[En] Fade in, fade out – Kasino Creative Annual: About Hair. (2010)

I have a pubic hair growing in my arm. I begun thinking about hair transplants, and things just started rolling…

In the beginning, as a kid, I kept hair and fingernails that I’d cut off. For me it was like playing NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, because I’d seen a documentary where they analyzed a strand of hair cut while he was imprisoned in Saint Helena, and the hair revealed NAPOLEON had been poisoned with arsenic. The same method of analysis revealed WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART took cocaine. I stored a lock of my hair in a matchbox in case somebody poisoned me. The matchbox is still in my childhood home.

My son is just over a year, and because of him I got to know my Dad again. When I think of my Dad I think of old photographs, where he has a thick beard. So it was a shock to meet him, because he now has some skin disease and all his hair has fallen off except for a few thin hairs that grow on his head. When I’m in photos with my son, I think of those old pictures of my Dad. I hope my son will also grow a beard. At least he’ll have someone to teach him to shave.

A beard is something you get when you grow up. If you want to know how someone will look when they’re grown up, you can put some shaved off facial hair on a child’s chin and cheeks. I sometimes spread hairs from my beard on my bald scalp for the opposite reason: it takes me back to my youth.

When I was a kid there was a rumor that if you had a haircut and hairs fell on your back, they would start growing there. The theory was based on an other story: someone had a bad burn on their hand, and a skin transplant was done from their butt. Everything went well but the hair came with the skin – there were thicker darker butt hairs growing on the hand.

Could this happen on purpose? If I took out a pube and installed it in my arm, would it grow? Why a pube? Maybe I want to linger forever in memories of my puberty. Next I came up with an innovation: by transplanting hairs you could make a hair tattoo. Write the name of you dearest on your back out of hair. The problem is I’m hairy all over, so it wouldn’t show.

Once I saw a man who had been given hair implants surgically. It’ll be common in the future. Hairs were snipped from the back of his head and planted on the top. They grew in neat lines like ryegrass. This guy is about sixty and he has ryegrass growing on his head. These days wigs are considered pretentious as if unreal hair gives mocking rights. That’s why tits are nowadays enhanced with silicone implanted under the skin, whereas 300 years ago some padding would do.

What is pretentious, is that surgically build hair is considered more credible than a wig. How long can you live with a new acquaintance without revealing the truth about your implants? Our with old fried noticing? It doesn’t matter what others think. Just like with fake boobs, there’s a game going on with hair implants: when everyone knows they’re fake you can think about them more.

A friend of mine can’t grow a beard, but like everyone who can’t, he thinks he’d like to. It would be great if I could give my friend a beard or a hair tattoo trough a surgical operation. Which gets me thinking whether I could ask for hairs from all kinds of geniuses. I could plant them on my head and see if some of their talent were transplanted with their hairs.

I wrote to plastic surgeon ROLF NORDSTRÖM and asked if it was possible to implant someone’s hair on another persons head. Soon after I sent the email, his assistant called me aback politely, and explained one would need to take the same medication as those going trough organ transplants – if such a thing were done, as it might be in the future. She also consoled me that you can move your own hair from wherever to wherever, and mentioned that a man had had chest hair transplanted on this head. Imagine, somewhere in the world is a man with chest hair growing on his head.

Whereas barbers remove hair, plastic surgeons add them. NORDSTRÖM is the anti-barber. The two profession use very similar tools, both serve and influence beauty aspirations and the well-being go the client – and in fact plastic surgeon create new clients to barbers.

The plastic surgeon’s assistant was clear from the start that hair transplants would cost me more than my annual earnings. But as with the coolest tattoos, the coolest hair transplants are self-made. All you need is a sharp needle and a magnifying glass (getting the needle was the hard part, because pharmacies just assume you’ll do drugs).

I cut the skin, picked the hair – follicle and all – and planted it in my arm. I hacked the methods form NORDSTRÖM’S assistant. I succeeded after several attempts off trying to push the hair in with the needle and after losing several of my pubic hair somewhere on the flooer. If the transplant was successful the pube would fall after two weeks and a new one will grow in it stead. I also borrowed my beard to my beardless friend – he treated it with a lack of respect like it was a joke beard, and just let it fall to the bar floor. I’ve moved on to thinking about making a tail, NORDSTRÖM could ransplant hairs to make one. That would be something to gawk at the gym locker rooms.

In the future this kind of things will be possible. Fake hair will be more difficult to spot from real hair. Curious kids will be unable to reveal SANTAS beard as a fake, because it’ll be surgically implanted on the face of who ever is playing him. The curly white beard will have been grown on the ass of a gene-manipulated rat and transplanted for the holidays to make SANTA real.

Edit. Jonathan Mander.