Hump Day: The joys of being able to comb your hair with a face cloth

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Looking back at old minor hockey team photos from the mid-1970s, I’m struck by the sight of that one kid with the huge afro – a large luxurious bush of hair that was so humongous that it could have housed its own ecosystem. It looked hot – not in handsomeness (well, there’s that, too), but I mean in sheer terms of temperature. Your head would never get cold with that pile of hair on your head, let’s just say that.

If you haven’t already guessed, that beautiful head of hair belonged to yours truly. I remember hearing reassurances that I’d never go bald. I heard it so much that I never thought I would. So full of hair was my scalp that the mere thought of going bald one day was like thinking the Atlantic Ocean would dry up on the first hot day of summer.

Losing my hair never bothered me too much. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a pretty minor (and common) sign of aging in men – so common, in fact, that I don’t even blink anymore or even bother to comment when I notice that a friend is losing (or has lost) his hair. It’s inconsequential and par for the course at this age.

My father had lost his hair at a young age. In fact, he was clearly balding when he got married at the age of 29. When I hit that age, I still had all my hair, but by the time I reached my mid-30s, my formerly luxurious locks had started to abandon ship. Some thinning on top eventually became too much to even hide. I knew the gig was up when I had to put sunscreen on my head.

I just had to accept the inevitable. I could have invested a kabillion dollars in hair replacement, plugs or medication to help slow the process or simply make it appear that I’d never lost a strand of hair down the shower drain, but it wasn’t a priority. Besides, am I the only person who thinks a long and flowing head of perfectly brown hair (no grey at all) looks stranger and stranger on someone as they age? It just doesn’t look natural.

Older men are supposed to be a bit grey; a bit bald. If you look 90 and don’t even have grey around the temples, you’re not fooling anyone. Better yet are the ones who slap on the toupee to go to church like they’re peeling a shower cap over their head before going for a swim. Yeah, we can see your grey hair peeking out from underneath your wig, sir. I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re not fooling anyone.

Lewisville Minor Hockey 5 OHs team 1977-1978
Who would have ever thought that the guy with the colossal afro — that’s me in the back row, third from right — would one day be writing a column about baldness? This is the Lewisville Minor Hockey 5 OHs team in 1977-1978. We won the championship that year. I think I even scored the third goal of my nine-year minor hockey career that year! (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Let’s just say that if your hair looks like it belongs on (insert name of latest handsome movie star with a full head of hair) and your face looks like (insert name of very old famous person), it doesn’t exactly match up. You wouldn’t want me walking around town in spandex would you? No, I think not. That would be delusional. Then either get a greyish wig or go ‘au naturel.’ Let your baldness shine – literally!

I’ve never considered shaving my head. It’s bad enough now that I have to shave my face. It’s just a daily pain and waste of time. Mind you, I shave every day, but it’s still a chore that inevitably leaves me picking up chunks of my head off the floor because I shave so fast that I pretty much butcher myself due to impatience.

I sported a beard in college once. Trust me, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Between the bushy afro and the unkempt beard, I looked like some professional wrestler named Man Mountain Roscoe or something along those lines – someone who they’d found somewhere deep in the mysterious forests of a South American country no one has ever heard about. With that said, a beard is not an option.

At this point, I just try to keep what’s left of my hair short. I go to a regular barber and have the same answer I’ve had for a few years now when I’m asked how short I want it. “Number two razor all over, please. ”The buzz cut takes five minutes or so. Nothing complicated. Inexpensive. Quick. Easy. Being bald isn’t so bad.

Which leads me to the females of our species for whom hairdos are a matter of tremendous excitement and much animated conversation. I swear, two women I know will talk for half an hour about a half-inch trim while men won’t mention another guy’s haircut unless he’s gone from Rapunzel-like hair down to a shaved head covered in Swastika tattoos. It has to be pretty dramatic for a man to comment on another’s haircut.

Two women, however? They are spooky. They can spy the slightest change in another woman’s hair from 100 feet away. ‘Louise? Did you cut your bangs? Change your colour?’ ‘Why yes, Thelma, I did! I had my hairdresser cut an eighth of an inch off and dye exactly 20 strands of hair one per cent darker than the rest. I’m so happy you noticed! And it only cost $165!’

If I paid $165 for a haircut, there’d better be plastic surgery involved And throw in doing my taxes, too! And clean my house!

I pay $8.50 for a haircut. If (what’s left of my hair) is long enough before I cut it, it could be noticeable to someone who’s paying attention. Buzz Buzz. Buzz. Finished in five minutes. I don’t expect anyone to notice. It’s nice if they do, but I won’t be devastated if no one says anything.

You’ve got to give it to women though. They notice these things. And God help the man in their life who doesn’t notice when she’s had her hair done – no matter how slight a change Surely the two worst things a guy can hear are, ‘Does this make me look fat?’ and ‘Do you notice anything new with my hair?’ And if she has to ask if you’ve noticed her hair, I hope you have a comfortable sofa. You may be there for a while.

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