It was some awful, administrative mistake that God made when creating me that made me start losing my hair at 15. At first I ignored it, like you do, but it became increasingly difficult to ignore it when no one else would. I think that men make fun of other men for mostly transparent motives, and this was certainly the case in high school, when guys would wait until a really hot girl was within earshot to start talking about my disappearing mane.
So eventually, you start to acknowledge it. With panic. You buy the hair products, you perk up when the commercials come on on the radio, you start to notice men with plugs (and picture yourself with a plug-installed, picket-fence hairline), and you freak out. I would bet that most men do this, but perhaps not with the fixation that I did at age 17.
People do, and I don’t believe this is a figment of my imagination, start to look at you differently. It’s difficult when you are the only person balding in your age-group. People begin to identify you by it, “You know. Dave. The balding guy? He has no direction in life? He lives with his parents? Yeah, right, Dave.”
You go to bars, and you end up feeling self-conscious about how much older you look than the group your with. Or worse, you go somewhere on your own, and have to somehow slip your age into every conversation to make it known that you are, specifically, “not old.”
Of course you start to think about girls. No, in fact, this is the first thing you think about, if not the only thing you think about. You sit in that one biology lecture freshman year, when the prof is talking about the “Law of Natural Selection,” and you look around at all the big dorks sitting around you and you think, “These jerks are going to get all the girls, just because their scalps are hidden by those stupid hair-do’s.”
Early on, you start to consider shaving your head, but you think, “OH MY GOD, how ridiculous would that look?!” I mean, who knows what shape your head is under that awful mess of hair products and genetics? Christ, whatever you do, don’t shave it!
But then a few years go by, and you start to realize that girls could actually care less. I mean, just finding a guy that age that talks in complete sentences and doesn’t fart on them is enough to inspire everlasting love. Hair? Who cares about hair?
So you start to shave it close. You feel better, your friends feel better, everybody feels better. You don’t look like “that guy,” who’s trying to pretend he’s not losing his hair. You’ve grown into it and you look way better, and nobody cares.
But now, here I am, with cancer. I’m going through chemotherapy, and all my hair is supposed to -*poof* – fall out. Considering the poor reputation my hair follicles have – I’m bound to be running around like a mexican hairless within the first week, right? I’ve been balding for nearly a decade, I am ready for this. I might even look better totally bald, who knows.
But weeks have gone by now. From what I’ve read most cancer patients have, by now, lost most, or all, of their hair. Not me, man. I’m not bald. My hair is like, “Chemo? I don’t see no chemo.” My hair is holding on to my head with an impetuous commitment I could have only dreamed of at age 17. My hair is NOT leaving!
What the hell is this? Who does my hair think it is? Richard Gere? Has my hair seen what’s it’s been doing to me for the past years? It is confused with it’s role? Fall out! That is what you are good at!
My god, am I going to be one of those guys that goes through chemo and doesn’t lose his hair? How unlikely is that?
I would also like to state for the record, that those of you who tell me “it might grow back thicker!,” etc.: No way. You seem to assume that I want hair again, which is absolutely not the case. I look at these poor saps running around with “hairstyles” that they have to spend so much time on and I think – “Thank god I wake up looking the same as I do when I go to sleep.”
But yes, it’ll probably grow back thicker. On my back, I mean.