Hair. It’s 91 per cent protein and grows about half an inch a month. There are more hair cutters, stylists, beauty salons and places to buy dyes and product than there are gas stations and probably even restaurants. Although hair is a living organism the part we cut, the bit above our scalp is dead. Quite dead.

We spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year on beautifying dead cells.

I began thinking about the hair the other day when I took my boys for a haircut. There I was sitting in the chair at the beauty salon, thinking about hair. It seemed like a good thing to think about in a beauty salon.

I began to think about my own near hair experiences while my kids were getting cut. I mean trimmed.

When I was 13, we went on a class trip to Graves Island. A few of my friends were going to “lighten” their hair and I decided that I would too. My friend Joanne, a beautiful blonde, had with her a bottle of hydrogen peroxide which she assured me would bring out my hair’s natural highlights. My first mistake was to believe that my 13-year-old friend was an expert on all things hair related, my second was not to question what this stuff would do on someone with brown hair.

I applied the hydrogen peroxide generously before spending the rest of that glorious June day running about and basking in the sun. By the end of the day I had my highlights if that’s what you call them. Lots of them. But they weren’t beautiful blonde highlights sprinkled sparingly through my hair. No, I had none of that. What I had more resembled a solid circle of violent orange on top of my head. It was not a pretty sight.

I think my sister used the world ugly. And it was. So ugly that the very next day my mom took me to the hair salon where she asked them if they could “fix” this mess.

Yes, she was told. They could.

A couple hours later, my hair was brown again. And my mother’s wallet was lighter because of my experiment.

By now, my 11-year-old was finished. I looked up and saw he had a new “do.” Instead of the standard kid haircut, his new style allowed him to flip up the bangs should he choose. And today, he chose. But before he could, he needed gel or “product” as he called it.

“I think we have some of that stuff in the bottom drawer,” I said brightly. “No Mom, that’s not the right kind, we need this,” he said, handing me a bottle of real men’s product.

I was about to argue but then I remembered my own interest in hair around his age and decided not to. After all, a bottle of “product” is less costly than many other hair experiments young people have.

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