Today we shall look at that one vestige of vanity, one strong source of pride and pathos, one that functionally lost all meaning thousands of years ago yet retains its pole position among the Adonis’ most appealing accessories: Hair. The fable of the human follicle is long and curious indeed. It has a history of it own as also a story to tell that is rather unique. From a symbol of power and prestige to a sign of ailing health fiscal and physical, much importance has been attached to hair down the ages.
Maybe I am not the best person to dole out this advice here today, considering how my long wavy locks waved me goodbye more than a decade ago, when I was still young enough to sport skinny jeans. Or perhaps, maybe I am best placed to hold forth on this subject, given how the subjectivity of this topical topic left my side ages ago thereby allowing me to have a more objective unbiased look at the issue.
Men and women have always had a different outlook towards hair. Men, particularly, change the way they feel about hair, especially as their age advances and hair recedes from the top of their heads in multitudinous patterns and directions and starts cropping up elsewhere all over, from ears to nostrils and in other dark crannies. Women, on the other hand, use hair to represent their present emotional state. When they are happy the hair says it so when they need a change in life, a change in haircut is often prescribed, usually preceding or succeeding a change in boyfriend as well. While men become stricter about their views on hair with time, the way women perceive hair and hairdos is less attached to their physical years spent on this planet.
Either ways, hair occupies a deep and indispensable sense of importance for judging by the way they charge for them at salons, it is more crucial than our biometric data. And the importance grows even as the density of hair on average human head reduces, which makes it hard to explain why barbers have auto-upgraded to fashioning themselves hair stylists and other jargon with a ‘high coiffeur quotient’.
I think, it has something to do with the lush manes of lions and horses. Both symbols of power and virility although, I doubt a horse would run any slower or a lion stand any less intimidating and ferocious were their manes to be clipped. Humans have thus believed that a well-kept mop of hair reflects that same sense of pride and power. Which is why when it departs people go through the worst forms of depression. Or giving it up in a fit of religious fervour is considered the ultimate sacrifice.
To me, the ultimate sacrifice would be to cut it as per the wishes of your partner. Now that’s a big one! To allow someone else to decide your hair style statement is even bigger than letting them buy formal-wear for you.
In the meantime, I rejoice in the notion that I don’t have to spend a fortune on letting some fool with an accent and an inexplicably corny tattoo tell me how my haircut frames my jawline. But what I save on shampoo and conditioner I end up spending on face-wash.
The writer is a lover of wine, song and everything fine