As I glimpse the pile of yellow hair on my front porch; a recent crop brushed from the coat of my shedding, yellow dog; I am transported back to a time when it was my hair in piles.
It happened in 1996.
It happened again in 2002.
It will happen again. With the predictability of the Olympics and Leap Year, Presidential races being dirty and Duncan Yo-Yos becoming the “in thing” again, it’s coming. Hold on to your follicles… it’s the dreaded 6-year shed.
In 1996, I started noticing large amounts of stray hair on my shoulders. It got worse, and I was clogging drains. I went to my doctor. She told me I was experiencing a normal growth/shed pattern. 90% of hairs are in 2 to 6 year cycles, the others are “resting.” A lot of my hair must be on the same cycle, it would seem, and it will grow back.
That’s just GREAT! How did THAT happen?
1. Did I put my pony-tails in too tightly?
2. I was born with a full head of hair. It’s my Mom’s fault.
3. Was it the time I lit rubber cement on fire in my dorm room sink? I’ve been waiting for something bad to happen after that.
Life went on. My hair grew. I didn’t think about it again.
In 2002, I went to Dr. Frankenstein, the beautician, who “peroxided” and over-processed me repeatedly, trying getting the color right. I went blond, went back, and went blonder like someone was turning off and on the lights. A few days after my last color job, I looked in the mirror and my nose looked bigger.
What’s next after grey hair, wrinkles and white eyebrow hairs, you ask? NOSE and EAR growth. Soon I’ll look like an ant eater.
“I’m old,” I decided, and bought a shawl.
But it wasn’t my nose. In the many, many times I had been processed in Frankenstein’s lab, I didn’t realize I had lost massive amounts of hair….again! The volume of my hair had changed so dramatically, the whole perspective of my face changed. My GOD! I counted and gathered the hairs in my bathtub like a migrant worker. I’m going bald, for SURE, this time.
But I wasn’t going bald. It was the 6-year shed….again! I am a pet…with a season.
It’s 2008. And THIS time I’m going to be ready. It could be any day now and I’m waiting and like an expectant mother, squirreling and nesting and planning for the upcoming shed. I bought soft hair brushes, a pet-rake, hair bands, a floppy sun hat, and lots of knit caps. My shed pattern can be predicted, like El Niño, charted and dealt with!
Unless….this time I really AM going bald.