By Bill Franklin


Fear-of-HairMost people don’t know how to comb their hair. That’s because they don’t really know what they’re up against. What you are up against are 100,000 hair follicles on your head that sprawl, go their own way, and that don’t care about you. So the first thing to know about combing your hair is that you’re outnumbered. But you have your allies. You have water and sprays and semi-clean brushes, but your allies are unreliable and the bottom line is, you don’t have a chance. Combing your hair turns out to be asymmetrical warfare at its worst. But still, you do have half a chance, some mornings anyway, to catch those little follicles napping and bend them to your will. It’s worth a try. It’s actually a requirement if you’re employed, and who knows? Maybe someday you’ll have a day just like the one I had. And having a day like I just had is why I believe in miracles. Rare though it may be, when the stars are aligned and your karma has kicked up a notch, there is such a thing as a good hair day.

And there is nothing quite like a good hair day. Although these days mine seem to be fewer and farther between, when I have one, an especially good one, I can’t help but feel I’m bound for glory. Today was just one of those great days. It had glory written all over it. I looked in the mirror and realized I had the kind of hair any sea captain would need to ride the wind and bring his battered ship in. I of course don’t have a ship to bring in. I have the hair for it but I’m lacking the boat.

Or you could say I had a kind of Custer’s last stand kind of hair day. Custer, dashing figure that he was, had the misfortune of turning a really good hair day into a bad one. But I’m quite sure Custer looked very good with those blond locks flopping around in the prairie until... just until...well you know the rest. And Custer does provide us a moral lesson here. No matter how good your hair looks, it won’t save you in times of extreme duress. My hair, today at least, hatchet magnet though it would have been in days of yore, is still not immune to the horrors of bumping into car roofs or doorways or for that matter, Indian attack.

But today, lucky me, I’ve got myself a hair day. But the problem with a great hair day is you want someone else to see it. It doesn’t do much good if I am the only one confirming the obvious. I’m sure others feel the same way. I know Andre Agassi did. Agassi would rather lose the French Open than have a bad hair day. Apparently when bad hair was in the balance, he opted for bobby pins to save his particular day. And that brings me to another moral hair lesson. If your good hair day depends on bobby pins, it is not a good hair day. It’s a bad one.

No matter what you think of Sarah Palin, it can’t be contested, her hair looks good. She had so many more better hair-days than McCain I began to wonder why she wasn’t running for president. I bet whoever picked John over Sara never had a good hair day and didn’t know what to look for in a candidate.

I’ve been looking at old films of Bobby Kennedy. He wouldn’t leave his hair alone. He would give these profound speeches, promising everything good and vilifying everything bad while constantly in mid-sentence checking his hair with the quick-handed once-over. One time I counted five quick-handed once-overs inside of a two minute speech. Which brings me to another moral hair lesson. When trying to save the world, leave your damn hair alone.

I’m not sure what makes for a good hair day. You can’t bottle it. It’s not a Brylcreem thing or a don’t move or I’ll kill you hair spray thing. Good hair days are largely mystical events, shrouded in intense mystery. I have tried though, spending hundreds of dollars to capture the essence of good hair by buying only name brand conditioners. I am willing to spend that kind of money because I know that deep down inside, greasy hair violates my sense of my inner sea captain.

Which brings me to another moral lesson. Sometimes in life it is better not to squeeze hair together in some ungodly way, making it sticky and feeling hemmed in. Rather let your hair go rogue sometimes, waving with abandon. It is that waving with abandon look that today’s Hollywood directors hate but that I like. When it comes to being dashing and having George Custer levels of debonair, a little rogue will do you.

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