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From the Publisher’s Desk – I owe my hair to affection from a cow

By Keith Whitson

It’s colored and permed

and teased and fluffed.

It’s rolled on curlers

and  treated with stuff.

It’s trimmed so short

or reaching the sky.

It’s carefree in style

or a lifted beehive.

For men it’s more simple,

but still we take pride.

Oh no it’s all gray  or a

comb over from the side.

Maybe it’s receding

and starting to fall.

Do you get a hairpiece now

or continue going bald?

We are known by our hair. As a child we are at the mercy of our parents’ judgment on how it’s fixed or cut. As adults it is usually left in the hands  of our stylist.

I still remember waiting to hop up in the barber’s chair as a young boy. I needed the booster seat to put me high enough. Ward Jones would turn on those large, humming clippers, place his big hand on top of my head and hold me in place while he began to buzz away.

There was something mesmerizing about the slight vibration and hum of the clippers. It was relaxing and would nearly put me to sleep. Now my hair is cut with a mix of clippers and scissors but basically in the same style as I have had all my life.

Oftentimes we get stuck in a certain look and can’t see beyond that. I know many who are still sporting a style from the past. At this point I am not sure they would look right any other way.

I love watching shows that do makeovers. They take a plain John or Jane and give them a new haircut and clothing. The change is amazing and the audience and individuals are overwhelmed. When asked if they will keep up the look, some say it is too much work and others say definitely.

As men get older it is up to fate. Our hair will turn gray, or even turn loose to receding or complete baldness. Lots of times we don’t make the choice, it is made for us.

And then there are cowlicks.

Wikipedia defines cowlick as “a section of hair that stands straight up or lies at an angle at odds with the style in which the rest of an individual’s hair is worn. Cowlicks appear when the growth direction of the hair forms a spiral pattern. The term ‘cowlick’ originates from the domestic bovine’s habit of licking its young, which results in a swirling pattern in the hair.”

Let’s just say my head is swirling in every direction. I must have been born in a barn. The cow licked my head like a salt block. I was given the challenge of  abundant cowlicks. They are in the back, side and front.

I have tried going to various people over the years. Each change would bring a new confusion to my hair. So, I have had the same guy cutting it for years now. I don’t dare change because he knows my head and how to tame it as best it can be tamed.

I don’t resort to patting it down with spit, but I have been known to go to the restroom in the middle of the day, get a handful of water and try to knock down a few flare ups.

For Donald Trump, his hair is his signature “piece.” I’m just stunned that a man with his money didn’t look into hair implants or something. Cartoonists always over exaggerate the strongest features of their subjects. For Trump, it’s the hair.

I would like to see the situation up close or, better yet, watch as it is done. Does he do it himself or have someone else do it? Does he use hairspray to hold it in place and how much?

Comb overs are a fascinating way to put off the inevitable baldness. Comb overs may come from the side or the very back. They are grown long to wrap up or over and hide the glaring baldness underneath. I haven’t seen a good one yet. Luckily, I don’t think I will ever face that situation.

When I was growing up, I would go to the beach with two uncles and aunts. Often times nieces and nephews were taken along. One uncle had a comb over for as long as I remember. My aunt would fix it for him with lots of wrapping and plenty of hairspray. It miraculously stayed put.

One summer, at the beach, we were down by the ocean. An adult was always close by, even though I am not sure any of them knew how to swim. “Don’t go out too far,” they would tell me. “Are your feet still touching the bottom?”

As I got back to shore, I looked around about the time a large wave was building up and ready to cascade over my uncle, who was still in the ocean. It was aimed directly for him. Before I knew it, he had been knocked down and covered with water.

I watched as he staggered up and tried to gain his bearings from being disoriented. He did have the realization to pull his swimming trunks back up over his behind. However, there wasn’t much he could do about the completely disarrayed comb over.

There he stood with hair hanging down past his shoulder on his right side. The wide ribbon of hair resembled a sea creature that had attached itself on top of  his head during the incident.

He tried swirling his head around to wrap the long strand back in place, but to no avail. Finally, he did the best he could, sight unseen and with no mirror available.

I knew from that moment on I would welcome a bald spot over a sea creatures any day.