Accepting the inevitable

Accepting the inevitable

Learning to embrace my impending loss wasn’t so difficult for me, unlike most men I’ve met. It’s a loss that affects so many of us, including family, friends and lovers. In fact some men will go to painful ends to attempt to circumnavigate the loss. But in the end, no matter how hard we try, it always happens. All we can do is be brave and accept the cards we have been dealt.

The loss I speak of is hair loss. Now to you out there that haven’t experienced the first notice of lonely strands of hair sitting on the edge of the bathroom sink, abandoned by our scalp, you have no idea of this pain.

Hair loss is at first a lonely process. You don’t even want to mention that you feel that your hair is somehow thinner, somehow farther back from the hairline you grew up with. You may check online to see if their are any medications or topical solutions that will grow it back and keep it there. I know in my 20’s I pretty much took any vitamin or rubbed in any lotion to help slow my hairline’s retreat. I knew I was going to lose it, just like my father and brother’s before me. I just started wearing a variety of fashionable hats and avoided the situation.

In my early 30’s I shaved it down to stubble, which along with my uncanny ability to create facial hair really helped me come out as a “bear”. A fellow hairdresser friend then introduced me to “Xfusion” which is a colored powder that helped me fill in the missing gaps of hair and I used that for several years to look a little younger and reclaim my hairline. About a year ago I realized sadly that I was beyond help and have returned to shaving my head again, now promising myself to be bald and proud to the end. I’m happy and at ease, and I hope that all other men can accept their hair’s limitations, but I know how hard it is.

Men have it bad. The actual hormone that makes us manly and hairy turns against us after puberty to make us lose the hair on our head. Studies show that if you go through puberty at a young age, or have any body hair by the time you graduate high school, the chances of you thinning is at least 50/50. If you have any hair on your back by graduating college, you need to resign yourself to a bald life. Testosterone is responsible for many things, including our secondary sexual characteristics. Unfortunately it has a strange tendency to bind with sebum on the scalp, which does two things. It clogs healthy follicles and provides a food source for small parasites that also clog even more follicles. Simultaneously each strand miniaturizes and covers less space on our head. It seems hopeless.

Since many men associate their virility with their hair, most will go to any expense to keep it. Most of us have spent a lot of money on snake oil. There are some medications that do work and if maintaining your hair us important to you, be proactive. The current technology can preserve your hair before it falls out. Talk to your doctor or hairdresser NOW. Waiting is the worst thing to do.

My main hope is that you avoid surgery at all costs. Though hair replacement surgery works better now, you will always have a scar where the hair was transplanted from. Eventually all the hair that was destined to fall out will, and you will most likely still have to shave your hair down and have a huge scar left in the back of your head. Transplant doctors never discuss this though!
Baldness currently is inevitable for some of us. Tackling this issue at an early stage is of utmost importance. Otherwise if it’s too late, embrace your masculinity, be proactive and find a good pair of clippers! Just say no to the toupee!