The Hair-Hating Gene

“WHY?”  he grumbles.  “Why does my hair always do this on Sunday morning?”  My 13-year-old Sidney stands in front of the mirror, pressing down on his hair.

Hmmmm, he is starting to pay attention to how he looks, I think.  I wonder if this is the teenager self-conscious thing that I hear about and vaguely remember, when young people become overly preoccupied with how they look.

He combs his hair straight down.  It springs up.  He combs it to the left.  It springs up.  He combs it to the right.  It springs up.

“Maybe if I comb it left, right, left, right, left, right, it will lay down,” he says to himself as his arms moves back and forth, back and forth.

I bite down on the giggle and refrain from offering advice, a truly heroic endeavor on my part.

“Hair is so impractical,” he declares, reaching for the faucet.  He runs water over his comb.

“What is the purpose of hair anyway?  And why do we have so much of it?”  He runs the wet comb through his hair, pressing down.

“The whole world would be a better place if we were all bald.”

I guess I can stop wondering about teenage vanity.  It appears Sidney is infected with the same hair-hating gene as his father.  I specifically remember when I cautiously informed Sid that his hair was thinning on top.  I thought it might bother him, but he appeared completely unruffled.  All my concerns were completely laid to rest weeks later, when I discovered Sid in the bathroom with a hand mirror trying to get a look at his bald spot, and mumbling to himself, “Fall out, baby. Fall baby.”

I don’t think women can inherit the the hair-hating gene.  I cried when mine started thinning and falling out a couple of years ago.  Thankfully, it stopped and seems to have stabilized, though I keep an anxious eye on it.

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