Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blog 6 -- Reflections on getting a haircut

I am one of those individuals, like my father, who has kept a full head of hair as an adult. About 60 percent of men lose a good portion of their hair after they turn 20 and by middle age they show pattern baldness because they carry that particular gene. Each time I get a haircut I look at the snippets of hair as they fall and I note how the white hairs now swamp out the chestnut hairs of my youth. But I also celebrate that capacity of follicle cells to manufacture the mixture of keratin and dead cells that make up each shaft of hair. It tells me I am alive and kicking in my old age. I do not know why our hair continues to grow faithfully regardless of age, but when I look at my wrinkled skin and wince at my arthritic joints, I realize there must be something special about those follicle cells and I wish their trick of chugging out hair was shared with my other tissues.

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