Friday, May 27, 2016

The Benefits of Balding

In recent years, my forehead has rapidly advanced in the battle of the receding hairline, so much so it's surprising I don't wake each morning to a pillow covered in fallen folicles. I'm not particularly bothered by the idea of balding, with the possible exception of not being very fond of the shape of my head. Modeling and movie stardom might never have been in the cards for me, but it would be nice if my dome didn't resemble a semi-deflated ball of room-temperature mozerella.

Alternatives to balding are available, toupees and hair transplants being the most obvious options. Unfortunately, I've never wanted to look like my hair was installed by the Home Depot carpet department or planted neatly in symmetrical rows by some subcutaneous farmer. And there's something about all those chemical scalp treatments that scares me. The hair is surrendering willingly. Who am I to keep it from making a graceful exit?

This all got me to thinking recently about the many reasons to celebrate going bald and I came up with the following items. Feel free to add more in the comments.

  1. Hair cuts are much, much quicker. Gone are the days of trimming here, blending there, feathering the crown into the back and sides and wondering if bangs are manly. Grab the trimmer and buzz me like a farmer shears a sheep. So long as I leave with two ears and most of my blood, it's a job well done!
     
  2. No more hair product. I have no need of mousse, gel, spray, conditioner -- hell, I barely need shampoo at this point.
      
  3. No longer needing any of those products makes packing for trips a much simpler task, and there's one less bottle of liquid that needs to be checked with my baggage or inspected during the security screening. I was lucky I didn't get pulled for a cavity search the last few times I traveled with a can of mousse. You could see the incredulity on the faces of the TSA workers as their eyes darted suspiciously between the shiny metal canister and my shiny head.
     
  4. Temperature control is a breeze. It was easy to overheat and difficult to cool down when a bushy head of hair was the norm. Without that extra layer of insulation, all I have to do is find a shady spot and let the wind do its job. And if your head gets cold, just grab a hat.
     
  5. Speaking of which, baldness allows you to build a kick-ass hat collection. I prefer baseball caps, but you can use your sun-exposed cranium to justify everything from a fedora, to a gatsby, to a pith helmet -- whatever makes you feel good about yourself and helps you avoid a melanoma or two.
      
  6. Bed head is less of a problem, and eventually not a problem at all. Back when I had a full mop on top, I woke each morning to the most horrendously interesting nocturnal stylings. My favorite was the one where the hair on the left side of my head was smushed tightly against the scalp, while the hair on the right side of my head stuck straight out. I used to call that one "Exit Wound."


© 2016 Mark Feggeler