Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On being follically challenged

There are no two ways about it - losing one's hair sucks. Royally.

I first noticed it many years ago after a day at the beach, sans hat. That evening, my head felt - hot. I looked in the mirror and realized that my scalp was sunburnt! And then, like a loud CRACK-A-DOOM, a lightning bolt hit me and thundered throughout my mind the unthinkable - "C-Could I - is it possible - maybe the sun was just really intense today?" "No", the reasoning side of my brain calmly stated to the panicked side of my brain - "the sun got through because there is less hair to block it as in the past, Joe." Less and Hair are two words when put together don't sit well with a guy. For me, it was particularly galling. See, my hair is auburn. No one else in my family has it, nor do most people in general. It made me feel unique. My Uncle Paul used to call me "Big Red." People often said, "How can you be Italian with red hair? You look Irish!" One woman, a former hairdresser, accused me of dyeing it saying, "Do you know how much women pay to get that color and you're gonna tell me it's natural?!"

I accepted it a long time ago - I had to. I had to get used to that cringing feeling when I saw photos and I looked even balder than when I looked in the mirror. I had to accept the fact that I really only had one choice left as far as hair style, which is short. Nothing worse than those guys in the 70s that would let their hair grow long on the sides and back and be bald or really thin on top, like my wood shop teacher in junior high. Or those poor delusional bastards that do the "comb over". Yikes! Fortunately, ever since I was a kid I liked hats. Hats are the salvation of guys with thinning hair, a respite from reality, an oasis where you can pretend that you still have a head of flowing locks, still look at chicks and feel young, still imagine that feeling of running your fingers or a brush through a sexy mane and actually having need of a blowdryer!! Ah! High school with my hair parted down the middle and feathered back! Ah! College with a handful of gel and spiking my hair up into pointy daggers of defiance! Ah hell, all that hot blowdrying, over brushing and cement like gel are probably what led to the hairloss!

I've often wondered if a genie gave me three wishes, would I be so vain as to waste one on wishing for a full head of hair again? I honestly don't know. On the bright side, at least I'm not totally bald on top and forced to shave it yet, nor am I fat and out of shape like alot of guys my age. Like Frank Sinatra said on his 51st birthday, "I might be 51 on the outside, but inside I'm still 28!"


Scanman said...

I hate to rub it in but I noticed my hair was getting a little thin on the front top. No crisis mind you, since I first noticed it back in 2002 in a bathroom with harsh florescant lights. If I wet my hair up there, it's quite noticable.

However it never got worse, six years and counting. I've only had a problem when I got a hair cut and the hair stylist noticed I was getting thinner up there.

The hat situation is a good solution, especially if it's not a baseball cap. It's like the pre-Kennedy era. It's good that these days guys chose the shaved head method, looks better than the comb over.

It's a good thing to have grown your hair long when you could a la Miguel back in the day. I get annoyed by guys who are 20 years old shaving their head before they lose it. Dudes, enjoy it while you can man!

maffy said...

Personally, I'll take a shaved head over a ponytail on a guy anyday. Then again, you're talking to a chick who shaved her own head.

You look great, Joe!