AMERICAN STOPS WASHING HAIR!
number three 
by Jason Headley

It's been a long time since I've been involved in any actual science. There's been the pseudo-science of figuring out the absolute latest time I can set my alarm clock and still make it to work, if not precisely on time, at least within the range of an excuse that doesn't require a bewildering melange of fantasy and bold-faced lies. (No amount of higher math prepared me for the equation I've baked up for this one.) But this hair thing is real science. I can't bullshit my way through it. I've been dedicated. I've been steadfast. But last week it struck me that I haven't been a very good scientist.

In a true scientific experiment, you have to limit your variables to truly study cause and effect. You can't have a whole shitload of stuff going on at once, otherwise you'll never learn a goddamn thing. I realized I'd made this exact rookie mistake with my hair. You see, not only had I stopped washing it, but I'd let it grow to at least twice it's normal length. And in the process I'd lost all track of what was causing what. Were the fuzzy, frizzy, flyaway properties my hair was exhibiting due to the delinquent grooming or the delinquent hygiene? I couldn't say. Because I'd strayed from the Scientific Method.

So on Friday, two weeks to the day since my last washing, I cut my hair. Brought it back down to the length I'm more familiar with, so I could more accurately study the effects of the experiment. The results to date:

OIL Over two weeks into it, and still not greasy. I think a little bit of oil is starting to call my head home, but it's really minimal. Just the right amount to keep it from looking and feeling like tumbleweed.

SMELL The haircut offered me a rare chance to find out for myself if my hair smelled bad. I scooped up a fistful of hair and breathed it in. I thought it smelled fine. I might even go so far as to say it smelled nice. Very natural.

TEXTURE It seems to be softening a little bit. By no means do the words "silky", "smooth", "fine", "velvety", or "gentle" come to mind. But there is a noticeable difference. Small victories.

SPIRITS Feelin' good. Real good. I realize I'm only a third of the way into the six week experiment, but I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Of course, I also felt pretty good about that "Corky Romano" movie until the reviews came out, so it's really too early to tell. But I can say that those of you who were on suicide watch can stand down.

Next week: The Halfway Mark!

Unsanitarily yours,

Jason Headley is the author of the novel Small Town Odds.

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