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H, Hair

H, Hair


Hair, like the rest of, undergoes an expansion and a contraction, a proliferation and an exodus. Not only does it cycle through months and years, like deciduous trees, it recedes by end of life, sometimes to infantile down. Sometimes from hormones, chemotherapy, stress, medications, disease.

I think if my father knew there was a season for hair, he may have treasured his undulating waves, brilled back to corrugated roofing in his youth, wilder and koala bushy in his retired years. I heard, through someone close to him, that it bothered him when he started losing his hair. Nothing much bothers Dad, so this was surprising. And then came Chemotherapy. Round Four as I type. As expected, the rest of it is malting. What’s left is sparse and silver with a hint of a wave. When it grows back, the doctor tells him, it will likely be different.

Today I finally told someone about my hair. I have a lot of it (understatement) so I didn’t feel I had the right to complain, but it’s been coming out in clumps. Almost obsessively, I run my fingers through the ends when I drive, or when no one is around, and pull out a marsupial-sized hair ball. It’s secretly satisfying.

My hairdresser took it in stride. “Stress,” he opined. But also, “No worrying about hair falling out. It grows new and soft like a baby’s and then your life start new too.” He gave me license to mess with it when driving.

“It’s like worry balls, or an executive toy,” I told him. “Relieves my tension.”

And yet, I drove home with both hands on the steering wheel and no hair ball for the garbage. Perhaps I’ll malt until the last of Dad’s hairs falls to his pillow.

And then we’ll bloom together.


© Robyn T. Murphy image/text



  1. Wow. You’ve got beautiful thoughts about hair. I never really thought about it, beyond how much I like my own. Its soft, it shimmers in sunlight…I’m not vain about anything else but my hair.

    I hope your dad’s health improves soon!
    @Get Lost in Lit

  2. Oh – i do hope your dad gets well soon, and grows his hair back luxuriantly. But most of all, hope he stays well. Hopefully when he is your hair will grow thick and not fall either. My hair? Not a lot of it, very, very fine, can’t wear a hat or it flattens to nothing, go out in the wind and I am turned into a scarecrow. I need constant volumising equipment in my bathroom. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    • Thanks Liz. Beautiful hair comes in all sorts of shades and volume. I dream of straight hair that actually falls down my back. (It’s not supposed to grow sideways, is it?) But today, I’m trying to enjoy my season of hair. Thanks for visiting!

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