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Can You Hair Me Now?

I just don't get Mexicans and their grooming. The men slick their hair with baby oil, gel or Vaseline, or just shave it all off. The women wear it in ponytails with a neon green hair band or in pigtails or wear bangs created with the biggest curling iron in the world. Do they see themselves in the mirror before leaving home? Do they realize everyone is staring 'cause they look bad?
Tommy Toupee

Dear Gabacho,
Not only do we stare at our hair in the mirror, but we also blow kisses to our reflection and whisper, "Ay papi chulo, you're más bonito than those gabachos feos." If there's one body feature that Mexicans can boast about — besides the glorious guts of our men and the asses grandes of mujeres — it's follicles, repositories of the world's hair DNA. Kinky, straight, curly or wavy, the Mexican head is pregnant with possibility, and Mexicans do everything possible to draw attention to what humans can do with a comb and three pounds of gel.

Some hairstyles are utilitarian: The Mexi-mullet protects the neck from the brutal sun, while bangs allow our ladies to hide switchblades. Other styles, like indigenous pigtails or Zach de la Rocha's frizzy 'fro, sing the body Mexican. But the best Mexican hair involves Three Flowers Brilliantine, the lightly scented petroleum jelly revered by generations of Mexicans for its tight hold, pleasant smell, and a shine that rivals a flashlight; women use it to slick their hair into buns, men to sculpt Morrissey-esque pompadours. Class, thy name is mexicano.

Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at [email protected]. And those of you who do submit questions: include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we'll make one up for you!

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano