You’re balding… Do you shave it or desperately hold on to every last hair?
I avoided the rain because it made my hair look thinner. I avoided the wind because it highlighted my bald spots. I avoided bright lighting because it showed how much hair I had lost. I tried Rogaine, hair thickening shampoo, and at one time even considered a hair transplant to stop the hair loss I was experiencing. What had my life become? How did something so seemingly meaningless have so much control over me? Was it the loss of control? The loss of identity and self image?
I first started noticing my hair loss around 2008. The first time I noticed it, I panicked. Why was this happening to me? I was only 26 years old! What gives? It wasn’t noticeable to others for many years to come, but I knew it was coming. I knew it was inevitable! But I tried to forget about it for the time being. A few years went by and I was still losing hair. By this time I was shedding loads of hair – I would find 50-100 hairs on the pillow case each morning or in my hands when I was taking a shower. I thought to myself, “how the heck do I still have hair on my head!?” It was falling out at a very rapid pace but somehow it still wasn’t very noticeable. You can lose 50% of your hair before it becomes noticeable to others. I was becoming frustrated because it seemed like things were getting worse. I felt like I had to do something.
I did some research on hair loss and looked at all the alternatives.
Sprays – Put spray paint on my head… Ha! Don’t think so.
Pills – I tried penis enlargement pills once and they didn’t work! Ha.. Just joking! Or am I? Anyways, I wasn’t falling for “pills” again! Propecia is a popular brand of Finasteride which can grow back some hair… There is a catch. Side effects include impotence, loss of interest in sex, trouble having orgasm, and others. No thanks!
Surgery – At first I thought this might be an option because they make it seem so easy in all those commercials… but it can go terribly wrong! Just look at some of the customers out there. After considering the absurdity of it all, I decided against it.
Rogaine – Hmmm.. One of the only scientifically proven methods to regrow hair. This was my best option but I thought to myself, nah, I’ll be fine.. I don’t need that stuff! I was still in denial… Phase 1 of going bald!
DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT fall for these gimmicks. They are simply telling you what you want to hear… And they are very good at it too!
By 2012 it was noticeable that I was losing my hair, especially if my hair got wet or when I first woke up in the morning. I wouldn’t go anywhere without washing my hair because that made it look fuller. I also didn’t like it when it was windy because my thinning became more noticeable. I had to carefully place my hair like Donald Trump to keep it looking like I had a full head of hair. Yup, I was being pretty pathetic when it came to my thinning locks.
I was really thinning out and I didn’t like it so I started using Rogaine. I was weak! I let the top grow out (the best that it could) and shaved the sides short in an effort to make it look like more was on top. “Ha! That will fool them all” I thought. I even used hair volumizing shampoo. I was holding on… I was desperate. To my delight, the Rogaine seemed to help thicken my hair slightly while at the same time reducing hair loss. But it was a real pain in the ass to use. I used the foam kind but it was just a hassle and stained my pillow case yellow. I remember looking at my pillow case one day and saying to myself, “This is what you have become. A man scared to lose his hair“. Ha! I believe I was scared to lose my hair because of what people would think and I was scared that I would lose my self image.
I used Rogaine for about a year and then gave it up. I realized that it was only slowing down the hair loss and I was just dragging this whole ordeal out. I decided to let nature run its course. I was no longer in denial and I had come to accept that I was going bald – fast. You may feel alone, and your self-esteem and confidence may even be torn down, but realize that these are completely normal reactions to losing your hair. Even though I had accepted it, I still didn’t enjoy seeing the thinning hair in the mirror everyday and I disliked going to get my haircut (I get it cut every two weeks). With each haircut I seemed to have less hair on top compared to the previous haircut. Although I wasn’t thrilled about my male pattern baldness I still found humor in it and joked about it. I think that the first thing you need to do is accept it and then be okay with it. Then you can joke about it. My girlfriend, Lily, did make light of it which helped. She suggested I get a toupee (as a joke of course… I think).
She has awesome hair.
I decided I have had enough and wanted to shave my head. I was a little nervous about what people would think, but then I thought, who cares! It’s my head. If they don’t like it, that’s their problem. I was done dealing with thinning hair and it was troubling me enough that it had to go. I decided to take action. Why delay the inevitable? As I shaved, I laughed, I cried, it moved me.
Just joking. I didn’t cry (or so I’m telling you), but what I did feel was liberation! There was no turning back now. The deed was done. I felt a sense of freedom.
It really comes down to acceptance and being okay with it. You have to accept it first, and once you truly accept it, then you won’t have any problem taking the necessary steps. This is true for anything you don’t like right now about yourself. Learn to accept it… Embrace it.
Here are some other reasons to shave your head:
1 – You will save money! My clippers cost $20 bucks. I save around $400 a year now because I cut it myself. The first time you shave your own head is a bit tricky, but it gets easier and much faster. Now it takes me less than five minutes.
2 – Bald can look good. Look at some of these celebs. Bald = masculine
3 – Some women like a shaved head.. and you only need one.
4 – Shaving your head can make you look more confident. Shaving your head is a way of taking control over your situation and showing that you are okay with it. It gives you that no nonsense look.
5 – Shaving your head can make you seem more organized. A clean cut looks neat and you look well put together. Nobody wants to look at someone with wispy thinning hair all over the place.
6 – Once you do it, you will feel liberated. If you really hate it, you can grow it (whatever you had) back over time. But at least try it! Once you shave your head, you will probably stick with it because that initial anxiety of doing it for the first time will be gone.
7 – Showers are faster!
8 – It makes you feel cooler in the summer.
9 – It makes you look tougher! Or not… This is me trying to look serious with my new dew. This look did take a few days to get used to, but now I love it.
Give it a try. Either way (if you shave it or not), just accept it. Be comfortable with yourself and confident in your decision.
Lastly, don’t forget that sunscreen!