No one tells you that you’re losing your hair. You have to find out for yourself. On your pillow. In your sink.
In your hands. You run them through your scalp and find three, maybe four of what you’d expect to find at a Denny’s salad bar—curly strands of blackish-brown, medium-length hair, which although dead and uprooted, wriggle in your palm like the lifeless heads of hydra.
You find more. In the shower, freshman year. A lot more.
Maybe it’s stress.
And if it is, won’t losing your hair make you more stressed? And if you’re more stressed, won’t you lose more hair, and become more stressed, and so on and so forth?
What about male pattern baldness? Your father has a full head of hair, but your grandfather, he went bald in his twenties. That’s probably it. Male pattern baldness sounds so boring though, so unattractive, so Tommy Lee Jones.
If there’s any word more unattractive than male pattern baldness, it’s receding hair line. It’s as if my scalp’s a battlefield and my hair’s the West Bank, the Mason–Dixon Line, the 17th parallel (complete with Ho Chi Minh trail). How many more references to things I learned in high school can I make before my hair goes completely Yalta Conference?
I’m overreacting. I only just started to lose my hair, and I doubt that anyone besides myself can notice the difference. They will soon though, and I’m worried.
The worst part about losing your hair is that, because it’s so common, it’s hard to get people to understand what you’re going through. But it really sucks, especially when you’re only nineteen. There’s something so final, so absolute about going bald. This isn’t a hair cut. You’re losing your hair, and it’s never coming back. I think what’s most upsetting is that I’m going bald before my dad. It’s embarrassing.
I don’t look good in hats, so there’s not much I can do—
besides shave my head.
I know. Shaving my head is surrender. Freedom fries. I get it. On the other hand, as much as it hides my hair loss, it also forces me to expose it. When people see my shaved head, they ask me why I did it, and I respond with as much pride as possible, “Because I’m losing my hair.”
Word. I know I look weird with a shaved head.
Here are some pictures of my favorite bald people: