Hide your hair mom was superstitiously right



My mother believed in the evil eye. She was deathly scared of the evil eye. She believed people could wish you evil and you could fall under subsequent continuous bad luck. There was a bit of time where she had really good luck, winning radio contest after radio contest.  We got to go to many country and western concerts due to her good luck. Some people may call winning that many country western tickets bad luck, but I grew to appreciate that music even though everyone else in my neighborhood thought it was bizarre.  We were happy with the winnings, then someone gave my mother the evil eye. After that, everything went from bad to worse.

She would put egg yolks under the bed and in the corner and try to read them to discern who had given us the evil eye and when that evil would run its course. I recall one time seeing lots of red in one of those egg yolk concoctions. My mom was petrified.  As she was petrified, she proceeded to give me certain warnings.

I was to put an upside broom by the door. I was to also never brush my hair anywhere else but home. She wanted to make sure that I never left strands of my hair anywhere as that would invite trouble. My mother completely believed that one’s hair contains one’s essential essence and spirit. Thus, if you leave your hair strand anywhere, anyone who has that strand has the power to control you. It was a quite frightening thought.  Whenever I used someone’s bathroom, I made sure no hair strands were left behind in the sink.

As I have grown up, I have watched television series after television series demonstrate that I thought was the power of hair strands in catching criminals. Apparently, those shows were a bit ahead of the actual science. Or so it seems by what I have gleamed from the latest research presented in the PLOS journal.  Researchers have found the possibility of analyzing genetic mutations of the proteins found in hair as an alternative forensic identification method. Hmm. I won’t go into the science of analyzing the proteins, I will just say that if my mother were alive she would be saying “I told you so.”

Hair is completely tied to one’s being. It can identify you. It’s proteins last a rather long, long time. I suppose that is why we cut off baby locks and keep them forever I wish I had my mom’s last brush as it would be a way to stay connected to her. I would be connected to a part of her that would stay on.  Save those baby locks. Save those hair brushes. And if you don’t want to be identified, wear a hair net.


2 replies »

  1. Hair always worked well when making voodoo dolls in old TV shows and movies!
    I found another interesting and related fact about the longevity of hair when I visited the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson in Staunton, VA, just yesterday. In those days, the 1850s, hair was collected and stored in a receptacle designed specifically for that purpose, and we saw one in the very room where Wilson was born. The docent then showed us one of the purposes for this odd to us moderns practice. Hair had been collected and then woven into a keepsake brooch that is intact and lovely as an heirloom to this day.


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