*** Entanglement by Emma Tarlo


For me, the best part of Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair was the description of the many businesses around the buying and selling of hair to make wigs. Some scenes are surreal, whether the descriptions of the Chinese factories where custom toupees are made, by hand, on heads reconstituted from measurements taken thousands of miles away, or the Indian temple tonsure halls where devotees are shaven for religious practices (and the hair promptly sold). It’s pretty clear that the hair business, like many others, is one where poor people grow hair (or save the hair brushed away by their combs!) to be sold to the rich.

The book goes further, exposing the politics of women’s hair, which sometimes must be covered, or shaven, or hidden under a wig, or never covered by a wig depending on customs and religion. And did you know that there are websites where hair is auctioned while still on the head of the seller? So much to learn!

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