Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's the deal with hair, anyway?...

Ever consider how much of your time and/or money you spend on hair? Hardly a day goes by you're not doing something to it, for it, about it, or with it - except on those days you can't do a thing with it. You got to trim it, comb it, brush it, shave it, shape it, smear something into it, wash something out of it, cover up the gray in it, curl it, straighten it, apply a chemical to make it grow, apply a chemical to make it fall out, or pluck it out by the roots. Ever stop to consider why we even have the stuff all over us in the first place?

Most of your basic animals that have hair have it all over. If hair is there to keep your body warm enough, it makes sense to have it all over the place. Take a look at your dog. Unless he's got the mange, or he's neurotic and chewing himself raw, he's got hair all over the place. Wouldn't Rover look silly if all he had was a patch of hair on the top of his head and some tufts between his legs? And maybe a little strip of hair under his nose? What a buffoon.  But that look is perfectly acceptable for your Uncle Melvin. Is there some evolutionary logic that explains the "little bit here, little bit there, whole bunch in this spot" condition of hair on the modern home sapien?

I've read somewhere that some specific crops of body hair serve to capture phermones or something. This is essential to attraction, so you might want to think twice about shaving yourself totally and looking like an alien. But riddle me this, Batman - what possible virtue can be derived from the hair that sprouts out of men's ears? If having a mass of hair inside your ear is a good thing, why don't kids and women have it?  You can make a case for nose hair having a purpose - to trap chunks of stuff you don't want to suck into your lungs - but what's with the hair in the ears? If you believe in "intelligent design" over evolution, then is ear hair just one of God's little jollies? Are you having a laugh, Yahweh?

(For those readers who would like to exit here and avoid the rant that is in the roadway just ahead, check out Why Mammal Body Hair Is an Evolutionary Enigma which is actually on a creationist website. I am a Darwinite but always like to read what the other team is saying, even if they're nimrods.)

Now to get more to a practical point on this all-important topic, I invite all of you of the male persuasion to take a good hard look at some specific hair locations and consider your options. Namely, the ear, the nose, and the eyebrow. We all have our opinions about the hair on the head and beards and whatnot, and I will not venture to pass judgement on what any individual prefers in these areas of personal fashion statement (although I will suggest that the dude working at the shoe store last week sporting the full-on Wolverine hair and mutton chops might want to just dial it back a notch unless you are getting paid to appear at some comic book convention) but at the same time, I think there are some hard and fast rules that need to be laid out in regard to the ear, the nose and the eyebrow. (The Ear, The Nose and the Eyebrow - wasn't that C.S. Lewis?) 

Rules on ear hair, nose hair and bushy eyebrows:
Rule #1: Cut it
Rule #2: Cut it some more.
Rule #3: See Rule #2.

Let's face it, while you might be able to make a feeble case that there's something commanding (Stalin) or whimsical (Mark Twain) or mystical (Gandalf) about bushy eyebrows, you've also got Andy Rooney as the offset. Do you really want to look like Andy Rooney? And the monobrow? Please. You don't want to pull them out one-by-one or get waxed - ok, I understand that. How about just lather up between the eyes and take the razor to it? Something must be done. And as far as the ears and the nose go, well, boys, you've just got to get in there with whatever implements are handy and just slash and burn, and you've got to do it just about everyday. The ear hair is like kudzu, it grows about four inches a day in some specimens. Just because you can't see the side of your head and that rain forest of vegetation filling your ear canal, that doesn't mean the rest of us can't see it. 



Anonymous said...

This very same topic captured the imaginations of the editors of our zine called Pearl Necklace. I for one, are concerned about all these men out there shaving themselves pristine. Hair is MANLY, keep it bushy!

Barry Martin said...

Bushy in the ears, too?

Hillbilly Deluxe said...

I'm a-waitin' on the aritcle about hair in the nether regions. As long as we're talkin' about body hair, let's REALLY talk about body hair. Why skirt the real issue here? Care to enlighten us there a bit, Mr. Martin? The great unwashed masses are waitin'......

Chris P said...

Where'd you find the fruit loop with the outrageous ear hair? Nice pic, Barry - you're making me sick. (Did that just rhyme?)