When Saudi Arabian doctor Safi (name changed) got a new job in Riyadh, she decided to have a hairstyle she could not even imagine until recently with her white coat. Never been very strict about women’s clothing and lifestyle, no woman in Saudi Arabia ever thought that she would be able to take off her hijab and keep a boy-cut hairstyle. But Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made this possible as part of his campaign to change the country’s conservative image.
Women are now working outside their homes, and they can roam the country’s streets without a burqa and hijab. Women now have the freedom to adopt the hairstyle of their choice. One of those women is Dr Safi, who has cut her long hair and converted it into her favourite boy-cut hairstyle.
Like Safi and many working women are also adopting this hairstyle fast. Women are now taking off their hair covering hijab and doing their work with freedom with this boy cut.
The boy cut trend is increasing among working women.
The Crown Prince is trying to attract more foreign investment into the country by reforming the country’s conservative image as part of his ambitious ‘Vision 2030’. He wants to reduce the dependence of the Saudi economy on oil.
He is making various reforms in Saudi in a quest to make Saudi the best business place and to overtake the competition of the Gulf countries. Creating more women’s work and giving them freedom is a part of that.
Safi says that not only does her new look make her happy, but with this haircut, men stare at her less, and she can treat her patients properly.
She told the news agency AFP, ‘People like to see women with long hair. This hairstyle is like a shield which protects me from people and gives me strength.
Lamis, a hairdresser at a salon in the capital Riyadh, said that the demand for boy-cut hairstyles has increased among Saudi women. About seven or eight of her 30 clients demand this hairstyle.
She said, ‘This look has become very popular now. Its demand has increased, especially since women have started working outside their homes. Many women do not wear hijab, and the need for this hairstyle has increased among them.
She also said that this hairstyle is becoming very popular among adolescent girls and girls below the age of 20.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman changed the status of women.
Saudi women started getting this freedom five years ago when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was declared his heir by his father, King Salman. Saudi Arabian women were previously not allowed to drive, and the hijab was mandatory. Still, Crown Prince Salman let women go and relieved them of the compulsion to wear the hijab. Women are now allowed to participate in sports and concerts as well.
Saudi has also allowed its women to obtain passports and travel abroad without the permission of male relatives. However, such reforms have also been accompanied by action against women’s rights activists who disagree with some of the Crown Prince’s policies, for which Saudi has also been criticized.