When earlobe hair goes rogue

Posted on June 11, 2012


Hair misplacement therapy

Son, every once in a while, I like to give you a glimpse into a day in the life of your dad. I figure you should know what you’ve got coming since your destiny is to follow in my footsteps as I follow in my dad’s footsteps who followed in his dad’s footsteps and so on.

Last week I talked about your 40s as a time of growth and discovery. I painted a charming picture of rogue hairs popping up overnight in less-than-flattering places. What I didn’t discuss is what you’ll need to do about it.

For two decades I’ve watched and winced as your mom yanked out hairs at the root with her tweezers. Now it’s my turn. I can deal with the odd eyebrow hair that veers left when all the others veer right, but freakish earlobe superhairs are what got me reaching for the tweezers.

Of course, I prefer the word “forceps”.  “Tweezers” are what girls use to pluck out their eyebrows before drawing them right back in again. Forceps are a tool. Rambo would use forceps to hold the needle while he stitched up a 9-inch gash in his own chest. Doctors say, “Give me the forceps so I can take the bullet out of this man’s head,” not, “Please pass the tweezers.”

Like all important tasks, this one started with a trip to the hardware store. I bought a pair of Black and Decker professional grade forceps. I tossed in a Makita 18 amp driver-drill just to ensure my masculinity remained unchallenged as I prepared to pluck my earlobes.

Back at home, I closed the bathroom door, released the snap on the leather belt holster and removed the forceps. I bravely faced myself in the mirror and identified the target: a spindly 3-incher that set up camp on my earlobe sometime during the night. Maybe I should just cut it, I thought to myself. But I knew it would just grow back thicker and angrier.

Deep breath.

I positioned the tool for maximum leverage and closed it firmly and securely onto the offending hair. I shut my eyes and, whimpering like a 3 year-old, I pulled.

OK, I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect the skin to resist. It stretched a full inch without giving up the hair. When it could stretch no further, it let me know its displeasure with a shot of pain and my fingers instinctively relaxed their grip.

“Wow, does it always hurt like that?” I wondered aloud. I acknowledged my new-found respect for my wife who does this every day, then quickly buried the thought before I had to face the reality that she’s way tougher than I am.  I vowed to never reveal my discovery to her and reminded myself that I’ve got an 18 watt Makita driver-drill so clearly I’m tougher.

On the second try I was ready; I knew what to expect. The key, it seems, is to go fast—like pulling off a Band Aid. I’d say it’s like waxing but that would only be a guess. No, really, it would.

Its just a hair, for goodness sake. Pull the damn thing out and go have a beer!

Another deep breath, whimper and a tug.


I looked triumphantly at the hair extending from the forceps. I marveled at the wonder of a 3-inch hair appearing where none existed just 12 short hours before. I resolved to stay awake all night and watch my earlobes, hoping to witness the regrowth as the miraculous event unfolded.

Inevitably I dozed off, if only for a moment, and awoke to find a full-grown six-inch superhair on a previously barren earlobe.