A funny thing happened the other night when I stepped out of my shower. I looked in the mirror and noticed the guy looking back was really losing his hair.
When your hair is wet, you really can’t hide the bald spots. Not that I haven’t noticed my thinning hair before, but suddenly there was all this forehead looming over my face. Way up near the top of my head was this lonely small patch of hair which apparently didn’t get the memo from the other hair that it was time to go.
I had done, and still do, that great American male tradition, the comb-over, arranging what hair there still is so it looks like more and covers sparse areas. But that magic is disappearing, so to speak, these days along with my hair. It’s getting harder to cover up.
I hadn’t realized how much had gone until I looked at pictures and noticed what a low forehead I used to have. I noticed some pictures taken of me lately seem to show an awful lot of skin.
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Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I went to a hairstylist to get a professional look since I was working in retail management. She had a minor fit about my hair loss then, and I thought I looked alright. She covered up the loss by styling and blow drying my hair. But when I discovered I would have to do all that work every day, I went back to just brushing it over.
I can only imagine her if she saw me now, 40 years later. It’s a lot less drama to go to barbers with less hair than me and not even talk about it.
A few years ago, a female colleague, known for her sometimes brutal honesty, was examining an old picture I had of my wife and me as a young couple. “Oh, Wally,” she said. “I was going to congratulate you on not losing your hair but now I see I can’t.”
There are solutions, but they don’t appeal to me for both aesthetic and financial reasons.
I could shave my head and go for the virile, manly look. I think I would have the shiny, lumpy skull look.
Besides, I don’t even like to have to shave my face every few days, never mind my big old head.
I could get a hair transplant but I’m not about to spend a lot of money to try and save something which obviously doesn’t care enough about me to stick around.
I can cover it up with a hat, like a lot of guys, but that doesn’t work all the time either.
I’ll just keep what there is of my hair trimmed fairly short. The shorter it is, the less it sticks out and looks odd.
That fits well with my fashion mantra of “Whatever takes the least amount of effort while getting me by.”