I had hair once. When I was younger, I remember the fringe of hair that hung a little below my lashes. I remember pulling it down whenever I had to sit still. Restless, I would savor how the bristles tickled my cheek. I also remember braiding it, drawing them apart like a curtain, weaving the two bunches into my own version of a French braid. I even grew a tail, a thin cluster of longer hair at the back, considered by many as some paean to rock star glamor. Unfortunately, even that got braided as well. I was adamant that my helper go through the task of twining my tiny tail before I left for afternoon class.
Early on, I already had a penchant for aesthetics. I styled my hair in a one-sided fashion, sporting a long fringe in the front. When I did get to discover gel and its other variants, I tried shaping the fringe like a small cap visor. I remember loving the holding powers of gel, how it kept my hair in place. It annoyed me that each time, post-shampoo, my hair would puff up like a pot of ferns. Gel and pomade made me feel complete, slick and neat.
Then when other hair began sprouting in various nooks and crannies, my voice started to crack and deepen. I remember having the thickest hair on my head. I parted it right in the middle, happy that its ends framed my round face. I was happy that it kept abreast with the current boy band culture; especially that local trio of handsome, scrawny adolescents. But having thick hair had its own share of irritations. I had to contend with the occasional pimple, several bouts of dandruff, and unkempt moments.
The day came when my schoolmates began to notice a faint spot on my crown. It did give me some anxiety as I was aware that thinning hair ran in my genes. But I think I was more worried about the taunting. I was proud of my hair and felt it part of my persona. I refused that it be taken away. My mother began to worry also; and I remember we both tried to remedy that faint crown by adhering to local superstition and other myths. I had to be sure that my hair was not wet before going to bed, stayed away from caps, avoided early afternoon showers lest I wet any roaming entities, shampooed less, and shunned warm showers.
to be continued...