It’s my own hang-up, but I doubt I’m alone in this sentiment. Why is it that people, strangers or dear friends, feel it’s totally OK to mention that I’m balding, losing my hair, have a receding hairline, have a five-head, comment on the shine? It’s genetic, not due to anything I’ve ever done and completely out of my control. It’s a perpetual bad hair day. Yes, I’ll use the term balding as long as there is any hair on my head because it’s an ongoing process. Just like aging; another fact of life out of our control. I won’t get plugs, or surgery, or a rug, or a weave, or a sophisticated clinically proven plastic grid system based on Barbie® technology. I also won’t try pills that carry a danger just by touch, not that I’m nursing or pregnant.
Look, I don’t pat your stomach to acknowledge a loyal regimen of pizza, beer and chocolate, or the pending birth of your child. I don’t tug on your cheeks or jowls, or giggle at the ripple effect after smacking your derriere. So for the love of Pete, don’t pat my head to show me what used to be there. If you’d like to buy advertising on this space, we can talk.
I understand no real hurt is intended, and I don’t cry myself to sleep over it (I save that for the playoffs), but men are vain creatures with self-image issues just like the fairer gender. As you can see from the pictures above, when I was a young man I had a freakin’ mane, man. Long, spiral curls like Daltrey in his Tommy days. We’re talking my generation (pun intended). Today, it’s more like Daughtry, except his looks damn good and is by choice.
When I was in middle school, my hair was uncontrollable and usually a mess. I didn’t get to that rock star hair until the end of college (no perm was necessary) because I also wanted to have straight, feathered hair like everyone else. Sad, because when I finally let it go natural in college (pic above) it only lasted for a heartbeat. When it was time to leave school for the real world, apparently it was time for my hair to leave too. But just like adult children finally heading out on their own, it’s taking its damn time.
My favorite poster was in my 8th grade science class, a shot of Einstein in all his wiry glory with a simple caption: “It’s not the hair that counts; it’s what’s under it.” True words that helped me get through my insecurities as an adolescent and still help me get through my insecurities in mid-life.
I know in the grand scheme of life, hair is unimportant. And if I’m going to keep things in perspective, my hair loss is genetic and not a reflection of my health, which is excellent. So I’ll count my blessings. Sometimes hair loss is the result of a person’s intense battle with cells within their own body, which itself is a sign of beauty because all I see is a fighter. How dare I be so vain. Bald can be beautiful, baby!