The fun and frolics of studentship are coming to an end and the pressure to succeed is increasing exponentially. At this point the last thing on your mind is hair, but it all returns after the publication of your results. This is a major turning point; decisions made at this juncture have an enormous impact on your future and your hair style.
If your results are good enough you may decide to continue in academe then you can afford to remain indifferent to you your level of hirsuteness. However should you decide to enter the world of business then the looming presence of corporatism and the pressure to conform sends you back to the hairdresser. Note; it is not the barber this time but a “hairdresser” one who will style and pamper the keratin on your head into an acceptable shape. This is now the ludicrous norm; and because of this we are subjected to endless advertising of the supposedly “latest” new chemical that will “thicken”, “glossen” and “repair” your hair. It is ridiculous – take a look at the ingredients of most shampoos and you will see that they are very similar to any brand of washing up liquid. Most of both are a mixture of water (often called aqua for no apparent reason) and sodium lauryl sulphate (basically soap) with added extras for a pleasant odour, various chemicals of dubious efficacy and a thickening agent. That’s it, all else is marketing – just stop it please and release from this tyranny!
Just think – if we put the same effort into other things as we do to cleaning and coiffuring our heads we could solve third world poverty, feed the starving, find the cure for the common cold, and pay off the national debt. Okay I exaggerate that last one, but a bit of hyperbole never did anyone any harm. Nevertheless the sentiment is real. It is increasingly absurd that we inflict this ritual humiliation upon ourselves every day.
Similarly; do you hang on to the beard? Of course it must be neat and tidy or “suitable” to your new found responsibilities. Better still in 40 years of work just think of the time and money saved by not shaving. Also and perhaps more importantly there is a great social benefit if we were all to grow beards. Just imagine, no “best a man can get” adverts, no more impossibly handsome men rubbing chin and smiling back at you from the TV. Think of it; no disposable razors, no presents of pongy aftershave and an extra ten minutes in bed every working day, what’s not to like? For the price of a beard trimmer we could free our faces from this habitual torture.
So remember men “Be Brave Don’t Shave” the motto for the new millennium.
End of part 3