This is a reader submitted story. I found it inspiring and motivating and I think it can do the same for you if you are struggling with hair loss at a young age. Thanks for sharing this, Bald Man Stan!
When I was about 16, a neighbor bud, Gene, sitting next to me on the school bus when he flips my forehead hair (I wore medium ivy league at that time) and says “your temples already receding … haha”. I freaked out and denied it. I started counting stray hairs in my comb when I shampooed but considered it normal.
After graduating high school at age 17, I went off to college and started growing my hair long (with mutton-chop sideburns) like other guys in 1973-1974. At the same time I noticed more hair was pulling out in my comb, shower. I always combed my hair with a left-side part. Like other college guys, my hair was long (past my ear-lobes and shirt collar). However, unlike most guys age 17, I moved my side part a bit lower to hide the receding hairline / temples and used cans of hairspray. By age 19, I discovered Couvre that I rubbed on my scalp to hide the “thinning areas” plus the “bald spot” forming in back. I also discovered “Thick-it” that I rubbed on my hair to make it look “thicker”.
Meanwhile, my forehead and bald patch in back was noticeably expanding. My older brother, who STILL has a full head of hair, started teasing me. He’d give me knuckle rubs on my frontal part to see if he could pull out my hair ! In 1975, when I was 20, I needed a haircut for a job interview (and I got that office job), so the long hair got chopped to a medium ivy league cut. When the barber faced me towards the mirror, I nearly freaked at the “young, balding dude” staring back at me!
With this much shorter ivy league haircut, now my forehead prominantly displayed “my hairline is receding island — or better known as premature Male Pattern Balding”. Without any concealer or hair thickener, the overhead fluorescent ceiling lights in the barbershop shsown my scalp was “peeking” thru. I was horrified! I rushed home and immediately rubbed Couvre over the bald patch in back and in places on top and combed my hair over to hide the scalp, added thickener and hair spray to comfort myself.
EVERYONE noticed the new haircut and some of my folks’ friends would mention “balding” to me and I just smiled and said “not yet”. My buds and brother teased me to no end so I started wearing a ball cap more often. Meanwhile, I went twice a month to keep my ivy league haircut “fresh” which meant I went to the barber sans Couvre or hairspray. The balding reality was there !
On a hot and windy day in August, 1977, just before my 22nd birthday, I walked in the barber shop rather frustrated and disgusted about my hair. My barber caped me and as usual always joked “buzz it all off?”. This time I nodded my head and said “marine recruit buzz”. He asked me three times, “are you sure?”. NOBODY age 22 had a buzz cut of any sort unless in marine duty back at that time.
The barber gave me a #3 on top and #2 faded sides/back and faced me towards the mirror. I was excited as the last time I had a buzz cut was when I was 10 years old. I was totally shocked as the top of my head shined now with just “stray” medium brown stubble with thicker buzzed hair on the sides ! I was literally BALD on top ! This was the first time I admittedly said to the barber, “man, I’m bald on top!”. The barber ran his hands over the top and sides and said “I can go #1 overall and clean off the top to make it look even”.
All I could do was nod approval. His palms riding my scalp skin made me realize that Couvre and hairspray could no longer hide my future. The barber buzzed everything down, hot lathered around the ears and nape and edged with the strt razor. Then, in a surprise move, he rubbed hot lather from my forehead to top and took the razor and scraped the stray stubble smooth.
After the barber wiped my head and rubbed baby oil, he faced me towards the mirror. I cracked this big smile as my palms ran over the bald head and said “well, this is one way to get to the root of my hair loss problem”. Suddenly the years of hiding in denial lifted off my shoulders. I was not thinning or balding. I was officially Male Pattern Bald !
When I got home from the barber, my bro noticed the ballcap and buzzed sides. He immediately ripped off my cap ready to knuckle rub and totally freaked because there was just skin. I ran my palms over the MPB and said “all gone”. Life got baldingly better. My bro still teased and called my dad and me “twin baldies”. My friends started calling me “baldie” and I rather liked that distinctive name and look!
- Bald Man Stan
If you enjoyed this post, check out my How to Deal with Hair Loss ebook. It details my personal story of beating male pattern baldness, explains all the options for dealing with hair loss, and offers concrete tips and strategies for getting over it and building confidence.