When you live life rocking a bald head, jokes and snide remarks come with the territory. So it’s important to adapt and roll with the punches.
In my late 20’s, I can remember teasing a girl about ordering scotch at a bar. I playfully told her that it would put hair on her chest. She effortlessly replied, “Too bad it won’t put hair on your head.” Pretty sick burn, I know, but at the time it deflated my confidence for weeks. That’s how insults work.
Remember this: Bald jokes only bother you if you let them.
When you can embrace being bald — not just accepting it, but truly appreciating baldness for the freedom it allows — hair jokes no longer sting. You’ll see them as opportunities to share your good vibes, or make others laugh.
It’s Not About the Bald
Let’s discuss the “Why” behind a person’s decision to comment on your head. Why would someone you hardly know — or worse yet, a total stranger — chide you about being bald?
There are a few answers for this… The shortest one? People aren’t very creative.
The average person lacks creativity. If you had a sleeve of tattoos, a hefty beard, or teeth white enough for a Crest commercial, they’d probably comment on that instead. People tend to discuss whatever’s most obvious to them.
Consider the life of this tall guy. He had the same repetitive conversation day-in and day-out about his height. No one could come up with anything else to say when meeting him. So now he carries these cards around:
He turned the tables and now makes this monotonous conversation more entertaining. Whomever he gives it to probably laughs, thinks he’s clever, and anchors this new impression of him. To them, he’s now tall, funny, and well-prepared.
How about dating apps? Several of my single friends use them. Whenever we’re hanging out, they inevitably get messages from new matches.
We occasionally pass their phones around and collectively discuss the funniest responses to give each girl.
It’s hard to miss how painfully unimaginative most of the openers are on Bumble. I’ve seen some variation of “Happy Thursday!” or “Two truths and a lie” dozens of times.
To be fair, I’m sure that the openers men are using with women on Tinder are just as bad (if not worse).
The reason? Again: People aren’t very creative.
Their Issues, Not Yours
Have you ever witnessed someone with road-rage? Those maniacs go out of their way to show how upset they are that someone inconvenienced them on the road. Do you think it’s a coincidence that their cars are often old, dinged up, and missing a hubcap? Nope. Their rage has little to do with you; it’s simply a reflection of what’s going on in their personal life. They’re sad, depressed, or angry. In this small window of time, they’re outwardly expressing these feelings to a stranger.
Remember Nelson from The Simpsons? Similar situation. He bullies the other kids because he’s unhappy with his life.
When a confrontational stranger tries to belittle you over the number of hairs they expect to see on your head, it’s not really about you. Be at peace, and if you don’t have something quick-witted to say, keep it simple: “I hope your day gets better, man.”
3 Situational Examples
1) I was at a social event for my girlfriend’s work the other day. While talking with one of the other spouses, he mentioned that his son just got his very first haircut. He described how good the hairstylist was with a challenging 2-year old. Then he turned to me and said with a smirk, “So who’s your barber?” Without skipping a beat, I replied, “He’s awesome. I never need an appointment and I don’t have to tip him.” He let out a hearty laugh and then we started talking about beer.
2) Not long ago, I was about to order a drink at a crowded bar when a guy who was crammed uncomfortably close to me shouts, “I was here first, baldy.” I looked at him, then turned to the bartender and said “Tito’s on the rocks for me, and a glass of Altoids for this guy.” The bartender laughed and poured me a double; the other guy smacked me on the back and called me “fucker” with a smile.
3) Last summer, I was sitting at a patio bar with some friends when a loud, obnoxious, and overly intoxicated woman (wearing a wig/weave of some kind) meandered over to our table. I turned my chair away to avoid hearing her ear-splitting laugh, but she clearly found this offensive. She leaned down and whispered in my ear, “Hey asshole, you’re baaaaald.” I turned around and smiled, pointing to the “weave” she was wearing and said, “I guess that makes two of us.” She defiantly tugged on her hair, attempting to prove it was natural, but in doing so, yanked it right off her head. Quite the spectacle.
Some Go-To Responses You Can Use
Here are some go-to responses to have locked and loaded. Keep in mind that if it’s someone you just met, they’re probably feeling you out to see if you have a sense of humor. So be confident, take it on the chin, and show them that you’re fun to be around.
“Your forehead is huge!”
- “Yep, it’s more of a 5-head.”
- “Glorious, isn’t it?”
- “Pretty sweet, right?”
- “Thanks for noticing!”
“Dude, you’re bald!”
- “Yah buddy, beat you to it.”
- “Best decision I ever made.”
- “I’m very happy to hear that.”
- “Yessir, and the ladies love it.”
“OMG, you’re bald?!”
- “Is that your way of asking if you can touch it?”
- “God only made a few beautiful heads. The rest he covered with hair.”
- “With a body like this, who needs hair?”
None of these responses is insulting to the person. Insults convey weakness. The moment you become aggressive, you’ve lost. Sharks smell blood in the water and it’s open season on your scalp. Don’t hand them that victory.
Work On Your Headspace
Consider this for a moment… Balding is worse than actually being bald. Guys with thinning hair or a deeply receded hairline will be the butt of more jokes than a guy who has a fully shaved head. The latter simply conveys more confidence. Society views “balding” quite negatively, while “being bald” is seen in a much more positive light. So if you haven’t already, shave your head! Not sure how? Here’s the method I use.
We see and experience the world differently when we’re sad or angry compared to when we’re happy and at peace. Each and every day, you decide which lens to view the world.
Would you rather put out happy vibes wherever you go, or be a dark cloud? Positive and cheerful people — yes, even the bald ones — are more desirable to be around than any mopey asshole with hair.
Be thrilled with your appearance as a bald man, exude confidence in your decision, and never long for the days when you had hair.