Sunday, 28 April 2013

Signs of ageing #27 - hair migration

I'm really getting tired of this - I'm finding more and more white hairs where they've no right to be.
Now I'm not one for vanity, but even I have to draw the line when a rogue white hair infiltrates the eyebrow ranks. It's not as if they're discreet, trying to subtly blend in with the rest; they're always twice as long and twice as thick as the surrounding hairs. It's like Basil Fawlty trying to hide in a room full of Manuels.
So it's yet another session in front of the mirror with a pair of tweezers before I start running the risk of developing eyebrows like my dads, and that is simply not allowed to happen.
But the eyebrow situation is just one of the symptoms of getting older that seem to be attacking me with mounting enthusiasm.
I've always been a bit scornful of men who try to disguise their receding hairlines, and to be honest I have to say that baldness is not something that would distress me at all - after all I'm almost there voluntarily anyway. Head hair is a nuisance for me. I used to have it, and even employed the services of 'products' like hair gel. The reality of getting up in the morning with bed hair got too much to cope with though, so off it all came. Now a hair wash takes less than a minute rather than spending half an hour trying to get the shampoo out. Drying it is just a quick rub with a towel, and waking up looking like an unfortunate accident at the poodle parlour is a thing of the past. The hairline keeps receding and the hole at the back is getting bigger but as it's all so short it doesn't really show. When it gets to about a quarter of an inch long and helmet hair becomes visible then it's out with the clippers to shave it all off again. Minimum maintenance.
The trouble is that all the hairs that have abandoned my scalp haven't simply disappeared. Oh no. In the same way that old people retire and move to the seaside to cause havoc with their mobility scooters, loitering in gangs in the town centre like the youths with their mopeds - the hairs have simply gone on a voyage of adventure. I'm not sure how they travel, although I suspect they go directly through the brain because that would explain the increasing amounts of forgetfulness I'm experiencing that make me have to write things down on bits of paper which don't help because I forget where I put them.
Having destroyed numerous brain cells on their travels, the adventurous hairs finally make it to one of two popular destinations - my ears or my nose, depending on what colour they've dyed themselves en-route. The thick white ones head for the ears. It was a shorter journey so they're obviously the lazier ones who couldn't be bothered to dye themselves. The more determined ones dye themselves black and go all the way to the nose where they hide out in the nasal cavity undergoing specialist training to become the most dreaded of foes, the black ninja nose hair.
These are evil bastards. They creep up on you unseen, waiting patiently until you least suspect their attack. You know you checked for unruly follicular activity before you left the house, but later on you catch sight of yourself when washing your hands and suddenly the black ninja nose hair leaps out of its hiding place, standing proudly in full view of the general public and waving a little flag proclaiming "Look at me, here I am!" and you have no idea how long it has been there or how many people have spotted it. And to make things worse you don't carry tweezers because a man just doesn't do that sort of thing, and trying to yank it out with your fingertips has no effect apart from making your eyes water. So all you can do is to try and stuff it back up the nostril in the hope it won't poke out again before you get home.
When you're young you stare in wonder at old men who have masses of hair sprouting from all sorts of weird locations - especially the ears which have inexplicably grown in size to accommodate all the new residents. Now I look at them and I'm determined not to give up the fight against these migrating hairs. The bathroom cabinet is like a weapons cache against such things and as much as I'll be happy when all the hair has gone from the top of my head and no longer needs cutting, I'll be damned if I'm going to end up with eyebrows like Dennis Healy.