It’s a squeamish moment, ﬁnding a hair that doesn’t belong to you snaking through your spaghetti—one that usually warrants a swift return of the plate to the restaurant kitchen, or profuse apologies from whichever family member’s ’do matches the length and color of the sample. In her seminal book, Purity and Danger, anthropologist Mary Douglas outlines the cultural codes that create this aversion. As “matter out of place, ” that stray hair symbolizes a disruption to our established order. We This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Eight Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 28 Naïm Abboud: A Brush With History Carole Corm traces the glamorous, golden trajectory of the Middle East’s most sought-after hairdresser. Arts & Culture Issue 28 Excessive Growth The deep-rooted history of hair removal. Arts & Culture Issue 28 Holy Hair Creepy collectible, or wielder of wisdom? Arts & Culture Issue 28 How to Wear a Hat Expert advice on an awkward accessory with milliner Ellen Christine. Arts & Culture Issue 28 Falling Short Forget CSI. Hair is a notoriously tricky witness. Arts & Culture Issue 28 Dead Ends When the wrong haircut kills.