By: J.D. Taylor
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: June 19, 2023
Review Date: July 18, 2023
J.D. Taylor, author of Hair Goes History: How Hair Enhancement Has Shaped the Arc and Trembling Hand of History, is a fount of knowledge about all things follicular. Based on his newest text, it seems Taylor has a savant-like understanding of history, politics, philosophy, sports, and entertainment; and how all of these broad and vastly different subject matters have a profound connection to what he calls the “hair systems” of those in power, whether placed into that position legitimately or otherwise. Hair systems, by Taylor’s definition, are wigs, weaves, extensions, hairpieces, etc.; essentially, anything that, for any variety of reasons, adorns a denuded pate.
How Taylor frames Hair Goes History is that the work is both a personal journey about his own admitted fears of inferiority, failure, and hair loss along with a way to “transport the reader on an historical journey never taken before in the history of mankind.” (pg. 3) He claims he started writing the book after what he believes was the harsh reality of Donald Trump’s presidential win, recognizing “hair systems have had a momentous repercussion on the dawning of human history.” (pg. 3) The rest of Taylor’s book, which is over four-hundred and fifty pages long, is his attempt to prove this unique and compelling argument, which ultimately leads to an extensive list of bald or balding politicians, dictators, military generals, celebrities, royalty, etc., all of whom have used some form of hair system, whether to their advantage or to their detriment.
Most of Hair Goes History is objectively devoted to American leaders and figureheads (although he does speak about the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Queen Elizabeth’s entire family) who display their prowess in their words, actions, and physicality; in other words, the addition of a hair system, which is supposed to look natural, can be deemed as a sign of strength, trustworthiness, and virility (among what are considered other positive traits). Taylor also spends a good amount of quality time on how the constituents, lovers, advisors, and sycophants (among others) around these powerful entities are, in general, blindly drawn to their charisma and bravado, which can oftentimes be attributed to how one wears their hair or if one wears someone else’s hair.
There is no doubt Taylor has a firm grasp on hair; he knows what he is talking about. Even when Taylor provides prolonged historical commentary and acerbically-charged, witty articulations that, although successfully informative, satirical and honest, hinders the argument’s theoretical objectivity, he does a stellar job proving an argument that is not easy to untangle.
Quill says: Although at times a bit verbose and emotionally-driven, Hair Goes History provides a unique, in-depth, and competent look at hair systems, and how they can sometimes dangerously contribute to one’s cult of personality.
For more information on Hair Goes History: How Hair Enhancement Has Shaped the Arc and Trembling Hand of History, please visit the author's website at: https://jdtaylorauthor.com/