Who knows what began this love affair we have with that frustrating pile of dead skin we call hair -?but it doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.
From cradle to grave, our hair is a source of contention. Parents attempt to tame the downy fluff of babies, adorning it with bows and combing it with small brushes, ultimately relenting and embracing the embarrassing snapshots of baby with hair sticking up all over.
Women continue the pretense of hair color as long as they can reach for the dye bottle; men will comb over as long as there's something to comb.
Some relish their daily hair affair, enjoying the creativity and self-expression. Some brush with strokes of disdain, wondering why they were cursed with hair that sticks up against all laws of gravity.
I hedge back and forth between the two - some days, I think my hair is bouncy and fun, and some days I want to wear one of my giant Kentucky Derby hats to work.
It's good the hombre look is in - not having my roots done in a year and a half never looked so fashionable.
My hair is brown; not too straight, not too curly. Great for pigtails. I had all the best ponytail holders. Scrunchies were applied, four at a time - I remember my first Chuck E. Cheese party, heading to Boardman with this unicorn horn of hair coming out the side of my head.
When you're old enough to start doing your own hair, things get kinda ... hairy (I am armed with bad puns and I'm not ashamed to use them ).
When the Kool-Aid hair dyeing phase swept through Harry B. Turner Middle School, many towels were ruined.
When the crimping iron craze showed up, star-shaped sections of hair were burned. The smell - and chunk of singed hair - proved evidence too hard to hide. I should have practiced on some Barbies first.
When the angsty teen years rolled around, the web grew more tangled (mua ha ha, you all are trapped in my bad pun chamber of horrors).
I learned how to use bleach. More towels were ruined.
I learned how to use black hair dye. Towels, shirts and bathtubs were stained forever.
They started selling Manic Panic at Spencer's at the Eastwood Mall. At least the stains were becoming more colorful.
Dreadlocks, five colors at once, mohawks - I put my hair through the wringer.
My long-suffering parents took my experimentation with good humor. My mother would always sing the Rolling Stones' "She's A Rainbow" in homage to my ever-changing look: "She comes in colors everywhere / she combs her hair / she's like a rainbow."
Mom always said as long as I got good grades and kept out of trouble, I could do whatever I wanted to my hair. I made honor roll every term, and once glued little plastic spiders to my head. Fair trade.
But, it wasn't without small follies. My parents had to pay for extra dry cleaning to my band uniform due to the collar being stained purple - hey, I wanted to stand out for Senior Band Night at Harding.
In my adult years, I got my first truly wretched haircut. I wanted short bangs, cut straight across. I got some millimeter-long fringe that stuck straight out, with some wedge cut in the back.
The stylist also shellacked me down with some glitter she got at a hair expo. Butchered and experimented upon, I slinked out of the salon and out of Courthouse Square before anyone got the chance to ask why there was a disco clown wandering around downtown.
My Hot Topic days come and gone, I keep it simple. Long in back. Bangs sometimes. Hair dryers and straighteners only for occasions. Classic updos, pinup curls and rolls.
Your hair is your friend. It's your crown, your signature. Have fun with it, give it some good brushing, and pampering with conditioner now and then.
Don't be afraid to take chances. Shave it off for charity, or let it go feral and free. Make it your own.
But don't torture it, moussing it into oblivion. Don't fry it, like some kind of scalp-bacon. Stick with the classics, incorporating new trends.
And stay away from the crimping iron. Unless star-shaped burn holes are the next big thing.
Got a good hair tale? Tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org.