Hair and ancient Greeks: the secrets of their strength
I have a confession to make. All my life I have dreamed of having long hair, a happy state of shaggy that escapes me, because I seem biologically incapable of germinating anything other than the most rudimentary skin coverage, let alone the luxurious long locks of my most secret fantasies.
In my youth, I watched the relief sculptures of the lion slaying Assyrian kings such as Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal and marveled at their innate composure and style: no physical torture, no ritual disembowelment or punishment could even disturb even one of their best placed. tender tendrils, which descended to their shoulders in tightly controlled curls like a herd of goats tumbling down the slopes of Mount Gilead. The archaic Greek kouroi sported similar curls but without violence, in a style close to that of the mule, and I coveted possession of these carefully preserved braids until the bodily manifestation of the Greek singer Triantafyllos and his album “Βλέπω κάτι” όνειρα ”, which defiled this dream forever.
As heirs, as well as the hair of the ancient Greeks, no Hellenic authenticity among our tribe can be truly established unless long hair can be obtained. Because it is established that even before confinement, in the most ancient times, the Greeks wore long hair, which is why Homer, who was blind and therefore could only contemplate their essence with his noetic eyes, calls them constantly καρηκομόωντες (long hair). The Spartans prove that long, shiny hair is ultra-Hellenic by claiming to be the “cheapest adornments” (kosmon adapanotatos), this being a time before Schwarzkopf Bonacure Time Restore and Pantene Pro-Miracle V. Apparently the said Spartans even wore their hair in a man bun, and in Athens languid locks were also wrapped in a top knot on the crown of the head, and tied with golden grasshopper-shaped clasps, an intoxicating fashion statement that only came out in season in Thucydides’ time, to be appropriated centuries later by Western supporters of Kung Fu.
On the other hand, my hair, as it has remained after the ravages of time, rather than cascading effusively and without artifice in Hellenic fashion down my shoulders and lending itself to beating when I make remarks. flippant, are the antithesis of Hellenic – they defy gravity. Standing at attention at all times, he arches towards the heavens as if pulled by an enthusiastic evangelical during the Tribulation, in order to trigger the Rapture. No amount of coaxing will convince him to pull back and he has an abrasive, hair-like feel, in no way like Yianni’s silky tresses, before he meets Linda Evans, or Alexander, whose brilliant shine has paved the way for the conquest of Asia.
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Grow and groom
Nevertheless, being a period of forced domestic confinement, without danger of public censorship and lack of any other alternative, I have in recent months determined to let my hair grow. In this, I have progressed. Hopefully, at any time over the next four months, the hair on the top of my head will grow to the same size as the back of my neck, even though the follicles on the sides show no signs of growing. Lately, I have used to massage it rigorously with my fingers, since this practice was prescribed by the ancients as a growth stimulant, although I hesitate to apply generous amounts of honey to it as recommended by Hippocrates, for the jar that we keep in the pantry contains Attic thyme honey, for the acquisition of which to the local Greek charcuterie blood and great quantities of soul were poured out.
“What are you doing?” my wife asks, intruding into my intensive hair care routine.
“I comb my hair,” I reply nonchalantly.
“You’re supposed to comb it down, not up,” she observes.
“Well, he’s not going to sit down,” I lament.
“It’s gotten pretty long, hasn’t it?” “
“Yeah, don’t you think my curly hair looks like that of Riace’s bronze statue of Poseidon?” I ask hopefully.
“No, not really,” my wife begins to sort through my disparate hair in appreciation. “More like David Ben-Gurion in his years of decline. You need a haircut.
“I don’t want a haircut. I want to grow my hair long and look like Apollo.
“The only Apollo you have a chance to look like with this hair is Rocky’s Apollo Creed. Come here,” she commands, pulling a pair of ominously shiny scissors out from behind her back.
“No!” I shout defiantly. “Get behind me Dalila. You will not cut my locks which are the basis of my strength.
And with that, I slap my toe on the tub and hop up and down in agony.
“Take it easy, Sampson,” my wife consoles me. “It won’t take a minute.
I know that look in his eyes. My fate has been considered, weighed and determined. The judgment is irrevocable. It only remains to plead mitigation.
“Just let me grow my hair to Kolokotroni’s length,” I plead.
“Because after growing it to the required length you can shave everything except a strip on the back and I can amaze the locals with my Souliote braid that fights freedom. Please, this is important.
“Well, during this time when I’m supposed to teach kids at home and work from home, I think I made a great discovery. There is a reason why the fate of modern Greece has been particularly dire, and why none of its rulers have ever achieved lasting success. “
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“And what is this?” my wife asks absent-mindedly as she opens a drawer in the bathroom console, searching the contents inside and retrieving a razor.
“No Greek leader after Kolokotronis has had long hair,” I reveal triumphantly. “As such, none of them have really been leadership material. If Sakis Rouvas had not shed his magnificent mane, the history of Greece in the 21st century might have unfolded in an altogether more benign way.
“So you are running for the leadership of the Hellenic Republic?” “
My wife is very genteel and the concept of laughing is foreign to her, so she can’t identify it when it pops up and doesn’t try to stifle it.
“No, I’m just trying to lead by example. The neo-pagans who mock the Neohellenes and their orthodox ways are right. Except that it is not through the restored cult of the Olympians that we will regain our glory but through the regrowth of our hair. Our destiny is high and noble. It’s time to get it back. “
“Dear cuckolded husband,” my wife hums. “Do you know the Khludov Psalter?
“By Khludov Psalter, you are of course referring to the Illuminated Marginal Psalter produced in the middle of the 9th century which constitutes a unique monument of Byzantine art during the Iconoclastic period, one of the only three illuminated Byzantine Psalters to have survived this sad time? “
“What about? “
“You will remember the iconophile illumination of the last iconoclastic patriarch, John the Grammar, with messy straight hair that protrudes in all directions?”
“Well that’s what you look like right now. So if you want to be an iconoclast, and your hairstyle is seen as ridiculous by the elegant Byzantines, be my guest.
Truly, there can be no heinous fate except to be seen as old-fashioned by one’s fashion-conscious Byzantine peers.
“Do you think Constantine Paleologus had long hair? ” I’m thinking. My wife growls in response, as she is now absorbed in the task of stripping me of my lovingly grown fleece.
“Not like that. And lose the scissors. It’s a job for mowers,” I lead.
“Indeed? His Supreme Klephtness is an authority on haircuts now?” The answer is slammed on my discursive door.
“No, but I once helped shear a goat in Albania when the power went out. It can’t be that different.
The vibration of electric razors on my head has a sleepy effect and soon I am soothed in silence. My wife brushes against me in my trance, lining up the sides, straightening her back and intimidating any rebellious hair into submission. Finally, she’s finished.
“Well, that’s not bad. Nice and neat,” she concludes, looking at her work like a connoisseur. “I missed my vocation. I should have been a hairdresser.
I, on the other hand, am helpless and have a cool head. As I search for my image in the mirror for a long time, I console myself knowing that my hairstyle now resembles that of Fred Kite in “I’m Alright Jack”, played by my favorite actor of all time, the indomitable Peter Sellers. Greatness does emerge, after all, in unsuspected moments and it’s not the length of her hair that matters, but what you do with it.
“So what do you think? Should I change jobs?
“Well why not?”
My mind turns to the heady days of my youth when I had an inexplicably passionate and unrequited crush on Acropolis Now hairstylist Sophie.
Now, as I approach middle age, I finally understand why.