Lifestyle

An Open Letter To My Receding Hairline

Are you there, hair? It’s me, Jeremy.

I know we’ve had a tumultuous relationship over the last 27 years and, honestly, I think it’s time to acknowledge a previously unspoken truth: it's clear you're leaving me. I don’t blame you and I know it's not your fault—I've pushed you away all because those damn stem cells in my scalp have just conveniently “forgotten” how to develop into the correct type of hair-making follicle. Ugh, losers. Hair, you’re well on your way out to pasture and I want you to know that I totally understand, I forgive you, and I want other men to do the same. 


 

To be quite honest I'm surprised this didn't happen earlier. I noticed the first "glitch" in my personal hair matrix when I turned 21 and finally cut off my high-school-hair. For those unaware of the term, high-school-hair is that hairstyle that every guy—from ages 14 to 19—has. It's that thick, floppy, pseudo-Beatles-but-more-Javier Bardem haircut that every dude thinks is cool. It's not cool. (For the record, here's an example. Here's another. Yep, both me.) Anyway, after I went to the barber and told him to make me look like, and I quote, "not a douchebag," I noticed the front of my head looked different. Thinner. 

My suspicions were confirmed when the front of my hair began to feather out like a chicken's butt—and not like the cool feathering that every Backstreet Boy did in 1999, but the kind that literally resembles a bird's assh*le*. It's because there aren't enough living follicles to support the dead ones. The living hair strands simply have nowhere to rest upon and, thus, shoot up vertically—taking on the appearance of a rooster's backside. (*See above photo)

I wasn’t always at peace with my hair loss and I knew I'd never look as dashing as Bruce Willis if I shaved it all off. I tried all the homeopathic “cures” that I could dig up on Google: olive oil and cumin seeds rigorously into the scalp, fenugreek powder left in overnight, honey, coconut oil, henna, peppercorns, ginger root, and hibiscus tea on the scalp. I quit smoking, took iron supplements, ate avocados like apples, and all I got was a lousy sense of regained energy. I think someone once said the tears of a Taiwanese virgin are supposed to work pretty well—pending they’re tears of sorrow, but I couldn't find anyone to help out. 

The years of homegrown treatments left me with a head that smelled like a smutty rub-n-tug massage parlor in Midtown Manhattan and an unreceptive hairline that simply continued doing what nature taught it to do. When it comes down to it, there really isn’t a whole lot anyone can do to combat baldness. According to facts and figures, 30 percent of dudes by the age of 30 begin to lose their hair, and that’s a small demographic that I now fit into. On the upside, I finally belong to an exclusive club, which is nice.

Of course, there's alway Rogaine, which is essentially Viagra for your hair follicles. Minoxidil allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to flow to the follicle, but it only maintains the hair you have and doesn't always regrow. It's a temporary solution—like a thickening shampoo or a really dope cap. 

Now I’m working with what I’ve got left and I'm happy. Of course, I’m sure there are angrier (balder) men out there who think I’m just being a whiny little balding baby—and I totally sympathize. It’s not that bad. I can still comb it, slather it with goo, and pass off to the world that I have a full head of hair. It’s not awful, but I expect it all will be gone in 5 or 10 years. The revolt on my head has been years in the making and, frankly, I'm relieved the revolution is underway.

So what will happen then, when there’s nothing left? I’d like to lose it with grace and dignity like Bill Murray. No toupees, no plugs, no pills, no graphs. Just me and my shiny dome, trolling for other bald-headed individuals to high-five. We’ll solemnly nod at each other on the streets and spend Sunday afternoons in damp basements talking about Jude Law and Jason Statham—they went bald gracefully, and we can do it too! Then we’ll cheer, hold hands, cry, drink coffee, eat donuts, maybe start a fight club? 

I conclude this letter by saying that that I've graciously conceded—like General Robert E. Lee or Al Gore the second time. I hope all men will go quietly into the night as I have. No, we won’t all look like Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, or His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama—we’ll just be us.

We are a legion of shiny-headed champions who don’t need luscious locks to succeed—because the locks we desire are right HERE (I’m pointing to my heart/soul area right now) and if you’ve got that, you don’t need anything else. Guys, forget male pattern baldness and start living with male pattern boldness.


Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor. This past weekend he walked slowly through Chinatown and listened to "Informer" by Snow. Catch more musings of '90's music on his Twitter.