By Chan Li Jin
Everyone has had their share of it – the days when our hair absolutely refuses to fall into place despite all the gels, creams or tonics. Strangely enough, these days somehow always coincide with the days when we’re are in a hurry or have an important presentation or meeting. Which leads me to wonder – is it really the hair, or is it just us (and our heightened levels of anxiety?)
Whether we realise it or not, our hair (or lack thereof) has a significant impact upon the way we feel about ourselves. For instance, my 16-year-old daughter, who has long flowing tresses, is always complaining that her best friend’s hair grows twice as quickly and looks fabulous even with minimal care. Although her own hair doesn’t look all that bad, it somehow paled in comparison.
It’s not just a women’s thing either. The advertisements by hair restoration companies are testament – male customers who claim having a head full of hair makes them look and feel younger, more vibrant and energetic at work and play.
This crowning glory of ours is considered to be the frame that sets the appearance of a face. Catholic nuns and Muslims cover their hair as a sign of modesty, while Buddhists monks and nuns shave bald to renounce their earthly desires.
In the recent years, it is increasingly popular for people to use their hair to make personal statements, such as MAKNA’s call to Jom Botak for cancer and the controversial balding of a certain politician’s wife and followers just before the GE 13 to protest the extravagant banquets used in campaigning. And surely we all know of someone whose first reaction after a break-up or divorce is to get a fresh new hairdo to symbolise a new beginning.
We’re not even talking about body hair yet…it seems that a different set of rules apply. Women naturally abhor body hair, whether at the armpits, legs, arms, upper lips and face, which explains the plethora of hair removal products lining store and pharmacy shelves. You can choose from gels to stickers and shavers to the costlier laser treatments at dermatologist or plastic surgeon clinics that promise less pain and permanent results.
Conversely, men head to plastic surgeons and pay premium prices to plant hair roots in their heads, chest, jaws (for a permanent beard) or upper lip (for a manly moustache). Apparently a hairier man appears more macho…or so they believe!
Appearance aside, here are some interesting facts things about hair:
1) After giving birth, many women tend to undergo a phase of bad hair loss, usually within the first year. This is a temporary condition that will resolve itself after a few months.
2) Choose hair treatment centres carefully; some use low-grade products for hair treatments that can cause severe hair loss.
3) Before you colour your tresses, check whether it suits your skin colour and features. Blond or ginger shades may not be suitable for oriental features, but shades of silver seem to bring out the best in many men in their 50s!
4) There are about 100,000 hairs on our heads at any one time (so stop wasting time splitting hairs on irrelevant issues!).
5) Hair actually grows on every part of the body except the soles of feet, palms of hands, mucous membranes, and lips.