The day someone points out that you have a strange hair growing from your chin is a dreaded rite of passage that women all over the world inevitably must go through. It is a time of great emotional distress, filled with fear, anger and humility. It is a moment you swear will never happen to you — until the day it does. It is confusing, and no one can ever prepare you for the time in your life when your hair revolts and decides to defect and change its identity.
That first stray whisker is typically pointed out by family or a close friend, because denial keeps you from ever seeing it yourself. When it occurs, you immediately go into “defense mode,” explaining to the very observant person who ruined your world when he or she noticed your “pre-beard” hair, “Oh, I’m sorry. You’re wrong. That’s not attached.”
You try to brush it away, but it doesn’t move. You nervously laugh, then try to justify the difficult removal with, “I had syrup for breakfast this morning. I’m sure it’s just sticky.” You lick your finger and rub the spot where the hair is sticking arrow straight out from your chin, and there still is no movement. You become a little more aggressive, and that is when the anxiety comes in.
Still confident you can beat this thing, you get a good hold on the unwanted hair so you don’t drop it, because you need to present it as evidence to your friend that it is, indeed, not yours. You give it a gentle tug. Then a little harder one. Then you use such force it causes your skin to lift, proving the inevitable. It really is yours, and it is very much connected.
You consider that maybe it was just a fluke, some genetic abnormality that caused that follicle to overreact. But deep down, you can’t help but visualize where this new hair growth is going to end. Will that one hair multiply into two? 12? A goatee?
After the removal, you try to go about your life, pretending it didn’t happen, but you know when one hair goes rogue, the others will follow.
The next hairs to launch out on their own are the ones on your head. They decide to randomly turn white overnight.
The changing of the pigmentation is one thing, but the rebellion doesn’t stop there. With the change of color comes a new confidence and the desire to choose their own style. If your natural-colored hair went left, these new gray revolutionaries go right. If the hair you were born with was straight, the defectors are curly. And they are fierce, not even submitting to the licked-fingers-coated-in-saliva glue you commonly use to put your hairdo in its place.
Your first line of defense against this silvery chief is to remove it from its throne. You feel like a conqueror when you “take it down.” Then it becomes obvious that it was not just a single dissenter, but instead was the leader of many and when you removed the leader, it only proved to make the others angry. They now begin to multiply with great ferocity.
Then apparently while you sleep, the hair on your head starts having conversations with your eyebrows. They agree that they, too, are tired of conformity. These brows discuss the best way to take over, and they resolve that joining forces would provide strength. So slowly they begin to migrate, knowing that one giant eyebrow would be more of a force to be reckoned with than two appropriately lined-up ones.
Like a lion-tamer in the circus, you use a pair of tweezers and a magnifying mirror to move them back into place, but some start leaving your face altogether. Or even worse, they become introverted and reclusive and relocate to your nostrils.
Yep, one morning you take a closer look in the mirror and start to panic, because it appears as if caterpillars have taken up residence in your nose holes. Little tufts of fur now stick out of your nasal caves. They didn’t seem to be there before, so the only possible conclusion is those darn migrating eyebrows!
I don’t get it. One day you are putting makeup onto a smooth and youthful surface, then the next thing you know, it’s like trying to give a makeover to a werewolf.
It looks like my future is going to need to include more time for hair relocating and repair. If I don’t, I will be able to get a job as a stunt double for Sam Elliot’s mustache.