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The parting of the hairs

     According to Wikipedia: "A cowlick is a section of hair that stands straight up or lies at an angle at odds with the style in which the rest of an individual's hair is worn." [Me: You can say that again!] "Cowlicks appear when the growth direction of the hair forms in the spiral pattern. The term "cowlick" originates from the domestic bovine's habit of licking its young, which results in a swirling pattern in the hair." [Me: Hmm. Haven't been around any cows lately.] "The most common site of a human cowlick is in the crown, but they can show up anywhere. They also sometimes appear in the front and back of the head." [Me: Yep! Back of the head!]

     Here I was so proud that my hair hadn't turned grey at the ripe old age of. . . well, that's not important. I never in a hundred years suspected I would have some other type hair problem until the day I found what looked like a skinny bald spot on the back of my head. Oh, no!!! You could see a skinny strip of my scalp—about two inches long—on the backside of my head. Where'd that come from? Or, more like it, where did that hair go?

     I did what anyone would do. I asked my hairdresser, Leyla, if I was going bald. She took a look and said I was definitely not going bald. "Are you sure? I asked. "Believe me," she said, "I've seen plenty of bald spots. This is not one of them. You have a cowlick. You're hair's growing in opposite directions."

     You can't believe how relieved I was. Only a cowlick. Cowlicks can be fixed. I've had small ones on the crown of my head before. I just worked around them—no pun intended. But this one isn't a pretty spiral at the crown of my head. It's a narrow two-inch- long parting of the hair, half going straight left and half going straight right, leaving a bare strip in the middle. My "domestic bovine" must have licked its young back and forth, not round and round.

     That was a few months ago. That cowlick has been causing me grief ever since. In the mornings I try to cover it up with the hair around it until there's not a bit of scalp to be seen. And then yay! I grin and holler and spray it oh-so-carefully to keep all the hairs in place and I pick up the hand mirror to make sure it's still hidden and—

     There it is. The spray pushed the hairs apart, uncovering my bald—oops! my cowlick. I do this over and over. I brush. I comb. I spray. I pray. Yay! It's gone! Closer look. Nope! Still there.

     Do any of you guys have a cowlick? Mine adds twenty minutes to my getting-ready time every morning, with a nagging feeling the rest of the day that people behind me are staring at my strip of naked scalp. My pride—remember how proud I said I was of my hair not turning grey?—has taken a hard fall. I confess, I used to sit and look at the back of other people's heads and wonder why oh why they didn't comb over that little cowlick. It would be so easy.

     Well now I know. It's not so easy. No matter how hard you try to cover it, it's there, ready to show itself behind your back. Maybe I'll start a cowlickers club. We can share ideas on how to cover-up, hide, disguise those nasty things. Want to join? You have to have a real, true, honest-to-gosh cowlick that's screwing up your stylish cut or your fashionable hairdo—and yes, we'll keep it anonymous.

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