Monday 26 Sep 2016

Hair Despair
Matt Seinberg

When I was 17, I had a head of hair that I was very happy to wear and proud to possess. I remember using a Gillette Hot Comb to style my hair, every morning, and though it took a while, the result, a perfect hairdo, was worth the effort.

If you don’t know what a Hot Comb was, it was a blow dryer for men that came with attachments to put on the hot air end. My most popular ones were the brush and comb attachments. First, I used a comb to dry my hair, a bit; then I brushed to get my hair straight.

The only reason I thought of this silly thing is my lack of hair, today. I, like many men over 40, suffer Male Pattern Baldness. That’s a nice way to say we’re losing the hair on the top of our heads, also known as the crown.

Being 5’11’ has certain advantages. Women and men that shorter than me can’t see the top of my head. I try to avoid those who are taller than I am; at least, I won’t stand directly under them. They don’t need to see my balding crown.

Many men are exceptionally vain about hair loss. By a show of hands, how many of you have seen a man wearing horrible bad comb over? I mean, a comb over that’s so bad it takes a very large amount of hair spray to keep it in place. As with Donald Trump, if it flopped, in any direction or caught in the wind, someone nearby could be blinded by those long locks whipping them in the face.

Do the math! If there is no hair on one side of the head and the fellow compensates by growing it longer on the other side, it has to be at least twenty-four inches to reach over and wrap around to make any sort of style. Otherwise, he thinks you’ll actually notice he’s bald!

The other unfortunate fellow, which always makes me laugh, is the one with a toupee that looks like a dead animal on his head. There is this 60-ish man at the Wal-Mart near me. He had gray hair, yet his toupee is black and so out of style that the animal died on his head.

Does this fellow think he’s kidding anyone? I’ve seen little kids go screaming out the door, after their parents, when this fellow said hello or goodbye to them. They were scared because they thought he had a dead ferret on his head. Go figure.

I used to work with a girl whose grandfather belonged to the Hair Club for Men. One of her weekly chores was taking at least one of his hairpieces to this club for cleaning! I once asked her how they did it and was Grandpa attached at the time. All I got was a nasty look.

Two types of fellows do the smart thing. The first is the man that accepts he is losing his hair; he helps it along by completely shaving his head, like “Kojack.” To me, that’s a lot of work. My friend Mike once had a head of hair that others were envious of; when he started to lose his hair he shaved it off and hasn’t looked back.

He tells me that the women love a shaved head, and he likes certain things shaved as well. I’m not going to discuss that, so don’t worry. He once took a picture of six bald men, all dressed in black with red ties, with their backs to the camera. Ties and sunglasses worn not only turned out great and made us howl with laughter, as well.

Sorry, but I’m still not shaving my head. I have no one to impress.

I have an uncle who started losing his hair at age 17. I thought it was a traumatic time, but he didn’t care. He still had some on the sides of his head, sort of like some mad professor or Bozo the clown. How he looked depended on how long he let it grown.

One bad thing about a naked head, you must be careful in the sun. My father was once visiting us and I noticed a brown spot on the top of his head. When he got home, he went to the dermatologist who ended up doing a biopsy on it. Turned out it was pre-cancerous, caught just in time. Now, my father wears sunscreen and something on his head when he goes out.

Other fellows go in the opposite direction by having hair replacement surgery. This is a very expensive and time-consuming process. Hairs come from the back of the head. Using the removed hair, a technician makes plugs. Finally, the technician inserts the plugs in other areas of the scalp, mostly the crown and forehead.

Great idea, but what happens when they fall out, die or otherwise recede? You have to start over and spend lots more money. Not for me since I have other ways to spend my money and I still have no one to impress.

When we are young, we want out head of hair to be long and/or full. Maybe we’ll have a beard and mustache, and keep it neatly trimmed as well, unless you’re some sort of hippie who doesn’t care. We don’t have to worry about hair anywhere else at that age.


Then we hit 40 and things start to happen, not good things. Our once long and full head of hair starts to receded and fall out. Little hairs start to grow in our ears, and with even more luck, at least one somewhere on the nose. Yuck!

I’ve seen really old men who just don’t care anymore. Their ear hair is so long that they braid it, and tie it in with the bad comb over. Haven’t these fellows heard of scissors, or at least a micro trimmer?

I love my micro trimmer. It does a great job keeping those annoying ear and nose hairs neatly groomed without pain. Have you ever tried to use a razor on your ears? If you’re smart, don’t. The bloody mess that ensues isn’t worth it.

Here's some advice. Keep whatever hair on the top of your head neatly groomed, avoid the comb over and grow a beard and mustache if you can to look distinguished and keep them neatly trimmed as well. Oh, and tip your hair cutter each time. Without them, you’re just a messy mop.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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