Lum: Hair today, gone tomorrow |

Lum: Hair today, gone tomorrow

Su Lum

Over the past year, my hair has developed a mind of its own. It flips out where it should lie flat, it sticks up instead of down, and at the slightest hint of a breeze, I look as if I had stuck my head in the blender.

Bea Haggerty, my sweet and totally competent haircutter, gently reminds me that hair can change with age; I have to agree — everything else changes (for the worse) — why not that? For one thing, there’s a lot less of it; for another, the hair itself gets thinner. Who can tame a dandelion when, with one breath, you can blow its white thistles across the yard?

Bea and I have tried everything. She has cut it longer, shorter, feathered and blunt. The hair still flips. I have tried every product including two weeks of a honey-shampoo regime: one-third raw honey to two-thirds distilled water (not at all sticky), not endorsed by Bea, and I’m not a convert, either. The hair still flips.

Oh well — I could get a wig until this mess grows out long enough to put it up in a bun. I wonder how many years that would take.

On the plus side of hair loss, my personal grooming time has been reduced significantly by no longer having to shave my now nonexistent leg and armpit hair. When those chores first came into my life, it involved dangerous, double-edged razor blades and copious amounts of spilled blood. Good riddance.

As for the new waxing trend, a torture that could be used to extract terrorist confessions, I can’t believe that both women and men (what are you thinking, guys?) are flocking to get delicate hairs ripped out — actually paying through the nose for it — I’m glad I missed that fashion statement. And I can attest that if you wait long enough, Mother Nature will take care of that for you. Then you’ll wish you had that ground cover.

I have a faint memory of plucking my eyebrows (yikes), the pain of getting an eyelash in my eye and the relief when I finally got it out with a fold of Kleenex. Down to four or five lashes per eye and the wisp of brows, my main concern is not to further endanger my faltering eyesight with optical beauty aids advertised with photographs of gorgeous prepubescent girls.

Once an adult, twice a child. We were born hairless and helpless and are just returning to our natural state, but this does not explain the persistent wild hair that sprouts out of range of the mirror until, rubbing your chin, you discover a 2-inch growth that has sprouted like Jack’s beanstalk and doesn’t even require tweezers: You just wrap your finger around it a couple of times and pull.

In some places you get bald, and in other places, you require defoliation. Life is imperfect. In the overall scheme of things, my flipping hair is inconsequential, but damn — it’s one thing after another, and they all build up until one more skin tag or one more liver spot might send you on a quest for the Fountain of Youth.

The feet are not spared. Despite diligently going after them every evening with a fancy foot file, despite slathering on gobs of lotions and potions and wrapping them in warm towels, the foot gremlins creep in during the night and turn my feet into the hard, cracked hooves of an ancient Shetland pony.

Don’t worry, though. It won’t happen to you.

Su Lum is a longtime local who clops. Her column appears Wednesdays in The Aspen Times. Reach her at

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