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Hair Loss, Hair Gain

My husband and I watched a comedian named Jim Jefferies on Netflix recently. It doesn’t match my sense of humour, but a friend had recommended it, so we gave him a try.

One of his bits has stayed with me. He was talking about struggling with going bald and the woes of trying to keep hair on his head. The money and time he’s spent, feeling embarrassed about the whole thing. How it’s deemed so wrong to wear a toupee.

He compares how unfair it is that women get to play with hair extensions, different colours, wear wigs, etc. and it’s all ok in our culture to do so. Men are shamed for trying something similar.

Firstly, I think a bald head looks pretty sexy on a fellow. (Not that your process has anything to do with my opinion, but I’ll toss it in anyway.) Also, every bald man I know, especially those who began balding early, has a photo of themselves from “back in the day when the hair was flowing”. They look back on it with envy. I always think that the haired version of the now bald man looks kind of silly. The bald head suits them far better. 

I know a woman who went grey in her twenties, and she looks sensational with it. Perhaps it’s best to lean into what nature gives us that seems like ageing. It seems to pick the right people to “afflict”, as in, they pull it off well. 

Secondly, the way he feels about the unfairness is how I feel about facial hair. I’ve been growing it since my early twenties. I’ve waxed, lasered, threaded, Naired, and tweezed. I just spent a little over a hundred dollars on something called an epilator and it didn’t work at all. The hair keeps coming in. If asked what one item I absolutely must travel with, I would choose my tweezers. Just as Jim describes women having fun with changing their hair on the top of their head, men get to have fun with deciding what to do with the hair on their face. You could grow it all out, shave every day, skip a few days, make designs, the choice is yours! Women choosing to leave their facial hair is much like a man wearing a toupee as far as taboo goes. 

I only mention it because I’ve been really envious. Every time I’m in the bathroom I check my chin and neck and may tweeze a couple. I’ve wondered with embarrassment what I’d look like before the invention of tweezers. A common romantic move seen on TV is for a fellow to put his hand lightly under a lady’s chin and tilt it upward before a sweet kiss. I can’t help but think that if I were her in that moment that the fellow would be turned off by the prickles he’d encounter. This is honestly the main reason I tweeze so religiously, so that I might feel more confident in sweet romantic moments. 

This isn’t a gender competition though; who’s got it worse. All our sentiments are valid, especially in a society that says certain ways to look are ok while others aren’t. I’ve watched a documentary about body acceptance and one woman featured gave up on facial hair removal and now has a full thick beard. She wears it well, it’s an interesting look. I’m not currently that brave, but I always admire a middle finger to societal pressure. Maybe someday I’ll be so bold.

I’m sure we all have our thing (or two) that we wish were different. We can try to shift our thoughts about wanting things to be different, or we can do what we “must” to keep our head held high. No judgment here, all I ask is to be kind to yourself and to others.  

And to my baldheaded friends, how you doin’? jk

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