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A Eulogy for My 29-Year-Old Mason Pearson Hairbrush

By Polly Blitzer / September 28, 2019

Dearly Beloved,
My Mason Pearson and I shared many great years together, and now it is time for me to put it out to pasture. I will always hold its mixed-bristle memory in my heart. As I look back at the 29 years we shared, I remember all the good hair days with gratitude. I recall scalp massages, shiny locks and detangling sessions. I will miss the mixture of nylon and boar bristles, which tickled my scalp and made my hair look glossy.
Oh, Mason, I'll miss picking up your sturdy lacquered paddle. That big oval head used to stroke nearly half my head when I was nine. One pass could smooth frizz without spray. The parabolic handle was always a cinch to hold, from my youth through adulthood. The flexible bristles nestled in your bright orange rubber pad. I still believe there's magic inside that air-filled rubber poof.  
As I sit here, I recall your patience as a I brushed 100 strokes before bed, inspired by Marcia Brady. You let me brush upside-down when I wanted volume, you tolerated bleach during lice season in 5th grade and survived bite marks when my puppy Trixie went through a gnawing phase. You traveled to sleep away camp, vacation, college dorms, my first apartment, honeymoon, delivery room, in luggage, carry-ons, handbags, Ziplocs. You stood in as a mic when I felt like lip syncing. You helped me flatten a chicken cutlet before a dinner party. You once whacked a cockroach. You had the courage to work your way through every snarl in my knotty pregnancy hair. 
You were my longest relationship. We were so good together. Always loyal. Even when I misplaced you, I never forgot about you. When I switched to a ceramic or went through that flat-ironing phase, you waited patiently under the sink. I came back to you when I was ready for shiny, healthy-looking, bouncy waves. You were reliable, trustworthy, always treated me well, even in your later years. 
In your defiant moments, when your bristles were clogged with old hair, you stood your ground and continued brushing. You’ve stayed with me through bad haircuts: the Farrah Fawcett that fell flat. The bob and unflattering bangs. 
Your bristles somehow had an auto-clean function like my oven, because I never saw product build-up. I didn't wash you as often as I was supposed to — I always thought you'd get mildew beneath your rubber pad — but you never smelled gross.
Your old, plastic bristles couldn't stand the heat of the hairdryer. You brushed your last stroke on November 29, 2013. I've kept you on my desk and haven't felt the will to clear your wound-up hairs for the final time. I look at those shriveled nylon spikes and wonder if I could have prevented this — or was it inevitable? This is the last step on your journey and although you may be gone, you will never be forgotten.
It’s been a really good run. You will always be my first, most-treasured, brush. You were loyal to me on my good hair days and bad. I remember the day my mom took me by the hand to the musty pharmacy on 91st & Madison. She told me I needed a good brush. When I plucked you out of your sculpted red velvet box and pressed down on your porcupine bristles, I loved hearing the puff of air coming out of your orange rubber base. RIP, Mason Pearson brush.