hair on my head and images of where my hair ends up after it falls out. This work explores the contrast of meaning hair holds and the strangeness of how easily it changes depending on context.