03 5 / 2011
This Kanji is officially broken down into two radicals - 髟 (かみがしら / かみかんむり) long hair, and 友 (とも / ゆう) friend, companion. Looking at the top radical it is not immediately obvious how this means hair, but let’s note that this radical is composed of two components itself, these being 長 (なが・い / チョウ) long, and さんづくり (the three strokes to the right), representing hair.
In societies all around the world, girls consider hair style to be very important. When one particular hairstyle becomes popular, soon all the girls want their long hair to be the same as their other friends.
Edit: I’ve also read that the friend component of this Kanji also represents “brushing aside” (the ナ represents a hand, and 又 represents “on the other hand” or “on the other side”). Similarly, all teenage girls desire long hair that can be easily brushed aside.
This Kanji particularly focuses on the hair on top of one’s head. Let’s look at some vocabulary terms that use this Kanji. In reality, some of the words (ie short hair and long hair) aren’t commonly used. You would usually see something like “短い髪(の毛)” or “長い髪(の毛)” to refer to these instead, but I have added them for demonstration / personal knowledge.
髪[の毛] (かみ[のけ]) hair on the head
髪型 / 髪形 (かみがた) hair style
白髪 (しらが / はくはつ) white or gray hair
金髪 (きんぱつ) blonde / golden hair
黒髪 (くろかみ / こくはつ) black hair
茶髪 (ちゃぱつ) brown hair (usu. dyed)
短髪 (たんぱつ) short hair
長髪 (ちょうはつ) long hair