Bald? Get a Grip by Deb Kristy

Busy week! I’ve been in Tampa, visiting my grandfather for his 86th birthday and making a couple of visits with some great independent bookstores, Inkwood Books in Tampa and Sarasota News & Books in, well, Sarasota. I also had the honor and pleasure of reading the yet to be titled manuscript of Ad Hudler’s excellent sequel to Househusband. Had a great time while away, but of course there was little time for blogging, grogging, and as my husband stayed home, snogging was also out of the question. In fact, there was no ogging of any sort.

So it was a pleasure to get back and read everyone’s Balding Men entries! Our first universally hated topic, and yet, everyone came up with beautifully written, interesting posts. I must admit that I, too, am at a bit of a loss. My family has no shortage of hair, though like Deb Anna I’m quite concerned about the number of strands that litter my bathroom floor, gather in a sorority on my drain grate, and choke the life out of my Roomba.

Knowing this topic was coming up, I was careful to check out my grandfather’s pate, and sure enough, there’s plenty there. My husband seems to be holding up pretty well, too, though he cuts his hair (er, I cut his hair to HIS specifications) shorter than I would like, and as a result I DO see a bit of scalp. But he’s not actually losing his hair. So, with these being the only two men in my life I’ve had to conduct my research on men in public.

Mostly what I’ve noticed is that men don’t really seem to care about their hair when they have it. So is this hair envy and regret just another example of the stereotypical male only appreciating what he had once he’s lost it? I mean, you’d think that considering the angst-ridden solutions the other Debs have detailed that men really love their hair. But they don’t much act like it when they’ve got it.

What do they say when their hair has had enough? There can’t be any late-night phone calls to beg the hair to come back, nor can they send flowers, chocolates, or mixed CDs to the hair that left them. All they can do, I suppose, is promise to change, to treat the hair they have left well and hope it, too, does not abandon them, leaping off their head and swearing off humans forever, choosing the shower drain to end it all.

I will say that I would be devastated to lose my hair, even to have it thin noticeably. It’s long been said that women’s sense of their own beauty is heavily wrapped-up in their hair. What is men’s sense of their own attractiveness wrapped-up in? It used to be their ability to make money. Are rich men more comfortable with their baldness? Donald Trump would seem to dispel that myth.

Or, like women, are they wrapped-up in everything these days? They need to be rich, they need to have a powerful job, they need a beautiful woman, a fast car, a six-pack, and by God, they need that full head of hair. And yet, as a woman, my sympathy has its limits. Because is there a day that goes by that we don’t lament something we’re not? Rich, sure, men don’t have that one all locked up, but we also have issues with every single body part, name it, we’re sure it’s not thin enough, plump enough, round enough, toned enough, soft enough, firm enough, trimmed enough, smooth enough, fragrance-free enough, scented enough, arched enough, flat enough. Hell I’m exhausted just breaking it all down, and don’t tell me you can’t match a body part to every one of those.

So. Bald men? Get over it. Groom yourselves like you care when you’ve got it, and when it leaves, be graceful and work with what you’ve got.

We still love you.


10 Replies to “Bald? Get a Grip by Deb Kristy”

  1. Can’t imagine many men agonize over body parts like women do. Our North American culture dictates to women that aging is pretty much not allowed. But men can age without agony. So not right.

  2. Had to laugh at the image of a man sending his lost hair some flowers. I was just rolling shortbread cookies with my daughter and her best friend when the best friend said, “what would you do Maia, if we put balding powder in your shampoo?” I paused mid cookie roll, my mouth slack with shock. “Don’t even THINK of doing this,” I cried, to which they collapsed in laughter, cookie dough flying. I was incensed and kept telling them “this is NOT funny, don’t EVER do something like that to ANYONE.” Ah, the joys of parenting. When they sobered up, they had to admit there was nothing worse than the thought of losing a long glorious mane of hair. Kind of made me sympathize with men. If that’s what it feels like to think I could lose my hair, I don’t want to live.

  3. I’d like to know what songs would be on the mixed CD to their lost hair…

    And I think the “be graceful and work with what you’ve got” is great advice to everyone, thinning hair or not!

  4. Seeing how my darling brother-in-law, who lost all his hair from alopecia areata (a highly unpredictable, autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body) when he was five, still woos the ladies despite being married with three kids (plus he keeps getting promoted at work …)., I’d have to say that he’d be the perfect poster child for your advice, Kristy!

  5. There are many days I wake up and wish I could be one of those gloriously bald women, who look proud and spectacular..

    Alas, I just don’t have the guts..

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