K-Pop Star Hyunjin of Stray Kids Inspired Me to Cut Off My Hair | Essay

When it was past my shoulders, my hair felt like a security blanket that was never quite as soft as I wanted it to be but always there for me when I needed it. When I didn’t feel good about my body, I always felt good about my hair. It was an emotional and physical shield I deployed for instant confidence or to hide my tears from the prying eyes of strangers on the subway platform. Not to mention, I’m a hair-twirler. (It’s a bad habit of mine.) So when I decided I wanted to chop off 10 inches of my hair, no one was more surprised than me.

Was the haircut a fresh start? Maybe. A midlife crisis? Possibly. A way for me to break out of my comfort zone, which had already been decimated by a global health pandemic and a layoff? I mean, probably. My new bob could have been — and most likely was — a result of all of those things. Honestly, this is all mostly my favorite K-pop star Hyunjin’s doing. (For those unfamiliar, he’s the main dancer for Stray Kids.)

Idols typically change up their hair for new releases. Mullets, spray-painted buzz cuts, cotton-candy dye jobs: Everything is fair game. Nothing is as thrilling as when someone goes fully blonde, though. It’s a radical change for anyone. After having dark hair for nearly a year, Hyunjin not only went blonde for the group’s latest album, GO LIVE, but his hair was also longer than ever. It was a striking, swoopy bob-length I can only compare to ’90s-era Leonardo DiCaprio meets Taylor Hanson.

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