Emboldened

How to lose your hair without losing your head.

The problem with hair-loss is that even when we see the signs, we tend to look the other way.

I wasn’t always like this, of course, but the signs were there all along. Losing your hair, like getting over an ex, is something that fades at its own pace, undeterred. We expect to wake up one day and realize we’ve moved on, that the person in question and the strain of their existence on ours is finally gone, but in reality, they seamlessly recede into distant memories that we summon with less frequency. The problem with hair-loss is that even when we see the signs, we tend to look the other way. In the beginning, we simply ignore individual strands lying on the shower and if you’re blonde it could be even harder to notice. It isn’t until they become the dark mass that clogs the drain that we sense something irreversible might be happening. When we move on to the stage where we find ourselves scuffing them off our collars every other hour, and then finally picking them out of our mouths, the deed is done. But hope clenches in the soul with such determination that the day our balding spot is finally announced, we can only sigh and hold on to reminiscences of the wind sweeping our curls. Even more so with going bald, when the spell is broken, no magic potion can bring the loved one back. I think you’d have better chances of getting back a former lover by gently massaging Argan oil, ginseng and turmeric on his or her head every night than reversing hair loss.

Whatever happens, however tragic or unexpected my death is, when it comes, I’ll be lowered into my casket looking like a freshly baked brioche.

But how do I let go? For one, when children foresee their future selves as firemen, astronauts, surgeons, or civil rights lawyers, they simply enlarge their heads along with their boyish hairdos and insert them into a uniformed body, which results in the mental image of a grown man looking like a bobblehead toy. Never they consider that even if their wishes are granted, their bobblehead toys are probably going to look more like an eighteen-wheeler’s gear stick, evenly greased and polished by years of shifting. Clear then, how difficult the task of letting go of such adored expectations can be. But it’s also in the unavoidable nature of the problem where the solution lies. It is said that it’s impossible to know how you’re going to die. Except I do. Whatever happens, however tragic or unexpected my death is, when it comes, I’ll be lowered into my casket looking like a freshly baked brioche. This realization gives me an advantage unavailable to most, a sort of power by knowledge. In the end, it’s not a matter of obfuscating my vain proclivities, but of repurposing them in areas where they can thrive. “Power is the great aphrodisiac”, a man with an iconic hairline once stated, and I’m not one to disavow Mr. Kissinger’s almost centennial wisdom.

To age on one’s account and die in one’s virtue is enough to aspire to.

That leaves us one last option I’d like to offer for consideration and the one I’m beginning to put in motion. As much as it may appear the path of least resistance, I’m seduced by the idea of weathering it out. To reach out for used up platitudes about confidence and self-esteem and embrace them with enough conviction to compensate my baldness with boldness. As I stare the flashes of light that sneak through the haze of hair into my scalp, I ease the comb from my head and rid myself of its peremptory force. To age on one’s account and die in one’s virtue is enough to aspire to. If it takes forsaking cynicism for dull mantras like #BaldAndProud and admitting that confidence truly is key, so be it.

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