Ageing. It’s a motherfucker and a natural progression we men go through. As we age, shit changes. We pick up a belly somewhere along the way and the hair on our head migrates to our back and there’s no point complaining about it. The hard part is dealing with the fact that this process has decided to come knocking on your door because in our own mind we’re going to be Superman for the rest of our lives. Not Homer Simpson or Peter Griffen. The key is to handle the process with humility and to understand our limitations. This is what I’ve grappled with during the past week. Let me explain …
I recently changed hairdresser. For years I’d been using the same dude in the ‘burbs and we’d naturally struck up a great understanding. It reached a point where I hardly had to explain anything to him about a style or look I wanted as he had a really good understanding of my hair. The way it grows, how it stands when it’s short and curls when it’s long. I trusted him and felt comfortable in the knowledge that he knew what he was doing. It took a lot for me to look for someone new because I knew what I was giving up. It almost felt like cheating on a girlfriend. I felt somewhat guilty.
I don’t naturally enjoy the hairdressing process. I find it awkward making small talk with someone who has the potential to completely screw your vibe up. I mean one snip wrong here or one buzz wrong there and your look is over. Doneski! The question was did I really want to mess with a good thing? After much internal deliberation I decided to find a new hairdresser.
I decided upon a barber in the city who had cut a couple of my mate’s hair. I’m not gong to name them for the moment but let’s say, for interest’s sake, that the barbershop rhymes with ‘sonnet share’. They’re a trendy little shop on a happening street in Cape Town and I was excited to try them out. I went for my first cut and was very happy with the result. The convo was good and the pricing decent.
Earlier this week I pulled in for my second cut and got struck by a bolt of lightning. Out of nowhere, mid-cut, the dude says to me, “Do you know that your hair is thinning at a rate of knots at the back?” “What!?” said I. “Ya dude,” said he. “Holy shit,” said I.
This came as a shock to me because my previous dresser had never mentioned anything of the sort to me throughout the duration of our relationship. Surely someone who I’d trusted for so long would have mentioned something to me.
Now I’m not one to question someone on their job, but I couldn’t help but think to myself “fuck, that’s an inflammatory thing to say to someone who’s hair you are only cutting for the second time.” I mean, he has no idea how my hair grows, how it stands when it’s short and curls when it’s long. He doesn’t understand how I style my hair to give it body, yet there I was sat, being told that because my hair stands up, it’s thinning.
Naturally this dude had some wonder shampoo that would stop the thinning and promote hair growth, which he suggested I purchase for a million Rond. I did after the words “hereditary thinning” had been used in our conversation. Again, I didn’t want to question his craft, however as I left I couldn’t help but feel like I’d been suckered into a sale. Regardless, I’m not questioning anyone’s integrity.
What could I do? The guy told me I was thinning. I reacted accordingly. Like when a mechanic tells you that you need a new set of tires or a new clutch cable. You don’t question it and just go with the flow. So I did.
Even though I still doubt the extremity of my thinning and will most certainly be using the magic shampoo, I’ve started to come to grips with the thought of going bald. I’ve started to picture myself sans hair. I’ve always believed that should the day ever come where I begin to recede or develop a bald spot on my crown, that I would go full tilt and shave it all off. Why mess around?
But of course, there are these doubts circling my mind. Will I look ok? Will the ladies still like me? What will it do for my confidence? How will I come to grips with losing hair? Does it make me less of a man? What has happened to my testosterone levels? Fuck! It’s so much to deal with.
I’m not going to cry about it and if I go bald, I go bald. So be it. But surely one of you, dear readers, has dealt with this before. What is your advice regarding this? Let’s talk about this. Give it to me straight. I’m all ears.
You stay classy,