If you look were to study my hairline now, you’d never guess that during my teenage years all the way through to about the age of 25, my hairline almost touched my super-thick eyebrows. I noticed in my twenties, whenever I cut my hair, certain patches of hair would grow back thinner each time until those patches finally faded into oblivion. As if the realization that someday I might be able to pass myself off as a black Lex Luthor weren’t bad enough, my friend whose hairline damn near touches his eyebrows, made sure to remind me every chance he could that my hairline was running away from my nostrils.
Of course, being a sophomore in college just coming into my manhood, my receding hairline and the mocked-up bleak future I would run through in my head, frequently caused me some distress. Every time my head itched, I could literally feel my fingernails ravaging my poor, defenseless scalp.
Being a young man, I assumed that bald men were old and crusty and of course didn’t want to become “that.” I remember frantically spending late nights searching for ways to “cure” my “condition.” I learned the biological and genetic reasons why the hairlines of certain men began to recede (excess testosterone gets converted to a different form of testosterone that “clogs” the hair follicles.) I bought supplements. I did yoga, specifically the headstand pose with the intention to force more blood and hopefully nutrients into my decrepit scalp. I began a strict regimen of meditation (sitting by the Genesee River cross-legged, every weekend.) Although my already super-thick hair became even thicker and more luxurious as the result of my prevention strategies, my hairline continued to march towards the back of my neck.
Jump forward to today. While I’m not completely bald, my hairline has receded quite a bit. However, at the tender age of 36, I find that I’m stronger and happier than I’ve ever been; that blows the “baldness = weakness” theory out of my belief system.
Thankfully. I feel extremely masculine and the funny thing about it is that if I make a comment about my hairline being more jagged and treacherous than it was in high school to someone, nine times out of 10 they state that they wouldn’t have even known that I was balding if I hadn’t said something. I look in the mirror every morning and I appreciate the hair that I have left. I appreciate that my body has the ability to still create healthy hair to keep my head warm. In a funny sort of way, watching my hairline change directions has taught me to accept the inevitable in all areas of my life—it’s taught me to be at peace and it has reminded me that one of the only constants is change.
I consider myself lucky, however. I remember a girlfriend of mine in college remarking that I have a perfectly shaped head. In addition, I have massively thick eyebrows (my nephew calls me Blacula.) Between my bushy eyebrows and my perfectly shaped head, I take comfort in the possibility that I may possibly be mistaken for Shemar Moore. When I finally do go completely bald, at least I’ll have a slew of Halloween personas to adopt, like a black Telly Sevalas or Terry Crews. Oh, the possibilities.
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