I had great hair yesterday, a fact that buoyed and carried me all the way through to about seven o’clock, upon which my wonderful hair simply decided it had had a long enough day at the office, and went home to its wife and kids, leaving me with a solid and serviceable, yet utterly unremarkable head of hair. A good hair day is something mysterious, like a quasar or a platypus. You never quite expect it; we are borne and bred from day one to never quite trust our own hair. We primp and pamper and often cajole and plead with it, accusing it of conspiring against us in our more unstable moments, or sometimes urging it to a higher cause, like a pectin Ghandi emerging from the Follicle Caves of the Eastern part of…your head.
Once you have a good hair day and it passes like the ghost of inevitability, it is near to impossible ever to achieve that singular perfection again. Oh, it does happen, to the few and happy people who usually, through a series of fluke evolutionary advances, are almost always folk rockers (and as a consequence of their emotastic worldview, are also no longer shuffling along this mortal coil due to suicide). The madding crowd, however, experiences no such pectin-based ecstacy. We strive and furrow our way through each and every day, wondering when we wake if today will be a good hair day or poor, wondering what we can do to change the odds in our favour.
It’s a tough world out there. Good hair days are sometimes more brief than hoped for. A step outside at the wrong time, and you can find your perfectly coifed hair becoming a plaything of the wind, and you are left looking like a musty, dusty old college professor who has no one left to go home to. A careless tumbling of the fingers through one’s hair may also blight the perfect Eden, sending its follicular Adam and Eve out into the cruel and harsh land where there are no good hair days.
But those moments of joy, they live on, don’t they? You emerge from the shower and see yourself in the mirror. The signs are there. You’ve spent long years keeping careful watch, like a crusader who guards the Holy Grail, and you know the signs of its coming. There’s an arrogant flip, a cheerfully brazen turn of the bangs, the sides reckless and wild, but not without respect for the law. The back of your hair is at peace, neither hindering nor desecrating the ears or the back of your neck. And the top. The top is a luxurious space, a Waldorff among Motel Sixes, with perfect (as)symmetry and lines that always point in the right way, showing off your beautiful or handsome face.
The stars that need to align for this to happen do not often occult. Yet when they do, it is a moment of sublimity, happiness, freedom, and celebration. And if you are good to it, it will carry you through the entire day, through the hours until the evening shadows grow long, and you sigh as you lope home, hoping that some day, again under circumstances rare and unknown, you see yourself in the mirror, admiring that perfect hair, knowing that the day lies full with promise before you.