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Cutting ties: singer-songwriter Ro on being more than her hair

Change your hair, change your perspective. We’ve all succumbed at one stage or another to a hastily executed post-break up chop, dramatic (read: impossible to style) bangs inspired by movie stars with massive grooming arsenals or a bleached scalp (just to see if blondes really do have more fun). Whatever the motivation, the desired outcome always seems to be the same – that somehow, through specific follicular remodelling, we will feel inherently different. Changed. Empowered.

Singer songwriter Ro knows the feeling well: “I have a habit of allocating the chapters of my life to the kinds of hair styles I had at the time. Adolescence was awkward haircuts, my early twenties was dark brown to platinum blonde. Soul searching took many turns down the vanity rabbit hole. It was always about how I looked.” But the Melbourne-base musician has a different perspective. “Now I am confident in who I am, what I love and what my art is”

It’s this newfound acceptance of self which initially compelled Ro to shave her head – with the assistance of Valonz Haircutters’ Renya Xydis, captured here on film by Contributing Editor Kitty Callaghan.

“There’s still an element of soul searching in me shaving my hair, but I mainly did it because I know who I am deep down.”

“I also want to shake up this generalised idea in our culture that a girl shaving her head is only indicative of emotional baggage, fundraising or gender identity.”

“It is really not about what you look like. I’m just embracing life, experimenting, having a bit of fun.”

I work in an industry that often relies on a consistency in your looks to sell your art. There’s also a lot of beautification and sexualisation of women in music, which I don’t mind if its their weapon of choice. Just so long as we all remember that worthwhile art lives long after the way the artist looks. While physical beauty, aka hairstyles, is impertinent, it’s important to remember there’s beauty on the inside. I feel the most beautiful I’ve ever felt without my hair.”

“There’s thousands of generations of these stereotypical ideals of feminine beauty, but that doesn’t faze me. [As Renya told me], my hair does not own me. I own it.”