The crowning glory

The crowning glory

While people aged graciously with grey hair then, today we do the same with black hair.

The television bombards its viewers with a fusillade of advertisements promoting various hair oils, shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes and their virtues. Glamorous  actresses are roped in to endorse the potential of these products and as they preen and delicately pirouette with shining hair streaming down their backs with immense vivacity, we are bewitched, beguiled, besotted. Their hair seems to acquire mass and body, glowing with a light all its own.

Said to be the crowning glory of a woman’s person, long lustrous locks are the aspiration of every woman. There are some hair oils that advocate nutrients that add lustre, others flaunt growth and length of hair on thinning scalps with regular application and those that effectively prevent hair loss within days.

Then, there are any number of shampoos that are soft and light on your hair, without the harshness of chemicals but with all the goodness of Nature herself, to nourish your tresses and banish dandruff, that bane of all good hair. A good head of hair would lend itself to various styles in the hands of competent hair dressers and can show off your tresses to great advantage.

Women often despair at and agonise over hairfall, in fact, every strand of hair that leaves the scalp. Overhearing this dialogue, a colleague facetiously remarked, “It is in the nature of hair to fall; after all our arms and legs are not falling off. Hair will always grow back.”

During the good old days, our mothers and grandmothers would make do with plain coconut oil and shikakai, throwing in a hibiscus leaf for lather and reetha phal to give their hair the gloss and sheen that would give present day oils and shampoos a run for their money.

Hair dyes that can be applied with the least amount of fuss and mess are also in the market so that we can have a permanent head of black hair. While everybody aged graciously with grey hair in the past, today we can do the same with black hair.

Maybe, the sagacity associated with grey hair may not quite be the thing with black hair but then one can be sagacious as well as look youthful.

Men, no less than women, prize a full head of hair and are as full of angst as women when it comes to graying at the  temples and the receding of hairlines. They resort to all these aids with equal enthusiasm. A nostalgic “haiku “ says it all: Hair blows in the wind/ After years there is still wind/ Sadly no more hair.

Poetry, too, celebrates hair. In Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope says “Say what strange motive Goddess! could compel/ A well bred Lord to assault a gentle belle?” when a lord cut off a lady’s lock of hair without permission, much to her indignation and subsequent fall out between the families.

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