Okay, fellas, it’s time we talk about the slowly emerging elephant in the room: Male baldness, in all of its patterns of manifestation.
Widely considered the greatest age-related scourge of the worlds of men’s style and fashion, falling follicles and hairlines heading into the abyss can cause any man to spend too much time in front of one mirror, with another in his hand. Even the sturdiest stag in the world might feel himself weaken just a little if he notices that his antlers are diminishing.
Here’s a direct quote from a balding man, who shall remain anonymous, and has come to terms with the status of his thinning cranial coverage:
“You know, when it first started happening, it freaked me out. I didn’t anticipate it. I’d heard my whole life that balding could be traced through your mother’s paternal line… I guess I never really did a scientific study into it or anything, but basically, it seemed like it made sense so I thought I had nothing to worry about. My mom’s dad has a full head of hair.
One day, it seemed like it just… happened. I vaguely remember looking in the mirror in the morning, after taking a shower, and I realized my hair was definitely thinner. I remember grabbing a mirror in kind of disbelief (I was about 25 at the time), and looking at the back of my head in the full-length one. Sure enough, I had a big, empty spot where there had once been an illustrious, soft patch of hair.”
This is a scene experienced by countless men across the country and around the world. We attach meaning to hair, equating its robustness with virility, and youth. So when father time grabs our head by the hair on it and starts plucking, it can cause insecurity, to say the least.
And out of that insecurity, we men do some ridiculous things to cover up the very natural and universally shared experience of male balding. We wear toupees, experiment with relatively unknown drugs and other substances, and don’t even get us started on the comb overs.
All of this stylistic tragedy could be avoided if men acknowledged one simple thing, though it is a lesson that the beauty businesses have only begun to learn, in general. That lesson is this: It is better to work with what you’ve got than it is to want for what you may never get back.
Do you know what the final stage of coping with a loss is? That’s right: Acceptance. And, while we wouldn’t want to undermine the experiences of those who have lost loved ones and had to recover from the experience, it’s fair to say that coping with balding is a little like coping with a loss. Maybe not the loss of a person, or of a relationship, but balding is symbolic of a loss of youth, a loss of that which has made us who we are.
Maybe this seems hyperbolic… but it likely will only seem that way if you choose to look at what comes after a loss. Yes, balding and other signs of aging may make you feel like you’re losing, or you’ve lost, your former self, but guess what? First of all, in the truest sense, you can never truly lose yourself unless you choose to. And, second of all, you don’t so much lose your old self as you transform him.
To use a tired cliché, but one that fits, balding is a little bit like your symbolic cocoon. It’s the sociological vessel for your transformation from larval caterpillar to mature butterfly. If you start looking at it that way, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to fly.
Here’s how our anonymous balding comrade feels about the subject now -- several years after the scene he described for us earlier:
“Yeah… I was worried for a while. I tried hats, and different styling methods. But, as long as I focused on trying to shift attention from my thinning hair, I never thought my hair looked right.
At some point, it just stopped mattering. Adult life comes with adult responsibility, and it often doesn’t leave time for you to worry too much about the things you literally cannot control. You know what’s funny? I didn’t meet my future wife until after my hairline started receding. I didn’t get on my proper career path until my hair was visibly thin.
And you know what else? Finishing my degree, starting a career, getting engaged… none of those things were driven by thoughts about my hair, at all.”
Okay, so all of this philosophy around balding is fine, but it just leaves one question: What to do about balding?
The answer is: Slightly more than nothing. You’ve got a life to live, so live it. But, do so without worrying about your looks by having the best do it for you.
The best strategy for dealing with baldness is to simply work with what you’ve got to work with. Thin hair doesn’t equal bad hair, and receding hairline doesn’t equate to a bad haircut. It’s all about how your look is handled, and perhaps just as importantly, if you can enjoy the way it’s handled.
So set aside 30 minutes, book an appointment online, and stop by for the best cuts, shaves, and grooming products around. No matter where you’re at in life, let’s get you shaped up and looking like the new you.