Hair in the air

Issues relating to sporting hair, either on top of the scalp or on the surface of one’s face or neck-downwards at the back of body require to be discussed and written about without hurting the feelings of those left with far less of that renewable stuff than what they would have relished or liked to flaunt from the angles of its colour, length, density and other features such as kinky, dry, brittle and whatever. Even as the land’s Rishis have been portrayed by artists drawing their images invariably with flowing beards and hair-locks, while most of the other characters, both divine and mortal, are to be seen in the pictures with clean-shaven faces, one is prompted to ponder over the stark difference among them in matters concerning hair in its appointed places of human anatomy. Loss of hair as one progresses into adulthood can be cause for depressed state of mind, depending upon the severity of the happening. Medical professionals have given it a name that may help to accept baldness with grace, the term being alopecia areata.

While we cannot imagine any of the land’s Rishis and their scholarly contemporaries of yore without lush beard and flowing hair-lock cascading from their scalp, keeping august company with them as it were, have been a large number of eminent persons including philosophers, poets, scientists, authors, artists and so on sporting beards and unkempt hair-lock. The picture of legendary Biologist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) deserves to be recalled in this context.

Hair has its unquestionable role in creating impressions about those sporting it, particularly in distinct style, on beholders. Persons delivering spiritual discourses in the land before their captive audiences may look awesome, but the non-spiritual in society have to take care not to look awful with their hairy growth. The cases of people following well-marked faiths sporting beards as a compulsive requirement is kept out of the purview of this column for obvious reasons. The main stay in the earnings of some companies is the money spent by the gullible masses bugged by the disagreeable loss of hair. Medications, particularly herbal preparations, continue to earn enviable margins to the companies, many of them being multinationals. Even quacks are having a sway over their clientele.

While hair sported in style can be an attraction, an issue has lately arisen, namely, if it can be a distraction. Scientists at a University in Canada have found that those who sport a full beard can also seal on an oxygen mask during emergencies of air travel. Bottom line: The bald wit said, ‘Either have it black, or have none of it.’

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