If you’re going to lose the hair on your head, you might as well embrace it.
I’ve been bald far longer than I ever wanted.
Ok, the obvious question is: does anyone ever want to be bald? Of course not, though my sweet son claims he wants to be just like me when he grows up, baldness included. Thankfully, he has his mother’s thick, dark Italian hair so it seems unlikely he’ll follow in his father’s follicles.
Sorry, I had to do it.
In all honesty, I decided to shave my head a year before I did it. I had no intention of being one of those men who cannot accept the obvious and so I was determined to shave my remaining hair off before it was rudely suggested by someone else.
I needed a full year to work up the courage.
I planned to do it over the Christmas holiday break so I would have two weeks to get used to it before I had to face my co-workers. I went to the hair stylist–yes, a hair stylist and not a barber–who’d been cutting my hair for about five years and asked her to shave my head. She refused. Yes, she did cut my hair but she refused to shave it close like I asked. She didn’t want to be responsible. I went home, bought a hair clipper, shaved it myself, and I’ve never seen her since.
That day was over ten years ago and in the ensuing years, I’ve learned that there are actual benefits to being a bald man.
Yes, I mean that. There are advantages.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I definitely prefer hair and would grow it back instantly if such technology existed but, since it doesn’t, I’ll take some solace in the following five benefits.
1. Being a bald man saves me money.
This is obvious. No more combs. No more trips to the barber (or stylist), though I do know that some men enjoy having their heads professionally shaved. No more shampoo, soap is fine. No more expensive hair products. I don’t have to try to cover up any grey. A few times a week I shave my own head.
My barber is a great conversationalist and I don’t even have to tip.
2. Being a bald man allows me to wear some cool hats.
I always enjoyed wearing hats (though, to be honest, not baseball caps) and now I have a legitimate reason to wear them: my bald head is delicate. Yes, that sounds a bit unmasculine but it’s true. My bald head gets very cold in the winter and burns easily in the summer sun.
Now I realize that some men do, stereotypically, wear hats in order to cover up their bald(ing) head but I think most bald men wear hats for the two reasons mentioned above.
Have some understanding here.
3. Being a bald man means everyone thinks they know me.
I get a lot of hellos and smiles from people. Everyone thinks they know me.
Because they do.
They know a bald man and all bald men look alike.
To those with hair.
So, if they know a bald man and they see me, they automatically assume I’m the bald man they know. So they smile. Say hello. And then, sometimes, I catch them looking embarrassed when they realize that I’m actually NOT the bald man they know. But those are rare occasions and usually people just go with it.
More than likely because they can’t tell the difference between bald men.
4. Being a bald man provides me with a ready-made toy for my children.
I became a father late in life, in my forties. I was already long bald by then. For other men this might apply to your time as a grandfather. The truth is, my children love to play with my head. They slap it, bounce things off of it, kiss it (and sometimes slobber on it), sit on it, or rub it for good luck. In fact, even our children’s pediatrician once bounced a balloon off my head (without permission, mind you) to get my son to laugh during a vaccination.
Children can find many mundane things to entertain them and a bald head can be one of them.
5. Being a bald man has made me a better man. Ok, that’s a stretch.
How about this? Being a bald man has made me a more humble man.
That might be true.
I am becoming an old(ish) bald man. And I’m ok with that.
I have a great life.
And I never have a bad hair day.
Originally published on STAND Magazine.
By: Dwayne D.Hayes/Managing Editor/STAND Magazine