Balding? No, that's strategic thinning


I knew this day would come, and I have been dreading it.

How long have I been dreading it? For more than 40 years, that’s how long.

My hair is starting to betray me.

Now, I have never had the most thick, luxurious head of hair. It has always been pretty wispy, but I have had a full head of it my entire life.

And as a kid in the 70s, I took full advantage of it and grew it as long as I could. I would put lemon in it in the summer so it would bleach in the sun. And I would get the occasional perm (it was the 70s!).

My hair was like a helmet that I used to protect myself from the outside world. I had a rat tail comb sticking out of my back pocket in high school, at the ready any time I felt my hair was looking less than perfect.

In the 80s I went from short to long to slight mullet (that was a very dark period) to having a small tail for about three months. Through it all, my hair was there for me, even as I made some horrible decisions based on 80s hair fashions.

In the 90s I went longer during grunge, then shorter with a goatee and finally shaved it very short as the gray started to take over.

Around 2000 I grew it a little longer, spiked it up and started bleaching it. I kept that same style for years.

Now I am all natural, and my hair is mostly white. I have it longer on top and shorter on the sides, but I have it longer on top for a very specific reason.

The hair near the crown of my head is thin. And by thin, I mean it is very thin. And by very thin I mean it is mostly missing.

My hair has gone AWOL. It went south faster than a retiree from Forreston in January. It abandoned me as even though I still care about looking cool (see earlier column about playing the guitar.)

So, I am growing it so I can strategically cover the, ahem, thin spot. I don’t mean I am doing an Olympian comb over that defies known physics and common sense, like the one our president has. But I am certainly trying to hide a follicly challenged patch on my nog.

And I need to contain the damage, honestly. I don’t look good with a shaved head. Quite frankly, I have an ugly head. There is a big bump in the back of my skull. Ask the woman who cuts my hair – I yelp every time she uses the trimmer back there like she is mowing a field of foot-high grass.

OK, I am not the elephant man, but I prefer to have some hair, thank you very much.

Thankfully, being bald these days is fairly fashionable. But I have never wanted to be a bald guy and I will not be a bald guy. I will, however, have ever thinning hair. It is simple genetics. My 83-year-old father has thin hair – but he has hair!

So, if in a year or so I look like an aging hippie, please give me a break. What I really am is just a dude who has put way too much importance in his hair for most of his life, and I won’t go down without a fight!