Picture this hairstyle – the back of the head shaved, with a rat tail left at the bottom. The hair at the top of the head cut short and spiky, always trimmed. Long emo bangs covering the forehead. The highlight of it all, long sideburns that start at the top of the head going all the way down to the chin. The side burns are literally glued to the cheeks with copious amounts of hair gel. And the finishing touch – a small cap perched neatly on top of the head.
Quite a sight, isn’t it? What I’ve just described to you is the Estilo Colombiano, the hairstyle adopted by the Cholombians of Monterrey in northern Mexico. They are quite well known for their meticulous style of dressing, and the pride they take in their cultural heritage. The cumbia, music brought over from Colombia, is something they are equally famous for. The people of Monterrey have been in love with this music ever since the 1960s. Several Cholombian street vendors sell trinkets that are imported from Colombia – paintings, key chains, flags, hats, t-shirts and bumper stickers, but the most popular of the items are mixed tapes of cumbia. The cumbia of Monterrey has developed a style of it’s own.
But let’s get back to the attire of the Cholombians. It’s not just their hairdo that catches one’s attention. The clothes they don are equally interesting. They display symbols of their religion and culture proudly on their clothing. Neck pieces called escapularios are worn that contain images of San Judas Tadeo, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Santa Muerte and even Pancho Villa. These are sometimes worn for protection. Some neck pieces are signs that have their names or nicknames on them.
Some of them wear huge Hawaiian and plaid shirts over extremely baggy pants. The colors of their clothing, are strangely coordinated with that of their shoelaces. The baseball caps that are perched precariously on top of their heads, in such a way that it doesn’t cover up the elaborate hairdo, are covered completely in embroidered or airbrushed writing. This could include the wearer’s name or nickname, his girlfriend’s name, where he’s from, his favorite radio station, and more.
And if you thought Cholombian hairstyles were weird, check out Mexico’s pointy Guarachero boots, they’re quite something.
Photos © Vice Style