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Nothing prepared you for this day. For years, you dreaded it, prayed it wouldn’t come, hoped you could dodge the genetic haymaker. But now it’s clear that you couldn’t stave off the inevitable. Even though you know it’s not your fault, and you really couldn’t have done anything, if you’re a male (or the rare, poor female), those three words send shivers down your spine to the depths of your soul: “you’re going bald.”
For those of us men not blessed with a sharp jawline, dashing features, a metabolism that keeps us at 6% body fat, or just being tall, having good hair was our fallback. The one physical quality that you had to your advantage. Back in my hockey-playing days of high school and college, I had quite the flow going. If I had to guess, 90% of my positive interactions with girls before graduation involved them touching my hair within the first five minutes of meeting me. Those locks got me more action than I deserved, and when I transitioned to a stature in life where looking like the bassist in a 2000s punk-rock band is unacceptable, I gave those glorious warriors a proper send-off.
Now, what was once a thriving empire appears to be coming to a crashing end. While I don’t have George Costanza standing over me, telling me that the horseshoe pattern is unmistakable, I can no longer deny that I have hair issues. For all you who are in my position of dealing with some thinning, or have gone all the way through to the other side to become full-blown baldies, you can commiserate with these feelings. Know you’re not alone.
Denial (Week 1)
This can’t be happening, not now, not this soon. I’m not even on the wrong side of 30! And I’m cripplingly single, I need my hair. God’s already fucked me over when it comes to finding a mate, he cannot add bald to the list of things I have going against me. He may have been vengeful enough to drown the whole world for humanity’s sins and forced a father to sacrifice his firstborn son to him, but I refuse to believe that He would be that cruel.
Sure, I noticed that I was pulling out chunks of hair instead of the rare strand in the shower. But that was due to the weird shampoo your ex left at your place. And when the lady who normally cuts your hair makes a comment about that little patch growing in the back of your head, I assumed she was just trying to push products on me. Plus, she’s not a native speaker anyway. She probably just mixed some words up and misspoke. I mean, how many years have you heard about how you have thick, long hair? That shit doesn’t change overnight.
*Angles bathroom mirrors and tilts head, trying to get a better look at the top of his dome*
I mean, I don’t think it looks it’s changed that much. How much hair did I ever have on the back of my head anyway? It’s probably an optical illusion, those spotty areas. Your hair was still wet from the shower, it fell in a weird way. You’re maybe thinning a bit, but you’ve still got years worth of hair.
Anger (Months 1-3)
Goddamnit, I was supposed to be safe! Baldness comes from your mother’s side and every one of my uncles has a full head of hair. Sure they say it skips a generation, but grandpa still had a good amount of snow on top of the mountain well into his seventies! Of course, just my luck to come from a long line of full-haired men and be the one stuck with the deep, recessive bald gene!
How is this fair? How? I did everything right! I shampooed and conditioned! I didn’t blow-dry my hair ever, just quick towel off and air dry. Hats? Never. Hair products? Just a light bit of pomade or cream to give it some style. But no, none of that makes a goddamn difference. I start losing mine while Vinny who coats his locks in moose every day is gonna be rocking a man bun until he dies.
But not me, I’m gonna die alone because modern beauty standards won’t allow for a man without a full head of hair. I’ll be shunned, placed into the lower echelons of the dating ecosystem, all because of a genetic condition that I had no control over. When girls try to set me up with their friends, they’ll have to add that disclaimer of “he’s kind of losing his hair.” My older photos on Tinder, they’ll have to be purged, lest I constantly face that transition look of hope to disappointment on the first sight.
What is even the genetic reason for baldness? Why didn’t evolution weed out this ridiculous trait generations ago? It serves no purpose other than to make you a less attractive mating partner! And it makes your head, which houses your most important organ, more vulnerable to attack. Instead, we get baldness and thick hair on our backs? Explain that Darwin!
Bargaining (Months 3-6)
Come on, I’ve tried every old wives’ tale Google could produce on “how to stop thinning hair” and nothing will work. I switched to dry shampoo, to only shampooing once a week, to only rinsing my hair, to taking special vitamins and iron supplements.
I mean, it’s 2017. Science has made tremendous progress in the last decade. Sure, those ridiculous sprays and hair-transplants were laughed at as tacky stop-gap measures for desperate men but that was back in the 80s and 90s. We must have developed some better treatment for this crippling condition by now!
Just look at those guys after they use Rogaine! They look like they just came off an Abercrombie shoot, with a thick flow like a 17-year old lacrosse player. And for only $20 a month! That’s a bargain! How could there even be bald men out there at all with this miracle product? You’re fine, you can still salvage this.
Depression (Months 6-14)
It’s over man. You’ve passed the point of no return. Before it was a little patchy, but barely noticeable except if there was a hefty wind blowing. Then, it was pretty bad but as long as you styled your hair properly it looked fine. Now, you’ve hit a level where the only possible fix would be considered a combover. It’s time to face facts: you’re bald.
It doesn’t matter how many products, prayers, or voodoo magic you used, that hair is gone and it’s not coming back. You peaked. You peaked and you didn’t even know it. You could have been hitting the gym two times a day, getting rock hard abs and boosting the egos of Insta-models before going to plow town. Instead, you just dicked around and now you’re stuck as a pudgy bald guy. I guess you better kiss your dreams goodbye. Just settle-down with some homely divorcee and work middle management until you die in 30 to 40 years. Christ, I hope it’s 30.
Acceptance (Month 14-Death)
You did it. You gave in and shaved your head bald. You don’t look bad, but you also don’t look great. You look somewhere between a poor man’s Bruce Willis and a better-than-the-original Michael Chiklis. Maybe like a notch below Vin Deisel. Come to think of it, a lot of pretty dope dudes are embracing the bald look. The Rock, Jason Statham, Patrick Stewart. I mean, just about any guy can pull off this look as long as he’s jacked as hell.
So that’s it then, that’s the life plan. Ditch cardio forever, invest in pre-workout and whey protein for every meal and spend every waking hour doing upper body. Next thing you know, you’ll be rocking a logo-less baseball cap and Oakleys. You’ll stand on the sidelines watching your kid play ball, always with that expressionless stare that conveys both an absence of emotion, and the soul-crushing disappointment of a man who just watched his son go down swinging to make the last out in the championship game. Fuck you, dad! It’s not my fault I couldn’t hit an 85 mile an hour slider in the dirt at thirteen years old!
Point is, the world is my oyster. I can take up any manly hobby I want, whether it be woodworking, cars, or guns, and I’ll get instant cool points. Or I could just keep doing what I do now and be the toughest guy at my local Magic: the Gathering tournaments. Probably the latter. .