Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Apolecia Wonderment

“Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man - there's your diamond in the rough.”
(Larry David)

“I don't care if they call me baldie or chrome dome. God took an eraser and brushed my head clean. I'd rather be bald on top than bald inside.”
(Joe Garagiola)

My three sons are fairly decent fellows . . . nice guys; but, I am pretty sure that they blame me.  Though they never complain, gripe, moan, or whine . . . I am pretty sure that the balding of their heads they blame on me.  I am pretty sure that they lament under their breath.  I am the cause of their balding . . . I have been going bald since the age of twenty-one.  As nice as they are, I see their resentment in their eyes when I take off my ball cap.

According to statistics, fifty percent of the male population enters into the balding stage at some point in their lives . . . in other words, fifty percent of the male population is going to experience baldness before they kick the bucket.  Unfortunately some of us have been dealing with the issue of apolecia a heck of a lot longer than the rest of our species.  The fact is that half of us males are going to go bald.

Now I have been dealing with the receding hair line issue . . . the going bald issue . . . for a long, long time.  I have read and heard just about everything that one could ever hear when it comes to baldness . . . blame it on the individual’s mother’s family . . . curse the hair care products that parents made us use . . . I have heard it all.  Yet, the bottom line is that men are going to get bald, and it is about time men sucked up and accepted the fact!

First of all, with fifty percent of the male population having some form of baldness . . . well, there is money to be made.  According to statistics, the hair loss industry is worth a whopping 3.5 billion dollars a year.  Primarily the money that is being made is in the hair restoration business . . . a pretty useless and worthless industry.  Yet, vanity rules . . . billions of dollars are spent in the hope that one day there will be . . . well, hair  Okay, guys, put the money back in the wallet.  Many of the scams produce nothing more than empty wallets and bank accounts.  The majority of the products being hawked are worthless.

I was told, when I started balding, that baldness comes from the mother’s side of the family.  When I looked at my mother . . . well, I never saw any balding.  If a person’s mother’s side of the family had a lot of bald men, the curse was passed on.  The truth of the matter is that none of us can blame our mothers or their families for being bald.  Odds are that those of us who are balding can blame both sides of the family.  Baldness is an equal opportunity curse . . . it doesn’t really care which side of the family it comes from . . . falling hair is music to whichever side of the family has baldness.  Hey, it is a crap shoot . .. either you keep your hair or you lose it.

Of course I am getting older.  I may have started watching the hair recede when I hit twenty-one, but at the same time I have started to age.  With aging comes gray hair . . . or in my case, white hair.  I don’t know who is winning . . . the hair falling out or the hair turning gray.  Long ago I heard that plucking out gray hairs would induce hair growth . . . three to one is what I heard.  Turns out it is not true.  In fact, plucking grey hairs only speeds up the balding process.  I never could believe this story . . . at the rate that my hair was turning gray, if I had plucked them in hopes that more hair would grow, I would have been a full-fledge chrome dome years ago.  Telly Savalas would have nothing on me . . . except having a better lollipop stash than I had.  If I had embraced this myth, I would have been completely bald years ago.

Now my father, and my sons grandfather, swore that there were several reasons that I was going bald . . . of course he was speaking as a man who had a full head of hair.  First he blamed it on the shampoo that he bought for the family to use on a daily basis . . . Head and Shoulders.  Once his sons started balding he remarked that it was that particular shampoo that caused the hair loss.  Of course Procotor and Gamble would have never admitted to such a theory . . . except that I hear they have a whole laboratory with bald mice they experimented on to test the effectiveness of their Head and Shoulders shampoo . . . they are all bald, but—by God—they do not have any dandruff.  Though there may be some truth to that understanding . . . any chemical could create the same results.

The other thing that my father liked to blame the baldness he was witnessing on his eldest son was ball caps.  Now I do not know which came first . . . baldness or the ball cap.  Because I had a receding hair line, I wore ball caps . . . still do.  When I am not working in the church or at the university, the ball cap is the key piece to my wardrobe.  And, though it is true that I have a little fop on the top of my head . . . that separates the majority of hair from the rest . . . the ball cap did not create my baldness.  Primarily it is ball caps that keep my balding head from getting sunburnt . . . which keeps me from getting flakey skin and having to use Head and Shoulders.  Ball caps have nothing to do with hair loss unless a person wears them so tight that it pulls off hair when removing. 

For years I believed my father.  I quit using Head and Shoulders years and years ago . . . and, I started wearing lots of white shirts.  Can’t find dandruff on a white shirt.  I never quit wearing baseball caps . . . they kept me from getting sunburnt on my bald spots . . . plus I have a lot of really cool baseball caps.  The bottom line is that baldness happens no matter what a person does.

BUT!  I say, “BUT!”  That does not mean that any male in his right mind wouldn’t attempt to halt the onslaught of male baldness without whatever weapons he could find.  There are as may remedies for male baldness as there are bald men . . . remember, 3.5 billion dollars a year.  There is Rogaine . . . there has been some success, but for the most part it makes what hair balding men have greasy and smelly.  There is Propecia which is a drug that promises to block hair loss.  I’d love to give it a chance, but I have passed the point of no return.  There are natural supplements . . . which are like vitamins that promise hair recovery . . . again, just a myth.

It is a fact that stress causes baldness.  Stress can come from just about anywhere . . . the environment . . . to the stuff you use to wash your hair . . . to the relationships one has in his or her life . . . to the way that one even combs one’s hair.  Since I am constantly worrying about whether or not my sons are going to blame me for their hair loss . . . I am under a lot of stress.  Working in an office with eight women . . . stress.  Attempting to juggle two jobs . . . stress.  Wondering whether or not I am the epitome of Brad Pitt . . . stress.  Stress causes hair loss . . . whether I am pulling my hair out or it is dropping out . . . stress in a major factor in losing hair.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo . . . you can either accept it or fight it.  I am cheap.  Because I am cheap, I choose not to fight my receding hair line.  I refuse to spend money to retard the loss of hair . . . to possibly kick start new hair growth . . . or to plug in hair rows to create an illusion of hair.  Let the hair fall!  Darn if I am going to let my hair dictate the way I live life. 

Someone once said that God made only so many perfect heads . . . on the rest God put hair.  I count myself among the blessed as I near the state of perfection.  I appreciate the graciousness of my three sons . . . and, I apologize for whatever crisis I have a part in when it comes to their own baldness.  I am sure, if they take the time to actually research the topic, they will come to understand . . . understand that good ol’ Dad—in all of his glorious baldness—had nothing to do with their baldness.  It was a crap shoot . . . or as Doris Day used to sing, “Que sera, sera.”

In the end it really does not matter whether or not I am bald.  What matters is what is on the inside.  I am a diamond in the rough . . . It is what is under the hood that counts.  I am a worthy adversary of Brad Pitt underneath . . . just don’t let me blind you when the light hits my chrome dome!

1 comment:

Byron Brewer said...

I agree with most of the stuff you said. Male baldness isn't always a mark of age. It can be a real medical condition too. That only means that we can do something about it. We may choose to march into our golden years with that type of look or we can do otherwise. It's never too late, right?

Byron Brewer @ Knight and Sanders