I’m at quite an impasse in my life right now, and the stress it’s causing is only exacerbating the issue. I’m balding, and I can’t decide whether to just commit to my inevitable fate by shaving my head or show respect to the last few surviving follicles and let them live out their remaining time honorably.
I’ve been losing my hair since my junior year of college. It was pretty minimal and manageable back then. My hair was fairly long, so the receding hair line was noticeable to mainly just me and my mom (she cut my hair until I graduated college). I was also always too drunk to care. But then I graduated and the sledgehammer of life swung swiftly and squarely onto my forehead. I blamed my loss on the stress of leaving the lavish life of college, moving far away from everything, and not being able to watch 4 consecutive hours of SportsCenter because I had to job all day. At 22 years old, I was looking down at a bathroom counter covered in dirty blonde hair, but it may as well have been my tears.
Luckily, the rate of my Spiething slowed down and was put in a holding pattern for a few years. Throughout that time I accepted my five-head, retained a skilled barber, and expanded my hat collection. I seriously thought that I could manage this way for another decade, finding peace in the notion that I could probably make it to 35 before full onset of chromedomium. I had foolishly forgotten that in this world the gods giveth, and they also taketh away.
Here I am on the fringe of my 27th birthday and it’s happening again; another wave is starting to crash down on my scalp. I look down at the tub and stray hairs stare back at me. I look at my calendar and hair appointments are becoming more frequent. I look at the man in the mirror and I know it’s finally getting real.
It’s been a good ride. 27 years with thousands of my closest friends who I never knew I’d miss this much. I’m not throwing in the towel yet, but I’m weighing the pros and cons. I’ve got clippers in the closet and I’m tempted weekly to give myself a good buzz. The severity of my baldness would be clear for all the ladies to see and judge, but I think with the fall of my pride I would feel liberated and unencumbered. Plus, I really enjoy wearing hats. A major downside is that the bald man code of conduct dictates that a bald man must maintain a thick, well-groomed beard to maintain a minimum quota of hair on one’s head. Unfortunately, I am not one known to grow a thick beard. Picturing that half-bald/thin beard combo is just disgusting.
The other option of course is to keep riding out the wave and hope that another low tide comes in until my mid-thirties. By then I’ll be way too deep into dad mode to even care about my hair. What I really wouldn’t mind is if my buddies dare me to shave my head while I’m drunk, a challenge I’d likely accept, and then I could never turn back. Then again, that sounds terrifying..