How to be dis­tin­guished

The Hindu - - HEALTH - :: Shovon Chowd­hury In Shovon Chowd­hury’s most re­cent novel,

I’ve al­ways been proud of my hair. It’s thick and lux­u­ri­ous. If I sham­pooed more of­ten, women would run their fin­gers through it. I of­ten catch them eye­ing my hair in buses. This is partly an­i­mal mag­netism, and partly tech­ni­cal. ‘What’s his se­cret?’ they won­der. Could it be egg yolk, or maybe beer? They are wrong. I don’t do any­thing. Even if hair were a con­cern area, I would never wash it with beer. Just the thought of wast­ing beer like that makes me throw up a lit­tle bit in the back of my throat. I’m not re­ally much of a beer drinker; it’s the prin­ci­ple of the thing.

I have one foot in the grave now, but I still have a full head of hair. In re­cent years, how­ever, the sit­u­a­tion has de­te­ri­o­rated. My hair has started turn­ing grey. Right now, it has that dis­tin­guished Ge­orge Clooney look. Peo­ple of­ten com­ment on it. If I was bet­ter-look­ing, we could be twins. But it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore it turns com­pletely white. Given how old Clooney is now, I imag­ine he’s com­pletely white too. In which case, how does he achieve this salt-and-pep­per look? It can’t be by ap­ply­ing some­thing like boot pol­ish, be­cause the streaks would be un­nat­u­rally thick. He would look like a hand­some ze­bra.

He is a Hollywood su­per­star. Plus, his wife earns a lot. Money must not be a prob­lem for them. He must have a high-priced Hollywood hair­dresser who dyes in­di­vid­ual strands. This must be quite a feat, be­cause the av­er­age hu­man has 100,000 to 150,000 strands of hair on their head. This means that to achieve the Clooney Ef­fect, the hair­dresser would have to in­di­vid­u­ally dye, say 60,000 strands. As­sum­ing one sec­ond to colour each strand, it would take him up­wards of 16 hours, work­ing con­tin­u­ously. Feed­ing would have to be in­tra­venous. This ex­plains why we don’t see Clooney in pub­lic too of­ten. It de­pends on whether his hair­dresser is avail­able. I can only imag­ine the panic in their house the night be­fore the Os­cars, when the hair­dresser calls and says he has the flu. Of course, it’s not a sim­ple thing to have a hair­dresser on 24-hour standby. Given the high price of liv­ing in Amer­ica, the ex­pense must be colos­sal.

Luck­ily, in In­dia, the cost of liv­ing is much lower. It’s one of the good things about us. Your av­er­age bar­ber makes a lot less. I asked my lo­cal bar­ber and he said he’d be will­ing to do it for around ₹40,000 a month, with half days off on Sun­day. The cost of dye was ex­tra, which we ar­gued about for a bit, but even­tu­ally I agreed. There­fore, if you have a rea­son­ably good in­come, and plenty of bar­ber­shops nearby, chances are you will find the right bar­ber at the right price. So if your hair is go­ing grey, and this is a con­cern area for you, don’t worry. All you need is around 16 hours a day, and a whole­sale deal on hair dye.

To achieve the Clooney Ef­fect, the hair­dresser would have to in­di­vid­u­ally dye 60,000 strands

Mur­der With Ben­gali Char­ac­ter­is­tics, In­spec­tor Li is su­per good-look­ing, with a touch of salt in his side­burns

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