To comb or not to comb: little girls’ hair theories

When I was between the age of seven and nine, girls around me started having opinions about the “best” hair care practice. We were not reading any fashion magazines or books at that age, and most of the things we preached to each other was based on what we saw or heard from adults around us.

For example, once one of my classmates said that she applied hair conditioner three times every time she washed her hair.

“Three times?” I said, unable to hide my surprise. “But why so many times?”

“That makes my hair very smooth!” She answered with confidence. “See?”

She showed me her hair, and it did look smooth. From the next time I washed my hair, I started applying the hair conditioner twice. I wanted to be doing the “right” thing for my hair to look good.

One day, my father’s good old friend visited us with his children for a few days, and when the children took bath together in the evening, the girl who was three years younger than me said that she never combed her hair after washing her hair.

“Why not?” I asked her with great curiosity.

“Well, it’s better for your hair if you don’t comb your hair,” she replied with absolute certainty.

As I looked at her straight shiny hair, I thought that her theory sounded valid. So, after they left, I started my new practice, namely, I stopped combing my hair after washing it.

A few weeks later, there was a large family gathering, and I shared my new hair care practice to my aunt’s mother-in-law. She was listening to me carefully, but as soon as I told her with pride that I no longer combed my hair after washing, she raised her hand.

“I object!” She said. “I don’t believe that theory of your friend is true. I think it’s better to comb your hair after washing because it stimulates your sculp!”

I felt confused. Her opinion had a point, too. Stimulating the sculp sounded important. I was no longer sure what hair theory was correct.

After that incident, I went back to my old routine. I started combing my hair again. I wasn’t sure if by doing so I was reducing the shine of my hair, but it didn’t matter to me anymore. I thought my hair looked good enough and I was too tired of following different people’s different hair theories.