By Jeff Labrecque
Updated October 11, 2011 at 07:28 PM EDT
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

With every new episode of the most-excellent current season of Parks and Recreation, fans are left to wrestle with new twists. How will Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) make their forbidden romance work in the heat of her political campaign? How many more episodes until Tom’s new business venture, Entertainment 720, goes under? But when the credits roll each week, the plotlines of Pawnee’s denizens are secondary to the biggest ongoing mystery on network television: What. Is the Deal. With Rob Lowe’s hair?

Rob Lowe is not just a handsome man, but quite possibly the handsomest man. It’s kind of his thing. So seeing him with even one hair out of place is the equivalent of you or I literally walking around wearing a live wolverine as a hairpiece. But since this season began, Lowe’s Chris Traeger has styled an unkempt helmet of hair that begs for some explanation. Any explanation. Like, does Chris think long, lumpy hair protects his immune system? I keep waiting for one of the characters to call him on it, to let us know that they’re in on the joke. And to reassure us that Rob Lowe’s real hair is okay.

Well, turns out, Suave Lowe is on his way back. According to the show’s executive producer Mike Schur, the mystery behind Traeger’s hair was not a Parks and Recreation thing. Rather, Lowe simply needed to keep his hair longer for a movie he was doing for Lifetime. (Damn you, Drew Peterson.) “His hair will go back to last year’s style around episode 5 or 6,” Schur says via email.

Sadly, though, the re-suavication of Rob Lowe’s locks won’t draw any special mention from the show’s writers or characters. Viewers are just supposed to pretend that his bushy rough-cut never happened. Good luck with that.

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‘Parks & Rec’ recap: Born and Braised