A large portion of the top of my scalp was lost in the Battle of Baldy Peek about five months ago and since then the enemy has made steady gains upon my hairline. After some reflection I’ve determined that I will be fighting a war of attrition for the rest of the campaign but the die has been cast. At best I’ll have two years, maybe three, before all fronts converge in a scorched earth campaign and my struggle will come to an end.
The time for Rogaine has come and gone as well as other remedies. Unless I chose to take extreme measures like hair plugs or (shudder and God forbid) a toupee I’ll bear an uncanny resemblance to my father whom is a man more than thirty years my senior.
The upside is that, instead of showering regularly, I’ll finally be able to wash my face and scalp in one easy motion. I imagine that with the extra ten minutes a day I could do quite a lot with my life but I’m not sure what at the moment.
An extra ten minutes of sleep would be nice. I could also spend the time patrolling the town to ferret out, and yell, at teens dry humping in cars or practicing the perfect way to hike the waistband of my pants around my armpits. I could even start a support group for my soon-to-be bald brethren but I don’t hang out with those sorts of people. A man, after all, needs to have some standards.
Sadly there is no way to truly achieve balding gracefully. The truth is that if there were a way to lose hair with some measure of dignity and without looking like a mangy Yeti up top then we’d all know about it by now. Instead there are just ways to bald better than others. Before I break down in gut wrenching sobs for the magnificent head of hair I once had let me get to the do’s and don’ts of balding while retaining a modicum of dignity.
- Begin to socialize with people who are shorter than yourself particularly if you’re single. Short women, or men, can’t see how far the enemy has advanced.
- Develop an affinity for hats early so people become accustomed to you wearing them as a fashion statement instead of a means of last resort.
- Install low wattage bulbs in your home and only venture out at night. What people can’t see might or might not exist.
- Swap out your current group of friends to include people who have “character” (a.k.a homely and bald but funny with good personalities) and less of those who are attractive in the conventional sense (i.e. with a full head of hair.)
- Do NOT buy a sports car, have an affair and/or begin dating someone twenty years younger. No one likes a cliché unless they’re a gold digger with chlamydia. Caveat: If you like chlamydia then by all means buy a sports car or have an affair.
- Try to get immensely wealthy, develop a sense of humor or shoot for the moon and do both. Jon Lovitz is still, most likely, getting laid and he wasn’t all that great looking to begin with when he had a full head of hair.
- If you’re single begin dating someone seriously but keep it cool, don’t be needy. Own your newly balding situation. I haven’t dated since 2002 but if memory serves women still sense desperation the way wolves find the weakest caribou.
- DO NOT use hair products. No amount of Pomade or Axe will convince anyone that those four thickets on the top of your scalp look like a full head of hair no matter how it’s styled.
- Keep that hair close to the scalp. Shorter, it turns out in this case, really is better. For every husband with a comb over there’s a wife who’s stopped caring.
- Embrace the new you and live damnit, live. Live like you have no fear as you bend down to pick up a toy or tie a shoe. Live like you used to when you had those long flowing locks or even just a nice “high and tight”. You are, after all, still you and only appear to be a husk of the virile and less attractive version of your former self.
You’ll have to excuse me now. I’ve got to go curl up in the fetal position and mourn the loss of the beautiful man I used to be.
This post originally appeared on The Unfit Father. It has been reprinted with permission.
Richard Black is uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person. If you ever find him doing so it’s time for him to stop drinking. Prior to his life as a stay at home father Richard spent more than a decade performing various public relations and marketing functions for a number of financial consulting firms and found the job to be precisely as exciting as it sounds. When not tending to his wife or daughter Richard enjoys writing the occasional thoughtful post on his blog The Unfit Father and subjecting the public to his…unique take of fatherhood on a more regular basis on Facebook. He has been published in Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Red Tricycle, Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and the Anthology “It’s Really Ten Months Special Delivery: A Collection of Stories from Girth to Birth.