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Hair and pragmatism

Balancing pragmatism, social adequacy and emotional health is an exercise that all of us have to carry throughout different aspects of our lives. Hair is one of those.

It's generally stated that there is a lot of ego and culture tangled in our hair. Even my one-year-old has a book on the matter. On a pragmatic level, it is simply ridiculous the time and energy I spend thinking about and managing my hair.

I married a Chinese woman, pragmatism is a person at the dinner table. Asking the why and expecting a rational answer. Like if there was a recipe for everything. There is, but that’s not how the mind works. At least not mine. And even if I had the resources to clearly explain the origin of every impulse and manage it with complete detachment, I just wouldn’t want to live this kind of life. I like the idea of being more pragmatic but not too much like if it would be somehow risky. It’s completely silly but emotionally desirable for me.

Hair has been a recurring proxy for my frustration around pragmatism and the desire for ultimate closure. It would be nice if rationality could clearly outline every decision and cycle for us. But that’s not how life seems to work. So I grow my beard. To the point where my wife nags me about it. A point where it periodically feels slightly uncomfortable physically and socially.

There’s a hint of pragmatism in the 3mm+ beard: no cold sore. After years of observation and 20ish events, I can confidently say the occurrence of sores is significantly lower with the beard (and shorter). Which gave me the green light from my wife to get the beard. Shaving often is the trigger.

I don’t do all these hair shenanigans as some kind of punishment or test but; rather, for fun. It’s genuinely fun for me to do this kind of odd thing and think about it. I will shave, I don’t know when or why. The cycle will begin again. Like many other things in life, there isn’t much satisfying closure, no “endgame”, and no perfectly rational decision. Just cycles of change.

I’d love to be done with it. I won’t until hair stops growing on my head when I’ll be dead. I go back and forth on the haircut. I wish I could confidently rock a 3mm buzz. Sweating feels slightly better. Never having to shampoo is awesome. I like the acetic aesthetic of it. But I still have hair and a wife willing to do something fancier. All or nothing is appealing. Sapolski or Zen-monk. There is too many techno-buddhists zipping around in teslas, rocking their wannabe liberal skulls. I get the benefits of the buzz but perhaps, like wine, I'm not at the age to be able to fully embrace the thing. For now, I'll probably be "Grungy", neglected, as the most sincere translation of my interest in hairiness. None.

If there is truly nothing is more peaceful than having no interest. I might have unlocked something greater than a bit of time and energy. It’s well-known that good things happen when you learn to let go.

← Index / Published on 2022-04-18