It was there, stark as heck.
I stared at it.
Finally, it got to me — gray hair.
I‘ve had specks of gray in my hair now going on 35 years. And at age 58 I definitely have a lot more dark hair than gray on my scalp.
But this gray hair wasn’t on my head.
It was in an eyebrow.
Actually if it were true gray it wouldn’t haven’t have been all that bad. It was pure white. One long strand of white hair against darker ones.
Up until Saturday, gray hair never bothered me. Besides my head they will pop up on my chest and even my chin from time-to-time.
Like most guys, I never gave my eyebrows much thought until two years ago.
A stylist at Scores mentioned causally one day how she noticed that I would get rid of hair from time-to-time growing on the edge of my ear or from inside. She commented how she noticed it one time and when I came back four weeks later it was gone. She indicated most guys don’t seem to notice their ear hair saying in some case it was real obvious.
I said that it seemed impossible to notice hair on your ears when you shave.
Then she threw me for a loop.
She asked if I would like my eyebrows trimmed.
I never before had trimmed my eyebrows. I put my glasses back on, leaned forward, looked in the mirror and stared. They looked wild.
“Definitely,” I said.
As she took comb and scissors to each eyebrow I started thinking how they looked unkempt kind of like Andy Rooney’s would after perhaps sleeping for 10 days straight.
Since then I have kept an eye on my brows taking a razor or scissors when necessary to get rid of wild hairs.
I also started noticing that there were two trends. Older guys who were either oblivious or didn’t care about eyebrows that looked like they were weeds sprouting in every which direction and some younger guys who looked as though they primped and prepped to get an air brushed GQ look.
In recent years I’ve shaved in places I never would have dreamed off 30 years ago.
As it is, on most days I shave my face twice a day.
Forget Richard Nixon’s 5 o’clock shadow or the Fred Flinestone look. Six or so hours after shaving I look like most guys do when they hit the bathroom first thing in the morning.
When I started cycling almost 30 years ago, I resisted shaving my legs despite being warned by others that I wouldn’t like it when I crashed.
They were right. The bloody road rash/strawberry that I got had pushed my leg hair into bloody wounds creating a painful scab combination, long before I could get home and clean it. As a result, wounds took longer to heal. I finally gave in and started shaving my legs. It is something I have to do every two to three days.
I went to give it up twice when I drastically reduced my cycling and significantly increased my weekly jogging miles. The first time, however, I tripped after two weeks of not shaving midway on a 5-mile jog and had a painful bloody mess when I got home. I started shaving again. The next time it was three years ago in mid-August but after five days my legs were not just itchy but unbearably hot under Dockers so I went back to shaving them.
I will admit shaving my upper arms out of pure vanity. I never really looked at my upper arms until eight years ago when a Doctors Hospital public relations staffer suggested I take a photo of someone getting a flu shot to promote a free upcoming clinic. Then they had a better idea: Since I was over 50 — the targeted group for the free shots — why didn’t I get a shot and explain how it wasn’t that painful and they could have someone use my camera to get a close up picture of the nurse giving it to me.
I was embarrassed. Not only did my upper arm look flabby but here were three swirls of dark hair and hardly anything else against a white skin that was so bright that it could blind a pilot flying over.
When I started wearing sleeveless T-shirts a few years back due to another issue involving the fact I sweat more than three people combined and ruin shirts accordingly, I saw those hairy swirls staring at me in the mirror. That’s when I started shaving my upper arms.
I occasionally shave the outside of my nose (of course, I trim nose hairs) and will even shave the hair growing on my foot.
Yes, if I were to go hiking in the high Sierra without shaving my legs and such I could be mistaken for a shorter version of Big Foot.
I’m not complaining. I’ve had stylists marvel at how fast my hair grows (read that for an old guy) and once in awhile strangers comment that I have a thick head of hair for someone my age.
That said I’m more than thankful they’re not looking at my eyebrows. Despite whatever effort I make they have a mind of their own. At least I can snip out the ones that offend the most — the gray strands.
I’ll never dye my hair but I’m not sure I can say the same about my eyebrows.