Hair today, gone tomorrow

They say that the three stages of mourning are, denial, anger and resolution. The concept is applicable to many situations in life. Death, desertion, the end of a holiday, the demise of something you value… Yep, and that’s how I feel as my forehead slowly transforms itself into an eight-head and I feel the heat of the sun more readily on my cranium.

For some time, Sandra had been trying to rub sunscreen on to the top of my head and I kept asking her why she was putting that oil on my hair. I got quite tetchy, disappearing into the bathroom with a hand mirror, claiming my growing bald spot was a trick of the light. Then a few months ago, I saw some pictures of me in a swimming pool taken by a friend and there could be no more denials. I was balding at a frightening rate… Something had to be done!

I shouldn’t be surprised that my hair is disappearing. After all, my father was bald and judging from photographs, so was my father’s father. I remember asking him in my teens if I would go bald and he said “no, your hair is like you mother’s father”, who died with a full head of dark hair. But then, who trusts the word of a bald hairdresser about the state of their own hair, especially when that person is their own father.

He had gone off to fight in the second world war with a full head of dark, wavy hair as is shown in his wedding photos from 1941 but when he returned from four and a half years in Africa and the middle east, my mother was shocked when he took off his cap and saw he had only half the amount of hair he left England with. He was twenty-seven when he returned from the war and I am now twice his age. I’ve kept mine for far longer, so I shouldn’t complain.

Being bald isn’t the problem, going bald is. Nothing is sadder to see than a man trying to disguise the balding process. Techniques that are most often used include the following:

  • Keep the hair long at the front, so that the receding hair on one side covers the balding area.
  • The “classic” comb-over, most famously displayed by Bobby Charlton.
  • The comb-over from the back, so that the parting is at the back of the head rather than the side.
  • Keep the hair long at the back, so it looks like the entire head of hair has slipped.
  • The pony-tail and cap. The remaining hair is displayed while the bald bits are covered.      

None of those options are acceptable as far as I am concerned so, I have decided to turn an unfortunate circumstance into a positive decision. I will shave my remaining locks off and join thee ranks of the baldies.

I bounced this idea off of Sandra, my cousin Ritsa and her two daughters aged twelve and fifteen. All are in agreement that that is the way forward. So, that is that. Sandra has persuaded me to grow a bit of a beard at the front to provide a “focus”. That is coming along nicely…

The time approaches and the razor awaits!

Pics to follow.


About stevehollier

Steve Hollier is the editor of AZ Magazine, an English language lifestyle magazine based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He began his career working for a firm of stockbrokers in the City of London then went on to attend the University of Essex where he was awarded an MA in Sociology in 1984. After a career in arts and cultural development work, he became a freelance arts consultant, writer and photographer.
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