Also a Client
So it’s been happening for a while now. I’m losing my hair. For the past 5 years, I have bid farewell to each and every perfect little strand. When I had hair, I took it for granted. After rinsing in the shower, I never repeated, and I never really thought about hairstyles or creative things I could do. It was just completely useless to me. Like a weird old neighbor that lived upstairs. I just let it grow and do whatever it wanted up there. I always thought of my hair as dorky. It was so oily and wavy, so it was never straight or curly enough to stay put, and it was always getting messy or blown around. I always hated taking pictures, because my hair would just blow in the worst positions, and always make me look bad. But now that my hair is almost gone, I look back at pictures of myself and think, wow! How beautiful! What a stud! What a gorgeous flowing mane!
Now I look in the mirror and think, who is this person? I look like Lex Luthor. I have always vowed to myself that I would never do a comb-over, and so the only option for me is to just cut it very short. It looks ok that way, but I certainly look older. I’ve had people guess that I must be over 40 years old, and I’m only 28! It’s funny, when I had hair, I also had a mustache, and people would still guess that I was in my 40s. Lately I’ve been debating growing my mustache back, which would probably put me at about 60 years old!
When I talk about my hair loss, most people say that I should try some alternative solutions, like a hair transplant, or chemicals. But every solution causes a new problem bigger than I started with. Let’s take each solution one by one:
Rogain / Minoxodil – This is a topical treatment that you apply every day when you get up, and before you go to bed. It’s supposed to re-grow your hair, and keep old hairs from falling out. I bought a bottle of this stuff from Wal-mart, and dripped it onto my head. It stung. Then I read in clear black disclaimer letters “Does not re-grow hair from the front of your head, as associated with male pattern baldness.” Well, that’s what I have isn’t it? Male pattern baldness! Also, after trying this product for 2 weeks, my hair started falling out faster than ever. Then I read another disclaimer on the bottle, “You may notice rapid hair loss when using this product within the first 6 months.” I threw that stuff away quickly and never looked back.
Hair Club for Men – You know the commercials. “I’m not only the president, I’m also a client.” This is basically an organization that sells toupees, and tries to make them look high tech. They call the wigs a “high-tech matrix”, and each wig costs $1,500, and they glue it to your head. Then, every six weeks, you have to go in, unglue the wig, cut your hair, then glue it back on again. Gross! It probably smells! I wouldn’t wear the same underwear for six weeks, and I’m certainly not going to glue some animal to my head every six weeks, then worry if people can tell if it’s real or not.
Hair Transplant – At $20,000, this is the most expensive option available. But it looks the best, and it requires the least amount of maintenance. Lots of people have suggested this, and I don’t blame them. There are so many commercials for it on television. Before and after pictures of vain men, with an animation of the hair just flying off the back of the neck to the front of the scalp in a few seconds. It looks so painless and easy! But what they don’t show you are the hundreds of thousands of stitches and insertions that need to be made painstakingly one by one into your head over weeks and months, while you wear a hat to cover up all the scaring and bleeding. Then, for the rest of your life, you have these awful bumps and scars all over your head. If someone ever wanted to run their fingers through your hair, they would feel all those bumps and scars. And if I ever wanted to actually look my age, and just be bald again, I would have horrible scaring all over my head.
Still, I might actually consider living with all of that for a thick presidential full head of hair. Except then I would always be turning around, wondering if people were talking about my hair. “That’s a transplant,” they would whisper to each other, behind my back. And every time they saw me, their eyes would first look at my hair, and then to my eyes, thinking, “that hair isn’t real.” Every day would be a hair club for men commercial for me, and I would just be a walking talking ‘after’ picture. I’d have to move someplace where nobody knew me, and live with that dirty secret for the rest of my life.
When I look at the men in those Hair Club commercials, I can’t help thinking that their before pictures don’t really look all that bad. Sure, they look depressed as hell, but they just look like normal guys. I see lots of guys who are balding, or bald, and they seem alright to me. I mean, I guess I’m not gay or anything, but those bald guys still look pretty good. And in the after pictures, they always have this overcompensating insecure smile, like they were suddenly made the CEO of a successful company or something. As if to give the impression that every problem in their life has suddenly vanished forever.
Perhaps one day someone will invent a pill that you can swallow that will grow your hair for very cheap, and I’ll take it and look like an ‘after’ commercial. But until then, I guess I’m okay with going bald. I mean, looking a little older isn’t so bad. After all, it was Andy Warhol who once said, “If you dress old when you’re younger, then for the rest of your life, you’ll always look the same age.” Now to start worrying about my crooked teeth.