Pin It
Chaetophobia, Claire Moore, Benjamin Madgwick
Photography Benjamin Madgwick, hair Claire Moore

Watch this film about the uncomfortable sensuality of hair


TextAlex Peters

Chaetophobia explores the fine line between the seductive and the repulsive when it comes to how we see our hair

The fascinating dichotomy of hair is how it can be equally alluring and gross depending on where and if it is attached to the body. While the hair on our heads is generally accepted as an attractive feature, once it migrates down the body or becomes unattached from it completely – discovered in food, stuck in the drain –  what was once sensual can quickly turn into something that agitates and brings discomfort for many people.

In Chaetophobia, hair stylist Claire Moore’s new film with director Benjamin Madgwick which takes the word for the fear of hair as its title, hair is everywhere. Creeping up from beneath trousers, spread out across skin, in mouths, in the soap dish and the sink, filling the bathtub, slithering up walls, hidden in a sandwich.

“We want people to see hair as an object rather than a functioning part of our anatomy,” Moore says of the hair’s at times autonomous movements. “People have so much emotion attached to their hair and think of it as a major part of their identity but, in reality, hair is just dead skin cells. I want people to question what hair means to them.”

Full of eerie, visceral tableaux that walk the line between seductive and repulsive, the experience of the film is heightened by the creaking, cracking, wet sound effects that only add to the unsettling atmosphere.

A hairdresser herself, Moore says she is constantly surrounded by other people’s hair and as such has become very comfortable with it but knows that isn’t the case for most people, especially when it's on a woman’s body. “When I was studying I would cut people's hair in my flat to make money and would be forever cleaning hair clippings. It was a part of my everyday life but I thought about how this would make most people uncomfortable and this concept has always stuck with me.”

Watch the film below.

Read Next
Here x Haeckels x Tetsuo Lin
Fragrances made from extinct flowers may soon be a reality Beauty Feature
hair cut
What’s behind the sudden rise in hair growth products? Beauty Feature
Screenshot 2022-05-11 at 11.27.40
What’s in an accent? How class hierarchy enacts its power through voice Beauty Feature
Fitch Lunar BTS
Hairstylist Fitch Lunar’s creations are sexily imperfect Spotlight
Screenshot 2022-05-03 at 10.47.54(1)
‘Not ugly, just poor’: how the beauty industry is widening the class divide Beauty Feature
1322804
May 2022 horoscope: expect immense change this Eclipse season Horoscopes
201525970_239273504251470_1235479440564576554_n
The latest nail trend proves that everyone wants to be a 90s child Trending Beauty
DB 03
Supercuts: a tribute to subcultural hair styles through the ages Photo story
Lynski
This Ukraine fundraising event has all of your favourite beauty creatives Beauty news
Seth Rogen
Everyone loves Seth Rogen’s gloopy acrylic manicure Beauty news
Goodnight Mommy
The women getting cosmetic procedures in secret Beauty Feature
vanderbiltball
Gilded Met Gala inspo for celebs who won’t get the memo Beauty Feature
Milani TikTok
Milani Cosmetics faces backlash after wading into Depp v Heard trial Beauty news
Naomi Campbell pat McGrath
Pat McGrath is doing skincare now Beauty news
The Unseen
Win tickets to the launch party of The Unseen’s make-up for the metaverse Beauty news
278871029_2102136539964403_3058840223532850880_n
Off-White has launched its beauty line, ‘Paperwork’ Beauty news