Well, not completely bald. More accurately, I have “male-pattern baldness,” which means I still have goo gobs of hair on the sides and in back, but the front reflects so much light I’d have to advise you to wear sunglasses if you want a close look.
I started losing my hair in my mid-twenties. A bit early I guess, but I don’t remember being terribly upset about it; the State of my Pate has never been high on my list of concerns. But if it’s high on yours, you can join your fellow Bald Americans who spend one billion dollars a year in the Follicle Wars.
Some of your options:
TOUPEES: The classic solution. But once you start wearing one you’re committed. (Can’t just leave it home on Casual Friday.) A well-done hairpiece can be extremely convincing. A bad one can look like a squirrel fell out of a tall tree and landed on your head.
IMPLANTS: Your own hair is plucked from where it is and planted where it isn’t. A good implant job can cost as much as twenty grand. A bad one can look like you’re trying to grow a crop of barley.
ROGAINE: After centuries of con artists selling snake oil they claimed would regrow hair, somebody found a snake with oil that sort of works; Rogaine regrows hair for slightly more than half of those who try it. Problem is, if you stop using it the hair you grew falls out. That means YOU HAVE TO USE IT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Crack dealers and Rogaine distributors should trade high fives when they pass each other on the street.
And finally, we have “The Nuclear Option”…
THE COMBOVER: A man committed to this path has sent his remaining hairs on a perilous journey from east to west. (One must say “hairs” not “hair” because the latter implies abundance.) Marching in tight parallel formation, they’ve been deployed to cover their host’s vast expanse of gleaming flesh. Perhaps they’re embarrassed to be pressed (literally) into this particular service. But they’re glad they’ve been spared, at least so far, their companions' fate—down the drain and banished via sewer to some distant ocean, or plucked angrily from a brush.
And their host…what can we ever know of him? Does he truly believe this stratagem will inspire passing strangers to think, “Ah, yes…that fellow has a fine head of hair?” Or does he realize the battle’s already lost, yet resolutely charges forward, exhorting the remains of his decimated army to follow him into the teeth of the enemy guns?
Some mysteries of the human heart defy understanding….
Charles Coe is author of two books of poetry: “All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents” and “Picnic on the Moon,” both published by Leapfrog Press. His poetry has appeared in a number of literary reviews and anthologies, including Poesis, The Mom Egg, Solstice Literary Review, and Urban Nature. He is the winner of a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Charles’s poems have been set by a number of composers, including Beth Denisch, Julia Carey and Robert Moran. A short film based on his poem “Fortress” is currently in production by filmmaker Roberto Mighty. Charles is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union, a labor union for freelance writers. He has been selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light for 2014.” His novella, "Spin Cycles," will be published in September by Gemma Media.