While I think it’s still true that the main advice for having good hair is to choose your ancestors wisely and leave your hair alone (in the sense of avoiding a lot of processing and chemicals), I’ve learned that hair loss may be avoided by consuming less red meat and more caffeine.

One of my students wrote a paper about the “perfect job.” He works in a poultry processing plant, as many people around here do. The worst part of the job,he says, is slitting the chickens’ throats, but it’s just generally hard work at a low wage.

He was comparing his job to the “perfect job” as envisioned by TV and magazines. All he was able to come up with in his description of the perfect job was having a desk and a chair. As you see, I have a desk and a chair.

We worked on his paper together in class. We added to the description of the stereotypical perfect job, giving the successful guy a mahogany desk and plate glass windows in an office on an upper floor. Some wanted to give him a secretary bringing him a cup of coffee, but most agreed that her existence would be implied by his suit and fancy furniture and the fact that he had his own office with windows.

We compared this with the image of the student shoveling out chicken houses in a pair of blood-stained blue jeans.

Although this paper had an upbeat thesis (a job may be the perfect job for your current needs even if it doesn’t conform to the stereotype of the “perfect job”), I’m newly appreciative of the face that I have a desk and a chair.