I think that dead starfish might have to do with my hair falling out

My hair has been falling out. Sometimes I tell people this and they ask me why I think it is falling out and the answer is I don’t know. But trust me, I’ve spent time trying to figure it out. I tried brushing it. I bought organic shampoo. I bought a new pillow that’s not full of flame retardants. I ate greener than I’ve ever eaten. I took B vitamins and D vitamins and added a protein powder to my breakfast.

But nothing changed and eventually I was like, this is ridiculous. Hair shouldn’t require this much work to grow. It should just grow. So I stopped the shenanigans but I kept the pillow which is actually quite nice.

pasty white scalp

And then one day a few weeks ago I was waiting at the dentist’s office because I was worried that I might have another infected tooth. (My teeth get infected sometimes. This is less of a mystery. It is because I grind my teeth at night which is because of stress which is because of capitalism.) Anyway, I was in the dentist office reading about how in 2013 starfish along the Pacific coast started dying from some mysterious wasting disease that resulted in one of the largest wildlife die-offs ever. And how in the last few decades the Minnesota moose population has decreased from 4,000 to 100 and hundreds of thousands of bats are falling out of the sky in Australia and all of the sudden I was like, oh, of course my hair is falling out. Of course my teeth are falling out. Starfish and moose and bees and big cats are dying everywhere. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history and what, I thought I was going to get out unscathed?

We are still talking about global warming as if it will only affect future generations, “our children”, Pacific Islanders, Californians, and poor people who live in flood zones. But I think it’s finally coming for all of us. A recent study showed traces of plastic in human stool samples from eight different “first world” countries. Every single sample had plastic. We have created so much trash we are eating it and even our air-conditioned high-rises and piles of money and buckets of kale (confession: I am a buckets of kale person) won’t save us.

But I think there is a good side to this. Which is that once we realize that we’re all in this together we can start doing something about it.


  1. I ground my teeth the whole time my daughter was in utero. I was really worried that I wasn’t up to caring for her. Ended up breaking most of my molars. Then she was born. No more teeth grinding. That was 20 years and 8 months ago.

    Now my hair is falling out too, but I think that might just be that I’m old.

    I am most unhappy with the state of things though.

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