Sunday, February 10, 2008


Home remedies can be a wonderful thing, inasmuch as they show the triumph of hope over cruel reality. For example, my wife has been applying a mixture of almond oil, olive oil, garlic and onions to my head for the past few weeks, because, apparently, it will strengthen my hair, make it more lustrous, and aid new hair growth. I have gone along with this, even though I'm sceptical. I'm being made even more sceptical by the fact that my head smells like a garlicky marinade, and has done for several days despite regular washing. And why all this? well, it's because I'm losing my hair by degrees, and my wife wants to help me keep as much of it as possible, as long as possible, and as coloured as possible, even if it means having to smell like something you'd smear over a leg of lamb and leave in the fridge overnight. It doesn't matter if I go on about telomeres, genetic inheritance, the loss of melanin, the gradually increasing friability of hair once the cell begins to die - 'try this, it'll help'. And because I'm a bit on the vain side, I go along with it, even though I know that it won't work. I don't think I'm alone in this. Having to face up to the, er, bare fact of the balding process is one of those things most men have to go through - the knowledge that one's youth is passing and gone, stupid evanescent thing. Yet still we try to avoid it for as long as possible. It's not that my hair loss is that bad: compared to my dad and grandfather, I actually still have hair, and it's mostly the original colour: No, it's the fact that it is ongoing.
The situation bears a similarity with the inevitable fact of death, the occurence of one's own, that is. The only consolation of my demise will be that I won't smell of onions. Hopefully.

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