Your hair is falling out. People are starting to notice, and you need to address the issue now. Welcome to The Fork: a decision that will affect the rest of your life.
Unfortunately, this momentous decision comes at a time when you’re most likely not thinking your clearest. You’ll be vulnerable, and therefore, heavily suggestible. And since you probably don’t want to go bald, you’re likely to jump at anything that looks like a cure.
Let’s cut to the chase. You’ve got two choices, acceptance or denial. Since your brain will automatically tilt you towards denial so let’s start there.
Path A: Denial
No one chooses acceptance straight away. So please don’t feel bad that you’re choosing to bury your balding head in the sand. Come to think of it, burying your head in sand would be preferable to some of the other options chosen by those in denial.
Denying that you’re losing your hair is (at time of writing and for all previous millennia) an unwinnable war. And, like most wars, this one costs a lot of money and takes numerous casualties including your time, energy and your self-esteem.
Still, anything is going to look good to you at this stage of proceedings – no matter how painful, expensive or ultimately ineffective. Just remember, whichever life raft you cling to has been designed to make you feel better and make someone else rich.
That’s the catch. You need a solution now. You’re thinking about the quick fix, not the long-term ramifications of the solution; the very real side effects of medication, the ongoing maintenance, the continual cost and the reminder every time you look in the mirror that you’re not being true to who you really are.
We explore this more in our post ‘The difference between a balding loser and a bald winner’, but denial only addresses ONE issue: how you think others will think of you now you’re going bald.
Pause on that for a second. Denying that you’re going bald – covering it up or attempting to hold back the tide with pills, potions or operations – only addresses your preconceptions of how people might think about you now that you’re going bald.
When you look at it from that perspective, choosing the denial path is absolutely bat-shit crazy. But hey, it’s your head and that’s where your ego lives.
Path B: Acceptance
We’re here to normalise acceptance as a positive way forward. Don’t confuse acceptance with defeat. It’s not surrendering or something to be done begrudgingly. Accepting the fact that you’re going bald means working with it as you would any other part of your appearance. There are two subsets of acceptance.
There’s the Que Sera Sera kind – where you just go with the flow and manage your hairstyle on the way out. This is popular with guys who have either close-cropped hair to begin with or longer hair. Then there’s the Carpe Diem kind – the one we like to focus on.
One of the reasons going bald is such a mental struggle for some is that it is something our body is doing that we don’t like. It’s out of our control. The multi-billion-dollar anti-hair loss industry preys on this. Their business model is to sell the illusion of control to the vulnerable.
But nothing screams control more than the steady hum of clippers as they glide over your scalp.
Shaving your head for the first time is one of life’s most empowering moments. It’s up there with running a marathon – just without the sweat, chafing and cramps. However, working up to the point where you’re in front of the mirror with the clippers in your hand takes almost as much preparation.
The best way to approach this is as a transition as well as a transformation. Drastically changing one element of your appearance (especially one as noticeable as your hair) will affect the kinds of clothes that look best on you. For example, if you’ve been working with hair of a certain colour for all these years, you’re going to have to start matching clothes to your skin tone and the size/shape of your head. Here are some simple dos and do nots’ that will start you off on the right foot.
Ensuring that you’re mentally prepared should take absolute precedence. Do some research. Look up some famous bald people and see what they looked like before and after. You can also ease your way into things by checking out what you will look like without hair – there’s a tonne of apps that do this for you – like BaldBooth. Above all, discuss it with your loved ones and members of your inner circle. They’ll be super supportive – we’re sure of it.
What’s more, you’ll be in good company, among millions of new friends here at The Bald Company.