Magazine April 8, 2019, Issue

The Power of Hair

(Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

Hair is the crown that grows on us: the surprise fuzz on some babies, the thick hair of youth that even youth does not prize enough, the strands of the old, unattended on nursing-home pillows. Samson’s strength lay in his hair; so does woman’s: “Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains / And mighty hearts are held in slender chains.” When my friend Doug upstate cuts his own — he stands in the shower, lets it stream down, then scissors around the bottom — he puts the hairs outside so that birds can use them in their nests.

Hair was a

This article appears as “Cutting It Close” in the April 8, 2019, print edition of National Review.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

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