There was a time, dear readers, when I would have been embarrassed to talk about my personal struggles with ear hair. I am still self-conscious about the excessive hair in my nostrils and my shoulders and my back and my forearms and my eyebrows but that is one of the prices you pay for spending so much time on this beautiful planet. But now I am very happy that my ears are naturally furry because there is an ear hair revolution going on in audio and I have become one of its biggest proponents.
The Ear Hair Revolution credo is very simple. Many audiologists across Europe have discovered that ear hair is one of the most effective forms of room treatment there is but until now it has remained a well-kept secret among the hirsute in our blessed hobby. The credo states that we are audiophiles and we have ear hair and we are proud of it because it makes us better listeners.
Words by Modest I. Predlozheniye
It should not be a surprise that ear hair affects the sound arriving at your eardrums. Thanks to Jonathan Scull we know that wearing eyeglasses while listening critically is a bad idea since you are placing reflective surfaces just a couple of inches from your ears. In the past doctors have recommended removing some ear hair in order to improve hearing but now we are finding specialist hair salons throughout Europe that shape and contour ear hair to aid hearing so there is no interference between an audiophile and his favorite music. The Ear Hair Revolution states: “You should not remove ear hair completely. Optimize it instead.”
It makes sense to me, dear readers! How about you?
The Ear Hair Revolution Will Probably Be Televised
The Ear Hair Revolution almost did not happen. Just before the pandemic cursed much of Europe I started to notice a new type of salon in the shopping districts where I visited. First there was Oreille in Paris. Then there was Nature’s Waveguide in London. Once the pandemic took hold these shops closed up before they could establish a sizable audiophile clientele.
But there is good news. Both Oreille and Nature’s Waveguide reopened their doors earlier this year and soon there were lines down the block once more. Just in the last few weeks several new chains opened up such as VeshiQendror in Tirana and ouça in Lisbon. One of my closest audiophile friends is Buddy Budjak and he had planned to open up a chain of stores called Revolyutsiya Volossya u Vukhakh across Ukraine and Belarus but the miserable hairy beast in Moscow ruined that even though he claims he is an audiophile.
(I’ve seen his ears. He could have embraced the Ear Hair Revolution. This is such a disappointment, dear readers. I have much love for the Ukrainian people.)
Talking About an Ear Hair Revolution
Just last week I was able to visit with my pal Buddy by telephone and I asked him to tell me some of the latest ear hair fashions. Buddy calls them “ear-dos” instead of “hair-dos” and I knew right then and there that Buddy has worked with marketing and branding professionals. “Ear-dos” just pops! (Is that how they say it?) Buddy emailed me countless photos of his clients and the sonic reasons why they insisted on a particular ear-do.
“My dear Buddy, why has the Ear Hair Revolution gained so much momentum two years into the pandemic?”
“Oh, that’s simple Modest,” he explained and I could clearly hear the joy and excitement in his voice about his successful new venture. “During the pandemic, many audiophiles had abandoned their normal grooming habits and soon they were hairy all over. More than one of these audiophiles complained about the sound of their hi-fi and how it was somehow ‘not doing it’ for them anymore.”
“Yes, Buddy. We have all been there before.”
“Well, Modest, I asked that friend to look in the mirror and faithfully report on the ear hair situation. At first he was offended and that’s when I knew that he had an issue with ear hair. I told him all about Revolyutsiya Volossya u Vukhakh and he agreed to come in for a consultation. His ear canals were almost completely blocked by hair, Modest. I thought I was looking into a dog’s ear.”
Buddy went into further detail about the types of ear-dos and how they could affect the hearing of the average audiophile. He explained that his approach had to differ for each client.
“There are times, Modest, when an audiophile has such hairy ears that I just have to wax everything and start all over. As the new hair starts to come in the client comes in for a second appointment and that is when we start shaping the hair on the follicular cartilage and the external auditory meatus. When it comes to the ear canal, Modest, we have to be careful to let the fine vellus hair remain because there is a reason why we have that there.”
“What is the reason?”
I heard Buddy pause for just a second before saying, “We are not sure. But someone said it to us and it sounded right so we stuck with it.”
Don’t You Know That You Can Count Me Out, In
Buddy went into deep detail on the style of cut and how he had to customize the ear-do for each client. There is much to consider such as the lower helix, the pinnae and whether or not auricular hypertrichosis exists. Buddy keeps an ENT professional on staff for consultation if there appears to be a medical issue or if the amount of earwax present is too much for Buddy to stomach.
“It happens,” he told me. “The Ear Hair Revolution is not always pretty.”
Buddy also warned against choosing an ear-do for merely cosmetic reasons. “I have seen many audiophiles make uninformed decisions based on Yelp reviews and word of mouth from fellow audiophiles. You need to consult with a professional or else you may wind up with an ear-do that does not meet your sonic expectations.”
I had one more question about the Ear Hair Revolution. I had to be delicate in my phrasing because I know that times have changed and it is very easy for an old audiophile like me to say something that is inappropriate. I asked, “Have you had any women clients?” I only asked this question because it has been my experience that only men are seeking these types of services.
“Have you ever seen inside the ear of a woman, Modest? Is there a preponderance of hair beyond the normal vellus, enough to warrant an ear-do that will genuinely affect their hearing?”
I could only reply that women did not seem to suffer from ear hair issues in general.
Buddy chuckled. “And that, my friend, is the reason why there aren’t more women audiophiles.”