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By Grant McCracken

Most people in modern Western society are obsessed with hair: hair they have, hair they don't, hair they don't want (there), the latest to-do about the do of the latest star or starlet — and yet there have been virtually no in-depth studies of hair in this culture. McCracken, a curator of ethnology, has written an insightful study of how Westerners redefine themselves by defining and redefining their 'dos, dont's, and dyes, and the fetishistic fascination with hair styles of the rich and famous.

Although written primarily about women's hair, and in particular, blond hair, men and women alike can learn a great deal from the in-depth analyses of these dead strands of protein extruding from tiny pores on our heads which nonetheless have extraordinary power in determining status and even wealth.

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