Doctor Strangehair: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Male Pattern Baldness

Hair today, gone tomorrow:

Fact: I have been struggling on a very personal and emotional level, for going on over a decade now. Always in a constant and bitter war, one that I have been forever destined to lose… against my hair. Born with naturally thin and flighty hair, I stood on fairly shaky ground to begin with, but somewhere in my mid twenties, my hair started to evacuate my scalp much like rats deserting a sinking ship. My hair has always been a bit of an enigma. As a child I wore a bowl cut, in my adolescence it was kind of floppy with them (at the time) trendy 90210 sideburns. As an adult I wore it short and neat, then long and wild, then back to short again and always with a beard, because:

Somewhere along the line, my hair decided that genetics and science trumped my desire to keep a full head of hair, and the rest is history, or at least down the shower drain. I struggled with it a whole hell of a lot more than I ever probably should have. I tried Rogaine (which failed miserably), and I even looked into Bosley (which is where they transplant hair from your butt or somewhere and then try to convince you that it is your “real” hair… at least that’s the way I understood it), but neither of those options ended up being viable. There were other avenues to explore, but the more I read about them, the more it seemed like they were just placebos that were being sold to chumps with a vanity complex (which I suppose made me at the very least a pre-chump, as I was not a full chump but I had the capacity to become a chump). Regardless, I did not purchase any other products other than the initial allotment of Rogaine, nor did I try any other fruity rituals to renew my waning follicles. I was beside myself, but what could I do?

Exhibit A: the bowl cut
Exhibit A: the bowl cut

Exhibit B: 90210 side burns
Exhibit B: 90210 sideburns

Around the same time in 2003, Steve Burns (of Blue’s Clues fame) was releasing his first rock album – Songs for Dustmites, which you can and should listen to right here:

You can also purchase the CD at Amazon for the amazingly reasonable price of $15.99 – here. At the time, Steve Burns put up a website to promote his new album, and on it was FAQ where he answered a ton of questions, from the mundane to the absurd. One particular question and answer that really connected with me was:StevesStatementIt was at that point, with his superbly direct answer and obnoxiously cute drawings, that I started to realize that perhaps it was time to accept reality. Reality sucked. It meant that I was never going to grow hair, where once it was bountiful. However, as I looked around at other people, some that I knew in person as well as characters in movies and TV shows, I noticed that there where a ton of bald people out there that were living there life without reservation and without caring about the hair loss, because the hair didn’t make the man – who you are inside makes the man (also, a beard makes the man: see the aforementioned video on shaving). Ever since then, I have slowly been working my way towards full acceptance. It’s been difficult, and I have been tempted to shave it all off more than once, but in the end I have decided to let nature take it’s course and to be happy with what I’ve got.

Now my gloriously solar panel conducting bald head glows like an angel: (No I am not that pale… the glow is for the effect. Now bask in it dammit!)glowing

And you know what? Everything is just as it should be. Accepting this change is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, it’s in fact just reality. It’s unchangeable. In the end, it came down to self confidence, which let me let you in on a closely guarded secret about your’s truly: nobody loves me, more than me. I get to live with me 24/7, which means that every second of every day of my life I am invited to a non-stop party with the most awesome person I know – me! Essentially, by getting myself all worked into a snit about my fleeting hair, I was effectively ruining my own lifelong party, which was clearly unacceptable. And there you have it. Once my brain figured out that the only person who cared about my balding head was me, I just let it go… much like it had let me go beforehand.

Change is constant. It is happening all the time. Sometimes it’s wrinkles, or grey hairs or even no hairs, and that’s just fine. You don’t need cosmetic surgery or butt hairs glued to your scalp, you just need to accept that you’re growing up and as a result your body is changing to reflect reality. You can’t have that eternally young sheen forever, nor should you try to pretend that you have it when you clearly don’t. I’m not suggesting that you throw in the towel and resign yourself to senior citizen status in your thirties/forties, I’m merely suggesting that we all should embrace the changes that our bodies are going through as opposed to trying to modify our bodies to fit some Peter Pan like desire to remain forever young. Worry about the things that you can change: healthy eating habits, exercise, hygiene, etc. and leave the other unhealthy obsessions alone, as they will likely only make you miserable in your perilous pursuit to attain them. Take it from me and Steve Burns, making a statement of acceptance is a good thing, and know always that we affirm you:

Have a great day being you – just the way you are! We affirm you.

Update: August 2017 – I have finally gone Full Melon Jacket. Shaved it all off, smoother than a baby’s rump. I dig it. Feels right. Check it out!

Mr. Clean will clean your whole house and everything that’s in it. Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean…

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One Thought to “Doctor Strangehair: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Male Pattern Baldness”

  1. I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!

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