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by Abigail Van Buren

Parting Can Bring Sorrow to Those With Unruly Hair

DEAR ABBY: For most of my life, I have parted my hair on the right. I am now being told that men should part their hair on the left. Is there a correct side for men?

-- HARRY W., MORRO BAY, CALIF.

DEAR HARRY: I relayed your question to my hair design consultant, Bob Cox. According to Bob, people naturally have a cowlick (or "whorl") on one side of their scalp from which the hair growth pattern emerges. (Some people have two, although one is usually stronger than the other.) This is what determines which way the hair will naturally fall when it is parted.

Bob went on to relate the story of a client who had recently been referred to him. The gentleman had been going to his former barber for 15 years, and for 15 years his hair had never been easy to manage. Over the last couple of years, the problem had become so bad that his wife had to help him part his hair in the morning.

Bob took one look and realized the former barber had been parting the man's hair on the wrong side, which had been causing it to stick up. The problem was resolved with one appointment. If other men out there are having the same problem, this letter may be helpful.