Stephen Blease: Good hair can bring marginal benefits
THIS week I had to have my hair cut and decided I would treat myself to a good shave at the barber as well.
I tend to do this now with every haircut, and I rather like it. This involves warm towels, a brush for applying shaving cream, cut-throat razors, and a cooling ointment afterwards. I think this is the closest a man has come to having a “facial” without being ridiculed as effeminate.
The hairdresser said she really enjoyed doing them too. It was a much more professional shave than my own rushed jobs in the morning with a disposable plastic razor, when I would cut myself or find a bit that I had missed, or find shaving foam under my chin later in the day. day.
While waiting for my turn, I looked at the photos of elaborate haircuts adorning the walls – and wondered if anyone had ever requested one.
I don’t know of anyone who could successfully take them away. They all seemed to involve tightly cut sides, sometimes with a shaved pattern, and elaborate constructions on top.
One photo reminded me of an aircraft carrier above an ocean of zigzagging waves. I wouldn’t be 10 meters like that.
I find the haircut itself to be the least enjoyable element these days because it always reminds me of losing my hair.
When the mirror is raised to show me the back of my head, it also reveals the increasing baldness.
When it first appeared, it was a small circle the size of a 2p coin. Now it’s about the size of a small side dish.
Then someone sweeps all the hair off the floor and I think it’s a little unwise to have it cut. This is hair that I can hardly afford to lose these days.
Of course, it’s mostly cut in the back and sides rather than the slimming top. But it’s still a net loss of hair.
I shouldn’t really be complaining because 80% of men lose at least part of their hair just like 20% of women. But I would have much preferred to turn gray.
My dad, uncle, and brother are all gray and one of my grandfathers was too, and he can be very distinguished.
You might even be described as a “silver fox”, so admired by some women. If I could keep my hair, I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t keep its color.
But there is nothing compelling you can do about baldness. You could claim that you indeed have a very wide separation. Or you can emulate Bobby Charlton and cultivate a comb, part your hair an inch above one ear, and stick it towards the other – and don’t cheat on anyone.
One of my teachers made a particularly silly attempt to cover up his baldness by growing the ring of hair around his back and sides and plating it over his crown. Any sudden breeze or movement would ruin all his efforts.
Someone’s hair can be closely tied to their identity and losing it can trigger a minor identity crisis. After all, many of our last names originate from hair color – Black, Brown, Gray, or White.
“Reed” meant red and “Ball” meant bald. “Green” would have been an exception.
There are those who embrace their hair loss in the end, shaving off the rest and looking neat and tidy, but that wouldn’t work for me. I have a double crown so I would end up looking like a light bulb.
Baldness can be sharp, tough, and manly, but when you wear glasses to read and write, like I do, it’s hard to take away.
And those who study political marketing closely argue that respectable hair is necessary for politicians these days.
It was not in the days of Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, but television was less of a decisive factor then.
There are probably plenty of reasons Neil Kinnock, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith never became tenants at 10 Downing Street, but their lack of hair has done them a disservice.
While I was at the barber I told the hairdresser about my baldness and she said reassuringly: It made me feel a little better.
Some men used to ask for a Tony Curtis haircut or an Elvis quilt and in my late teens I tried unsuccessfully to grow my hair out like Jim Morrison’s.
Maybe in the future I can ask for the Duke of Cambridge look.