The Outsiders

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Greaser Hair Symbol Icon
The greasers' long, slick hair is a symbol of their gang, both to themselves and to others. When Ponyboy and Johnny cut and dye their hair while in hiding they're taking a symbolic step outside the gang. As a result, Ponyboy feels less secure, but also gains a bit of room in which to develop his individuality.
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Greaser Hair Symbol Timeline in The Outsiders

The timeline below shows where the symbol Greaser Hair appears in The Outsiders. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
...from the East Side and are poorer than the West Side Socs. Greasers wear their hair long, dress in jeans and leather jackets, and some steal, rob, and fight in public.... (full context)
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
...next to Ponyboy. Five Socs get out. They taunt Ponyboy, threaten to cut off his hair with a switchblade, and pin him down. He fears for his life and attempts in... (full context)
Chapter 5
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
...has bought some peroxide, and insists that they disguise themselves by cutting and dyeing their hair. Ponyboy is reluctant to change his hairstyle, which he says makes him look "tuff" and... (full context)
Chapter 9
Divided Communities Theme Icon
Individual Identity Theme Icon
The Curtis brothers prepare for the rumble by putting on nice clothes and slicking their hair. Ponyboy, still feeling ill and out of it, takes five aspirin while no one's looking. (full context)