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Superstitions abound in India. I am sure other places too have their own versions. One of them that I had come across while a teen was about the auspicious period of time to trim one’s hair so that it grew back thick, luscious and long. I bet you didn’t know that there was such a time at all. Ahh, you innocent babes in the wood. Not that I did either till my cousin, who was more ‘knowledgeable’ in these matters, generously, and in all seriousness, shared her wisdom. Hair had to be trimmed when the Moon was waxing.

What did the Moon, orbiting Earth at an average distance of 384,402 km or 1.28 light-seconds have to do with the growing of hair on the heads of puny earthlings? Plenty, apparently. Soon after new moon, the illuminated area of the moon increased till finally it was a full round ball of light, the full moon day. Evidently, during this period when the moon ‘grew’ so would trimmed hair. On the other hand, if hair was trimmed when the moon was waning, the growth would dwindle and practically stop, similar to the moon decreasing in size and finally disappearing on new moon day. Unbeatable logic, what?

Who in their right minds would want hair not to grow? On one’s head that is, because I know women want it to stop growing already in all the wrong places. Anyways… All of us girls wanted thick, luxurious and loooooong hair, reaching up to our waist or more if it could be managed. So we religiously stuck to her advice. Whenever hair had to be trimmed, we checked the calendar and chose a day closest to the new moon day. That meant maximum time till full moon and hence the longest time and best chance for the hair to oblige and do the needful.

Though not quite a Rapunzel, I have had reasonably good hair growth (and still do), all thanks to the moon. Or so one would think, right? Not really. Good hair is a family trait, and has nothing to do with the waxing or waning of the moon. Years later, I am rather unkind to my gullible teen self who did not have the gumption to once question this silly belief. “Really, Teen Shail, I am so disappointed!”

Β© Shail Mohan 2020