Revelations at the salon

Revelations at the salon


Revelations at the salon

It is a universally accepted truth that everybody is an expert on something. I can deal with that. All I have to do is nod occasionally. But ever since good search engines have exploded on the scene, I find myself nodding a lot more than before. Now everybody is an expert on everything. And I generally defer to the experts.

When the incessant nodding weighs me down, I head to the local parlour for some pampering, and a haircut.

Recently, my puzzled hairdresser pointed out that there was not much hair to cut. I couldn’t conceal my hair loss anymore. It comes off in my hands if I so much as touch it. You’d think my hairdresser would be flummoxed, but she recovered smartly. “People say,” she said, gaining confidence with every word, “that hair loss happens if you have thyroid (problems).”

Her definitive remark transformed my innocuous gland into a villain — the unlikely bandit who stole my hair. I was tempted to be flippant and ask her, “Would it be better if I got rid of the offensive thyroid?” But I deferred to hearsay, and wondered if she was right.

We live in the Information Age, a time when Google reigns supreme, along with its devoted companion, YouTube. Google and YouTube have become the stodgy king and the glamorous queen of the Digital Age. Together they rule with chatty WhatsApp, the crown prince of unsubstantiated rumours.

Emboldened by Google and YouTube, newly minted experts-on-everything have emerged from the shadows of ignorance. Even people who do not actively seek out these modern-day oracles cannot escape being seduced by the intimate whispering of WhatsApp that insidiously creeps upon us. We go in search of information on Google and YouTube, but WhatsApp wisdom comes to us, unsolicited, and thrusts itself into our lives with an intrusive beep and a tiny red number, enticing us to click.

I suppose I could switch off my internet and go off social media. I could stay stubbornly silent and refuse to engage in conversation filled with unverified counsel. I could suppress my need to be in control of my body and hair. I could leave hairdressing to hairdressers, and medicine to doctors. That used to be the case, but not anymore. The name of the game is now Do-It-Yourself.

It means I can empower myself to argue with my hairstylist after watching one or more of the 13,70,000 YouTube videos, thrown up by a search on ‘How to Cut Hair’. I can go on a gluten-free and grain-free diet after reading up on ‘Top 10 Ways to Get Rid of a Thyroid Problem’, the first link out of the many recommended for me by Google. Whether I actually have a thyroid problem or not is a moot question. Or I can self-medicate with help from my kind hairdresser, who eventually sent me on my way the other day, with freshly cut hair and a stern reminder, “Don’t forget to check your thyroid.”