After four weeks in hospital my brother Jon was finally allowed home last week. We talked a lot about what we would do when he got out, such as go to his favourite Indian restaurant for a family meal, watch a Premiership football match in the local pub, but the first thing he actually did was go to a hair salon to get his gruaig sorted.
To be fair, there was a good few weeks' overgrowth on one side, while the other was shorn from his ear and brain operations. Maybe the hairdressers was his first port of call because we slagged him mercilessly, but given that he is well used to this insulting banter it is more likely that he just wanted to feel good about himself. Hence, when I saw my brother for the first time outside hospital in a month was when he sat next to me in a leather swivel chair, as I too was seeking to feel good about myself.
When you think about it, getting our hair done is just one way we women can make ourselves feel nice, but there are several other feminine tricks that have a similar feel-good effect -- such as make-up, manicures and pedicures -- but for men it's all down to their follicles.
It kind of helps me understand why men fear going bald -- yes women like follically challenged men just as much as hairy-headed ones -- but what else can baldy men groom in a manly fashion? Luckily for my two brothers, my dad still has a full head of hair at the age of 51 so they only have to worry about unwanted hair of the ear and nasal variety.
The one thing Jon always had in his possession in his little pyjama top pocket was a comb, and he would regularly use it in a combing action that was not unlike that of my late grandad (a gentleman who was always immaculately groomed).
I offered to cut and buff his finger and toe nails (now that is sisterly love) but he was having none of that girlie malarkey; however, he did gratefully accept my offer of dry shampoo when he couldn't wash his hair.
It is one thing to be ill and cooped up in a hospital bed, but it is quite another to feel like a sack of crap too, so if some dry shampoo and a grandad comb makes someone feel a bit better, then great.
It wasn't just Jon who was concerned about his hair either; another gentleman came around from his brain op and one of the first things he asked his family was to borrow Jon's shampoo. The power of feeling good about one's appearance is much underestimated -- perhaps this is something hospitals might consider.