I was 30 years old and living in California when my barber, Lynn, surprised me one day by refusing to cut my hair.
“You’re losing your hair and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re combing your hair forward with bangs and it looks absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “Either you let me cut it the way I want so it looks good, or you’re going to have to go somewhere else.”
I couldn’t believe it. But deep down I knew he was right. I let him cut it shorter, with no bangs. When I got back to my apartment, my wife, Laura, said she agreed with Lynn.
“Just go with it,” she said. “It looks good.”
For the past 29 years I’ve gradually lost my hair. I still have hair on the sides and plenty on my face with my beard and mustache. However, up on top it’s a a different story. I have a classic case of male pattern baldness and I’ve grown accustomed to wearing baseball-type hats — particularly in the summer.
I’m not a movie actor, salesman or TV personality that depends on a youthful, bushy head of hair to keep my job. I’ve been a newspaper man for all these years and having no hair on top hasn’t been a detriment.
From the beginning, Laura has been adamant that I should avoid a “comb-over”. Some guys go to great effort to grow out their hair on one side, and then artfully sculpt it over the top of their head to cover the bald spot. Think Donald Trump. Think a mess when the wind gets a hold of it.
“I think comb-overs look terrible on guys. Don’t do it,” she said.
So I haven’t. I’ve just went with my baldness, never thinking to try Rogaine, a hair piece or a hair piece. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) I’ve accepted my natural look. I am who I am.
Other guys haven’t been so secure with their baldness or hair loss. I had a friend in college who was losing his hair and was wavering about getting married.
“What do you think, Figgy? Should I follow through with it? If not and I go bald, no woman will have me,” he said in all seriousness.
What a bunch of crap and I took him so. Do you love her? Marry her, I said.
I look around these days and there’s all sorts of hot-looking women hanging around with, or married to bald or balding guys. Once you get to middle age, I’m convinced that what’s on a guy’s head is one of the last things most women are concerned about when choosing who to date or a mate. I bet many women are far more concerned with what’s in a guy’s head, not what’s on it.
Guys are better off putting their time and efforts into being kind, caring and fun individuals and being mindful of such things as their weight and physical condition, along with their personal grooming and clothes they wear. Having a good job and being financially secure is also important.
For those women who put a full head of hair at the top of their priority list, my advice to guys is to not waste their time on anyone who’s so shallow. There’s plenty of other females out there who have their priorities straight.
I was talking recently to a young female hair stylist who was cutting my hair. I asked her about comb-overs and she just laughed.
“I have one customer who comes in with his hair plastered on his head,” she said. “He uses crazy amounts of hair spray to keep it that way and I cut it by lifting bunches up, snipping the ends and placing them back on the top of his head the way they were.”
She added, “Anyone who looks at this guy knows he has a comb-over. He’s not fooling anyone. And the sad thing is it looks terrible.”
Middle age, in my opinion is a time when you stop playing games, stop trying to be something or somebody you’re not. That can start with accepting your hair – or lack of.