Hair talk
Editorial

Hair talk

August 8, 2019

Talking about hair can be fascinating for those who are endowed with that filament in both pleasing hue and abundant mass, particularly on one’s head. Explaining that hair is a protein that grows from follicles in the dermis in different regions of the body’s skin may not excite too many people. Strangely or otherwise, the word hair is usually used in singular number even when it refers all the hairs on one’s head. Researchers say that there may be about five million strands of hair on the body of human-being while that number shrinks to about 1,00,000 follicles on the head. While that is subject to much activity, not the most fascinating one being the regularly happening hair cut, as we age, some follicles stop producing hair leading to thinning first and baldness (alopecia) subsequently. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair grows about half inch per month on an average. The desire to have hair faster may not bug many but most people, particularly females, are known to relish longer hair. The urge to have lush hair on one’s head has translated into a booming industry manufacturing and marketing a number of products promising fulfilment of that urge.

The sheen of the hair and its dense feature on the scalp are closely connected with one’s overall health, a field that has received much attention by the land’s ancient people whose expert knowledge may be lying hidden in the palm leaf writings of centuries vintage. Some players in the haircare industry do quote from that source hoping to convince their hair-chasing patrons.

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While initially hair loss was seen as a sign of ageing, but in the urban scenario with the urbanites leading a hectic lifestyle, it has become a reason for worry among the younger residents. Prescriptions to ensure an enduring hairy scalp by medication and dietary regimen are gladly grabbed by even the cognoscenti, not to make fun of the lay people marked by their gullibility, despite being aware of the many harmful consequences. Juice made with various plant products such as onion, potatoes, apple, fenugreek, tea, gooseberry and coconut continue to be tried by those battling with their hair with diverse results. Disfavour of grey hair by many who are not yet senior citizens has triggered the sale of hair dyes despite their proven harm to health of skin.

While sporting hairstyles is a personal matter, a Kannada idiom offers the advisory that food is one’s own choice but how one presents oneself in public is the privilege of others. An elementary school in the United States of America has reportedly displayed on its walls pictures of haircuts and hairstyles that are inappropriate. As of now, there is no threat to the profession of hairdressing. Are the unemployed millennials of the land prepared to grab the opportunity for a paying livelihood?

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