We humans are rather vain. We preen, we do our hair, and we dress to impress. Our self-confidence is linked inextricably to the way that we perceive ourselves. That’s why the onset of baldness can be a blow to many of us and it can often result in some downright awful haircuts.
Men go bald in a number of ways but often it starts at the temples, the hair recedes and at the same time the crown becomes increasingly bare. The end result is a horseshoe shape and many men think simply directing their remaining hair to the middle of their head is a convincing way to cover up their baldness. The comb over is an absolute disgrace of a solution and something that should be avoided at all costs.
There really is no disguising what’s happening to you. The only option is to embrace it. You could opt for expensive hair transplants, or a good old fashioned wig, but at the end of the day you will still be bald. There are all manner of creams, foams, gels, lotions and ointments to rub on your dome too, but they have terrible side effects such as a decrease in your sex drive.
At the young age of 18 I started to notice my hairline was retreating. It was slow at first and I thought, “That’s not so bad, in fact it’s pretty manageable.” Unfortunately, just like the inexorable march of time, there was no stopping it. I scrubbed vigorously in the shower and I prayed daily that my hair wouldn’t go. In fact I tried to make several deals (with whatever deity would listen) to exchange the hair on my chest for the hair leaving my head.
It was not to be. My hair became an increasingly historic part of my life yet I still denied what was happening to me. I pretended I wasn’t balding and I assumed that no one even noticed. That was until I saw a photo of myself on a particularly blustery November day. I couldn’t tell where my hairline began but I could definitely see my scalp, and I realised that this was how everyone else saw me. My perspective on my appearance was completely out of touch with reality.
For me it was hard to accept my hair loss. I’m only 24 and my dad has more hair than I do. Going bald is traumatic, it fucking sucks, and most of us will do whatever we can to fight it. The trouble is it’s not a fight that you’re going to win. I should know. I fought the good fight for years until recently I decided to just shave it all off. It may seem extreme but I’ve never felt more comfortable, more confident, and I’ve certainly never been likened to Bruce Willis before.
It’s not attractive to be balding but it can be attractive to be bald. Confidence is always sexy and I’m fucking fed up of television personalities, movie actors, and general celebrities denying the effects of time. Going bald is natural and I want more role models. Shave your head, embrace it, and don’t try and hide behind terrible haircuts or even worse treatment options.
Being bald is liberating. Shaving your head is fucking exhilarating and there is no shame in it. To all of the people that think I now look like a thug and to all of the people who pointed out that I was losing my hair – fuck you. I’ve embraced it. I’ve owned the thing that made me most ashamed. And do you know what? I’m happier.
There will be a moment, a point in time, where someone will comment on your thinning hair. That moment will stick with you, that person’s voice will speak in judgement at the back of your mind, and you’ll suddenly realise that your carefully maintained and kept secret is out in the open. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay, that these things happen, and that it’s how you deal with them that defines you.
Accept who you are. Being bald won’t define you any more than balding will. It’s a simple choice between constantly fretting over your remaining hair and avoiding windy days or chopping it all off. It’s not easy, it’s not something that any of us wants to deal with, but it is something that you can’t avoid forever.
Shaving my head was the best decision that I ever made and I wish that I had made it sooner. If you are battling with hair loss, if your hair is on its way out the door, kick it the rest of the way. You don’t need that strife; you don’t need the self-doubt and pitying looks from your friends. Shave your head and be alpha as fuck.
My bald head is easy to maintain. It’s memorable. Best of all though it’s brave, and I wear my scars, my once shameful secret openly and for the world to see. Funnily enough I get fewer comments now about my lack of hair than I did about the hair I had left.
And anyway, fuck the lot of them. You don’t need their opinions or validation. Shave your head, bare your shame, and be proud of who you are – the good and the bad.