Friday, April 8, 2011

White From Fright

I keep finding white hairs and it's making me really upset. White hairs....WHITE! Dead, gross, coarse, hair that I can feel pushing its way out of my hair follicles and ruining all my chances to look naturally like CHER. White hairs are one step closer to death and I'm only 24. Isn't it a little early for this? Although now that I think about step closer to the end of my life does mean one step closer to watching Star Wars with Donald Sutherland, Morgan Freeman and Ellen Degeneres while eating Cool Ranch Doritos right? Hmmmmm.

While on one hand, white hairs are making me regret mirrors, on the other they are making me think about horror films and the mythos of being so scared that your hair turns white. It's one of those things that is just cool. How often do we really get to see this tackled on film anymore? Because it's a "myth" seeing it projected on film and into a scene makes you giddy. It's a strong and effective marker to lay down the business. Like, HEY this movie is scary because the main character's hair turned white. It's like proof or insurance that the fright our characters experience is genuine. Of course it isn't--it's all fake, but the idea of someone's hair doing that because of fright is pretty neat. Because dude....they must have been really, REALLY scared.

Naturally after doing my usual Internet research, I've found that there have been no reported cases of people's hair turning white from shock or fright. Prolonged instances sure--but there have been no such reports of people's hair turning white instantly or overnight. So as much as I think it would be awesome if I told you that the reason my hair is turning white is because I travelled to another dimension via my closet to retrieve my 5 year old daughter---it's just not possible I'm afraid. It's more likely due to stress that I've experienced years ago---from that time that I had to escape from giant graboids in the desert with Kevin Bacon.

That doesn't mean of course that we can't at least talk about some of my favorite instances of shock hair therapy.

Nancy Thompson

Of all of these, Nancy's case is the most instantaneous. One minute she goes to sleep whilst under observation and the next she's kicking and screaming and returning with Freddy Kreuger's hat and a new white streak in her hair. I still love the instantaneous nature of her streak though. I mean who are we really to judge the likelihood of sprouting a white streak without warning. Have WE ever been chased in our dreams by Freddy Krueger? I think all this white hair research needs to go a step further in its experiments. Maybe open the doors to Freddy and see how people handle that.

Also, I hope I'm not alone in thinking that Nancy's streak makes her look completely bad ass. While lately Wes Craven has produced some less than thrilling movies, this moment always makes me appreciate what he once was. This dream sequence of Nancy's is I think the only one that we also do not experience. Therefore, Wes there had to think of a good way to show that what she was going through was equally terrifying to what we had seen previous to this. And how does he do that? By making her hair turn white of course! Because her hair never turned white before--it leads us to believe that this was the most terrifying experience yet...which kind of makes me mad that we missed it. Hmmph.

Leland Palmer

I'm only into episode 4 of Season two, but my experience in Twin Peaks so far has taught me many important things about life. The most important of course being that the owls are not what they seem--which to be quite honest is something I could have told you all years ago, if I really sat down and thought about it. Leland Palmer however happens to experience a nervous breakdown after his daughter is found dead, naked and wrapped in a plastic bag. He's fond of acting all down and depressed then one day all his hair turns white and he starts singing and dancing.

Don't tell me if this holds any larger significance but right now I'm thinking that it just shows the heavy amount of pain and suffering that Leland went through after the death of his daughter. Open, shut case really--but also still pretty neat.

EDIT: I now know why his hair turned white.


Apparently according to all of you Evil Dead fans, Ash sprouts a white streak at the end of Evil Dead II. I don't remember this--but I want to darn it. Hmmm after a quick youtube journey I have found the alleged streak. It is definitely skunky. I suppose after dealing with all that demon stuff and opening up the crazy portal thing, and chopping up his girlfriend and you know...stuff---yeah I guess that is pretty stressful.

Still though, one must question Ash's true awesome bad boy persona with the white streak. Doesn't the white streak show his vulnerability and his weakness? Or does it end up making him more human because he like all of us, cannot hide when he is scared.....OR am I simply thinking a little too much about Evil Dead II?

Diane Freeling

I do believe that out if all of these white hair instances, Diane's is the most warranted. Additionally hers kind of makes sense if you think about it. Her stress and worry, and emotional exhaustion and all that good stuff had been developing for months or however long Carol Anne had been missing. When she finally does make it into the closet her fears and worries hit an all time high.

Think about it....she's strapped to a rope and about to enter another dimension that is one step away from leaving this world forever. What does that even mean? Beats me. But I do gather that it would be one messed up situation.

You'll notice again here--that while it is much to my disappointment that we will never know what "beyond the closet" looks like--Hooper (cough Spielberg) is setting us to believe that the experience was harrowing and apparently terrifying. Because Diane develops not one, but two white streaks--it allows us to accept the fact that what she went through to get Carol Anne was extremely horrifying--and we believe it. Sure, we may never know what happened once she crossed the barrier, but we do know that it was probably very scary--and that's good enough for me. I guess!

The Bride of Frankenstein

Ah the classic white streaked horror movie vixen herself. Funny story--one time I went to a celebrity dance in high school dressed as Christina Aguilera when she did the Like a Virgin thing with Britney and Madonna--and my mean Spanish teacher asked if I was the Bride of Frankenstein! I mean I was dressed like a bride and stuff......but pfffft.

Anyways. By scientific standards---the Bride of Frankenstein's hair is actually quite possible. This is because there are in fact a few instances where your hair can chance dramatically over night--and being exposed to electrical shocks is one of them. So tada! Hers are the best aren't they? It's like you could consider her being dead and brought back to life was the hair changing moment (although it probably just was the electricity) but there's nothing wrong with a little imagination.

Plus, I love this movie. Why have I never written about it before? Hmmm

So I've come to a conclusion. Having a streak of white hair is not only cool looking--it's bad ass. It signifies to others that I have been through something that they could never possibly imagine and therefore it means that I am better than they are and other things like.... oh, I don't know--killing demons or something. So bring it on white hair. Bring it on.


Christine Hadden said...

Ahh, great stuff! You always come up with such wild-ass posts.

Another white-haired mystery I thought of was Henry Bowers from "It" - when his hair turns instantly white after seeing IT come through that sewer pipe. Cool, right?

Andre Dumas said...


And indeed, when I posted on Twitter asking for suggestions a lot of people brought up IT. I did not include it though because I've only ever seen bits and pieces of it. Shameful right? Don't worry though, I will work on this as soon as I can..!

Thomas Duke said...

I have the same problem, but it started a couple of years ago (maybe when I was 26 or so). I do have a little Nancy-esque streak in my bang area (to the extent that I have bangs). I thought it was stress related also, as I don't put any crazy shit in my hair or anything (just shampoo).

I think white streaked JoBeth is even hotter than regs JoBeth (if such a thing is possible). :P

Chris Hewson said...

A warning for the Twin peaks finale Andre, be prepared, it's a huge downer.
As for Ash, I think the white streak makes him look more seasoned as a demon-slayer, and people can look at him and think, 'Man, that guy looks like he's gone through some serious shit, he looks BADASS!!!'.

Anonymous said...

So this is very off topic, but I used that exact same image of the old lady when writing an article for my woman's studies "zine" project on anal bleaching! A procedure I first heard about on "the scare-ening", of which you have guest starred on! Small world!

But really, quite the great article. I have always been interested in the gray streak since meeting a good friend of my mother's who had a natural gray streak in her bangs. I must wonder what kind of horrors she witnessed!

Andre Dumas said...

Hmmm you are write TD, white streaked Jobeth is way hotter......!

Thanks Chris, I have been told that before but it's all good because I am timing when I finish with when Netflix sends me Fire Walk With Me. Woohooo

Anonymous, anal bleaching ahah I forgot about that! Hilarious. I do miss The Scare-ening. : (

Andre Dumas said...

Oh wow and by "Write" I did mean "right" How embarrassing!!

Anonymous said...

Great post as always, Andre. I myself haven't developed any gray hairs yet--although my hairline is definitely receding. The frightening part is that my GOATEE is going gray! That's going to cost me all my beatnik credibility!


The French Waffle said...

Props for the nod to Twin Peaks, Ray Wise is and always will be pure genius.

Patrick said...

That is a fantastic post, Andre. Respect!

Ash (Bruce Campbell, master of all that is manly) willed his hair to streak white because he knew it would make him even cooler. And, like everything he worked.

The white hair is a sign of the your own brand of awesomeness.

Thanks to everybody for sharing their thoughts.

Dream well.