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Hair – by Justyna

26 Aug

 

Here are my few thoughts I have about hair.

1. Never been a great fan of chest hair, however the idea of a chest free of hair is repulsive. I like the fact that the older Michal gets the more chest hair he sprouts. As long as it stays off his arse and back, I’m content. And even if it doesn’t, well, what can I do about it now? I also like how his arm hair goes super white blond during the summer time. Hypercolour hair. 

2. I’m not very hairy. In fact Poles are never really hairy as a bunch. My dad has very sparsely haired legs. I often got asked at school why I shave my arms. They’ve always been totally naked. When my mum caught me in the bathroom shaving my legs (I was thirteen and had completely succumbed to the ‘everyone-is-doing-it’ peer pressure), she was mortified and tried to explain rationally that there was absolutely no need for it. She herself only started shaving hers well after she turned thirty. I can go three months without shaving mine and no one is the wiser.

3. I may not be very hairy but I sprouted my first grey hair when I was about twenty. Today the top of my head is roughly 30 per cent grey. Okay, maybe even 40 per cent. It comes from my dad’s side. They all went grey when they entered toddlerhood. For me dying my hair regularly is one of the most annoying things on earth that I make myself do. Yet I cannot bring myself to get it done professionally at the salon. Or stop dying it all together. That is not even an option. It annoys me that grey men look distinguished. And grey women look like frumps. Michal’s mum in her late 50s finally put the hair dye on the shelf. She seriously aged ten years. Damn.

4. Being allergic to dogs and cats for a long time I was told it was because of their fur. When the truth finally came out in about 1995 that the allergen was in the animals’ saliva enzymes the world started to make total sense. Every time a cat or a dog lick me I get itchy bumps on my skin. But when I rub my face in their hairy fur I only sneeze.

5. On the subject of yester-week’s saliva, I taught Kazek how to do a wet willy a few days ago. Tonight when he was falling asleep he licked his finger and stuck it in my ear and giggled “wet willy”. I was super proud. I also pissed myself. I await the day when I can share the special Simpsons episode with him where we will piss ourselves together.

Hair – by Karen

26 Aug

I guess the most spectacular hair in my life is Anika’s. She was born with  a fair amount of hair:

In fact this is more than some lovely babes have two years later. After this newborn hair, subsequent extrusions of hair were blonde, and as it’s never been cut, you can still see reddish tips in her hair that were once dark brown.

In Singapore, she had a devoted fan in our helper Jean, who loved doing her hair and was incredibly skilled at it. She developed a favourite style which became known as The Anika.

All part of the indulged tropical toddler lifestyle

 

As you can probably make out, this hairstyle formed a kind of golden circlet around her head that was secured by dozens of small elastics. These had the advantage of making it last a good five days.

The disadvantage of this hairstyle is that it was SO REMARKABLE and BELOVED that every single person Anika met would comment on it, in fact, most people she even passed would be compelled to compliment it. So there was a phase of Anika’s life during which pretty much all she ever heard was “I love your hair!”.

This probably isn’t healthy, so even though I have finally mastered The Anika (not to Jean’s impeccable standard, but passing), I use it sparingly. I mean, we can’t have her writing her school report on how she loves her jeans.

 

Hair – by Beth

25 Aug

Hair.

An innocent enough word, but it immediately quickens my heartbeat.

The pulse increase is mainly due to traumas gathered in my teen and young adult years, in connection with my ‘hair suit’, as a dear friend once referred to her own hirsuteness. Inspired by Tabs’ wikipedia post, I looked hirsutism up on Wikipedia and found out about the Ferriman Gallwey score. I score 15 out of a possible 36 on that. So, we’re hardly talking a career in a circus sideshow, but a score of eight or more is considered hirsute.

Sites of hair-related trauma include beauty salons (I have cried about three times in these situations. Fuck, women can be bitches to other women), and school buses (nicknamed Magilla Gorilla by an older student). I remember eating lunch at Pizza Hut with my friend and her little brother (we must have been in year 10 and he was about 6 years old) and him asking innocently why I had a moustache. It was that same friend’s mother who did me the greatest service in the world, by waxing my mo for the first time when I was about 18 – just starting uni. She lovingly told me to meet her in the bathroom and she just went for it. A total act of love and womanly camaraderie – she told me it was nothing to be ashamed of.

Until the mo was gone momentarily I never realised how much it had affected my behaviour (I now held eye contact with people more, for example) and my self esteem. Where other girls were battling with their small boob or fat demons (I was also fat and small boobed), I found the facial hairiness the hardest. It marks you out as unfeminine, and that was not something I wanted to be. Yet another reason why growing up around the northern beaches ideal of womanliness: olive skinned (but caucasian!), blonde haired, blue eyed and skinny was not fun. I did have a lot of friends, and I was school captain for heaven’s sake, but I was always aware that I was a sitting duck for teasing.

For years I thought I may have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or have trouble conceiving, but I haven’t had either. I actually think that my ambivalence towards having kids was partly due to this issue – I thought I shouldn’t set myself up for a big disappointment. I also hated the idea of having a girl and her growing up with the same issue.

A kindly doctor once told me that I had more testosterone than average and that makes me really passionate. I have always kept those words in my heart. She was the same doctor who said a Buddhist prayer before killing a tic lodged in my shoulder. A totally lovely and compassionate woman.

Right now I am the most comfortable I’ve ever been in my own skin. Accepting of who and what I am (mostly!). I can look back on those teenaged years and go: “shit, that was hard”, but also be thankful for what it taught me about compassion, difference and survival.

There you go, my friends. My thoughts on hair.

Hair – by Tabitha

24 Aug

There have been a few Wikipedia entries that have really stuck in my mind. There was the one about Henrik, the Prince Consort (aka husband of the Queen) of Denmark, which mentions the scandal that erupted when it was revealed that Henrik, who is President of the Danish Dachshund Club as well as Prince Consort, ate dog when living in Vietnam as a youth. So many potential sausage dog jokes to be made!

And the one about biodynamics which revealed to me that this practice is actually a series of crackpot farming rituals invented by Rudolf Steiner, that involve burying cow horns in paddocks on full moons and stuffing deer bladders with blossoms and leaving them in the summer sun. I’ve never quite looked at my biodynamic yoghurt the same way again.

Or the one about the Port Arthur Massacre, which is both extremely long and extremely upsetting, and left me with a completely different perspective on the events of that awful day. The unadorned Wikipedia facts are in a way much more affecting than any editorial opinion or commentary you could read.

And then there is the one about trichophagia, a disorder where the sufferer compulsively eats hair (their own, or sometimes of others), creating an enormous hairball (trichobezoar) in their intestine. As Wikipedia says:

Rapunzel syndrome, an extreme form of trichobezoar in which the “tail” of the hair ball extends into the intestines, can be fatal if misdiagnosed. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the mass; a trichobezoar weighing 4.5 kilograms (9.9 lb) was removed from the stomach of an 18-year-old woman with trichophagia.

I will let you decide whether or not you want to see what one of these trichobezoars looks like. If you do, click here. It’s pretty damn gross, but it’s also utterly amazing. You may never again be able to clean the hair out of your shower drain without thinking of that hairball lining a stomach. Bluurrrgh.