Monday, October 4, 2010

Ashen Wisps of Hair

In any gathering of young Chinese you are likely to make a surprising observation: many of them, at the ancient ages of 17 or 21, have a significant frosting of white hairs radiating across an otherwise pitch-black scalp. Like the majestic silver-back gorillas, this fashion statement (intended or not) is not without its lining. But it does raise a mystery that I haven't answered to my satisfaction.

Is this a medical condition? Signs of bodily distress from all the pressure that young Chinese endure in the pursuit of good test scores, good college diploma, and a lucrative career? Deficiencies of an important nutrient? Evidence of the pod people? Shampoo chemicals run amok? A reaction to environmental hazards?

Or is this a fashion statement? Many young people--myself included--admire the Sephiroth look. That said, a few hoary strands do not make a pearly mane.

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