Balding men across the world look in the mirror each day and have a choice.
- They can choose to believe that baldness is a disease that robs them of their youth and needs to be clinically treated.
- They can take charge of their hair loss and “beat the bald” by shaving it off earlier than necessary.
Of course it’s not an either/or scenario. It’s more of a spectrum that men find themselves on at some point in their life. So let me go into more detail about each place on the scale.
On the far left of this scale, we have men who have a regular head of hair, and yet the mere thought of being bald someday is an ever-present concern. Perhaps their father was bald. Maybe their partner has expressed how much they love his hair. It’s even possible that they’re part of a competitive work culture that denigrates employees with thinning hair.
There are a variety of reasons men with a full head of hair worry about balding. Perhaps it’s vanity, a lack of self-confidence, or fear of change. Overcoming those issues should be more important than worrying about hair loss itself.
The people who come to mind in this category are guys who monitor every detectable sign of aging. Maybe it’s the formation of a widow’s peak or gray hairs. It might be a gentle receding of the hairline around the temples, or the 3-4 hairs they see on their pillow each morning.
This is the stage where men are inclined to begin taking medication to prevent hair loss. Certain prescriptions can help preserve the hair they have left, which is plenty. No need to go full bore at head shaving, however. Enjoy what you have until you have progressed to the next stage…
Keep in mind, however, that hair loss medications have been associated with sexual side effects like impotence. Does that sound like an appealing trade-off?
This is the stage where you can no longer ignore that you’ve started losing hair. It’s early, but you can tell that your hair just doesn’t style the way it used to. You’re now more conscious of how your hair looks in photos.
I found myself in this stage when I saw the top of my head on a closed-circuit TV screen. A security camera was pointed at an unflattering angle, placing my “baby bald spot” in view. I was mortified. I went home and immediately bought one of those hair-thickening powders — that’ll do the trick, right?! It didn’t even match my hair color, but I convinced myself that no one would notice. (They did).
This is a great time to experiment with using clippers to buzz your head. You can take it slow with different guard lengths to see how it makes you feel.
You know you’re in this stage when you immediately focus on your hair anytime you catch a glimpse of your reflection in a window or mirror. You’re starting to wonder if it might be time to shave your head, or at the very least use clippers for a short military-style induction cut.
My advice? Beat the bald. Quit throwing away money on hair cuts and styling products. Fire your hair stylist/barber, and buy your own Wahl 5-Star Balding Clippers. This is a great first step towards enjoying life as a confident bald man. No experience needed. Quite possibly the best $45 you’ll ever spend.
If you’re familiar with the 5 Stages of Grief, there are comparable stages for men experiencing hair loss. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. On the far right side of the spectrum, these men are unable to reach the acceptance stage.
Just yesterday, for example, I was having drinks with my girlfriend at a local steakhouse when two young couples on a double date got seated next to us. One of the men had obviously lost every strand of hair on top of his head. He thought he could mask it by growing the remaining parietal and occipital hair out, combing it forward and twisting the hairs together in a weird ropey fashion. It looked like he was wearing a horseshoe covered in seaweed. This was a total code red. Denial, anger, bargaining, and depression all at once. It was sad to watch.
His friend, on the other hand, had a cleanly shaven head coupled with an aggressive well-manicured beard. He clearly made it to the “acceptance” stage and chose to rock his baldness confidently. And you know what? He looked like a total badass. (Hopefully it was an intervention dinner over his friend’s terrible hair).
The best way to prevent sliding into this range is by “beating the bald” and shaving your head on your own terms.
Here’s the overall lesson I’d like to share with you…
Being bald is easy. Going bald is the hard part.
The anguish you may feel about eventually being bald is completely self-imposed. Don’t torture yourself.
A lot of things go through a man’s mind while he wonders what it’ll be like if he shaves his head. Allow me to relieve some of those concerns for you:
Bald men still get laid. Bald men still make money. Bald men still make people laugh. Bald men still get invited to parties and fun outings. Bald men still play sports. Bald men still go to work, have great jobs, and get promotions. Bald men still have families. Bald men still get taken seriously.
Now, let’s reframe it this way:
There are men with great hair who… don’t get laid, don’t make money, creep people out, and live very lonely lives. There are men with hair who can’t get a job and never get promoted. There are men with hair who are lousy husbands, terrible lovers, and shitty dads. And there will always be men with hair who get absolutely no respect from the people around them.
Here’s the bottom line: Confidence is one of the most attractive and desirable traits a person can have… The image you project as a bald man can actually increase your confidence and make you more appealing. This will positively impact every aspect of your life.
If you’re reading this article, it’s time. Shave your head.