The women of Tehran dyeing for freedom

‘The Smarties’ defy Iran’s hijab mandate by boldly colouring their hair and taking to the streets, writes Shiva Khademi who photographed them.

The World Today
1 minute READ

Shiva Khademi


In Mashhad, where I grew up, in eastern Iran women typically dress in black. When I moved to Tehran four years ago, the young women with dyed hair immediately caught my eye. I was also struck by the fact that these women did not cover their hair.

For the Smarties, their hair colour was not superficial; it represented a freedom they were willing to fight for

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