I noticed it when I was looking in the mirror the other day. It was almost imperceptible, but there was definitely something different. There was less hair up there.
I noticed it when I was looking in the mirror the other day. It was almost imperceptible, but there was definitely something different.
There was less hair up there.
Like I said, nothing extreme — no blatant horseshoe pattern, just vestiges of scalp peeking through, whereas previously the whole shebang had been nestled comfortably under a lush, soothing hair blanket. It was a disquieting discovery, like finding roof shingles accumulating on your lawn.
Can it be true, I found myself asking? Is my hair really leaving me? After all, we shared such good times together. The cuts. The shampoos. The blow-dries. We had our problems, sure: The ill-advised mullet of 1985 comes to mind. But a couple of months and some mousse later, I thought all was forgiven.
All this time I had been hoping to take after my father, who still sports a distinguished swoosh of thick silver hair. Of course, when my father was younger people said he looked like Sal Mineo; if I had to pick a “Rebel Without a Cause” actor I resembled, it would be a toss up between Jim Backus and the guy who went on to play Maxwell Smart’s boss.
Still, I mustn’t panic: I do have a few options. I could beat my hair to the punch and shave my head altogether, for instance. The danger, of course, is there’s a good chance I’d end up looking like a “Batman” villain.
Or I could get a buzz cut, like “Today” host Matt Lauer — proof positive that just because you’re making $8 million a year doesn’t mean you can’t get your hair cut by a guy named Nunzio who sheared Marines during World War II.
I suppose my other option would be getting hair plugs, but there still seems to be a stigma attached to that. Just last week, in fact, U2 singer Bono denied rumors that he had gotten them. “Ha, ha, ha, what a load of nonsense,” his spokeswoman said, although she probably said the same thing in 1993 when people told her nobody was going to buy “Zooropa.”
Call me vain, but while people always point to Sean Connery as an example of a sexy bald man, I can’t help picturing the guy from that hair loss remedy commercial who meets his future hairless self. “Maybe we’ll look good … bald,” his bald version declares, even though not only doesn’t he look good, he looks like every time he leaves the house he’s immediately beaten up by a pack of hairy bullies.
Of course, I realize there’s so much more to life than having hair. I have a wonderful wife, two great kids and plenty of other caring friends and relatives, only a small number of whom would probably shun me if I went bald. And besides, with proper scalp maintenance perhaps I could be as distinguished and commanding as that guy from “Star Trek.” No, not the Klingon, the other guy.
In fact, I’d pretty much convinced myself that going bald wouldn’t be so bad. Until this morning, that is, when I noticed that the hair missing from my scalp seems to have started growing out of my ears. “For the love of God!,” I yelled, and my wife knew I was looking in the mirror again.
I guess this just proves the theory that after you turn 30, your life starts to feel like a Kafka story, except instead of turning into a cockroach you wake up every day to find that you look just a little bit more like Neil Young. That’s why, even if it’s just prolonging the inevitable, I’ve decided to take action.
Tomorrow, I’m getting rid of my mirror.
Peter Chianca is a managing editor for GateHouse Media New England. He’s currently on vacation; this “Best of Chianca” column is from 2002. He’s happy to report he only has marginally less hair now than he did then. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/pchianca.