One Of The Worst Summer Feelings

Is a stray hair trickling down your shoulder

Image: eflon

It’s summer. The sun is shining, your shoulders are bare, and if you’re like me, you covet but do not currently (nor will you ever, let’s be honest) possess HAIM-length hair:

One of the many reasons my hair personally is not that long is that one of my least favorite sensations on earth is getting my hair trapped under various straps: bra, purse, backpack. Don’t get me started on getting your hair stuck in your winter-coat zipper. (Sorry my coat is a functional parka and not a stylish overcoat with buttons, but that’s me.)

Right now my hair is what you would call “shoulder length.” Fine, great. It’s also the kind of hair that falls out kind of a lot. Maybe I have a loose scalp, or maybe it’s normal (I think it’s normal), but enough of my hair falls from my head regularly enough throughout the day that it’s kind of a noticeable pain and I end up with hair on my clothes and on the floor. In the office, we have a Roomba, which I can’t imagine enjoys gagging on my hair, but s/he’s also kind of dumb, and at home, I Swiffer my floors maniacally once a week.

How Much Hair Are You Supposed to Lose Per Day?

Big deal, it’s like being my own pet. I have a Dyson vacuum too, but let’s not get into the specifics of how I use a seam-ripper to remove the hair wrapped around the spinning parts in the head of the floor nozzle. But in the process of my hair’s slinking journey down my body on its way to becoming the dust, it crosses over my shoulders and the backs of my arms. Like teeny-tiny snakes, or like gross weeds at the bottom of a too-shallow pond. This is one of the worst feelings on earth, and I have it a lot during the summer.

Hair is falling from my head throughout the day! I would say the times it happens most rapidly and in greatest number are when I’m in the shower and/or brushing or styling my hair. That makes sense; my scalp is having pressure/tension/heat applied to it. People with long hair know what it’s like to comb your hands through your hair and have hairs wrap around your fingers like seaweed on a Rhode Island beach. It’s not pleasant but it’s what happens.

But in the middle of the day, during the summer, when my shoulders and arms are bare, I have this weird kind of low-key Morgellons disease EXCEPT IT’S REAL and the hairs are not under my skin but slithering across it. I spend all day casually swiping my shoulders and the backs of my arms, hoping to pick up and remove any errant, loose head-hairs. Because of course, one of the BEST feelings in the world is the release you get from extruding something surprisingly long as though it were a magician’s scarf from some crevice or pore or mass on one’s own body. I’m sure there is a gross Latinate word ending in -philia to describe loving this sensation but also in this category would be extracting blackheads and shitting (sorry).

But BEWARE—this “weirdly good” sensation is also very close to an extremely bad one, which is pulling a hair out of some place you least expect it such as: a mouthful of food or a butt crack (sorry again). All day long I am haunted by the specter of a tiny half-millimeter of slippery conditioned keratin and dead skin cells ending up somewhere I don’t want it.

Anyway, ideally all my hair would stay in my head and just grow forever and never bother me. I suppose if my hair were longer (i.e., HAIM-length), the same thing would still be happening and I’d just notice it less because I’d be used to the feeling of head-hairs gently caressing my arms.

Does this happen to anyone else?