It’s been heavy on holiday gift guides around here, so let’s take a break and talk about something completely different: hair loss and balding.
Ben Blair and I were talking about this the other day after looking at pictures of my dad in photo albums. Ben is 45, but still has a thick head of hair. It has faded from bright red over the years, and he has some good salt and pepper mixed in now, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t thinned.
I told him that it’s possible his wonderful hair is somewhat wasted on me, because I grew up with a dad that was mostly bald, and it left me totally comfortable with baldness. In fact, I remember being surprised when I realized that some women were stressed out by the idea of bald men (maybe it was an episode of Sex & the City?). When dating, I didn’t see baldness as a deal breaker at all. Basically, Ben Blair could lose all his hair and I don’t think it would change my attraction to him.
Now that my kids are getting older, I’ve found myself wondering if male pattern baldness or other gene-related hair thinning, will affect them. Growing up, I was always told that the gene for male-pattern-baldness goes through the mother, so if the mom’s father was bald, her sons will be bald. Which means my sons would be bald.
But I’ve learned that’s not actually true. And if I look at the bald men I know in real life, I can easily see it doesn’t actually work that way. For example, my mom’s father always had a thick head of hair, but some of my brothers have lost theirs. And it’s the same thing with Ben’s brothers — Grandpa Groberg didn’t bald, but some of his daughter’s sons have.
As for female hair loss, I’ve experienced it in a major way after pregnancy, and when I tried the copper IUD. In both cases, I’m not sure if other people noticed, but I certainly did, and it pretty much freaked me out. Beyond those instances, it hasn’t been much of a problem so far. I feel like my hair is thinning somewhat with age, but not enough to make me take action. Maybe I don’t mind because it’s so short?
If you’ve ever experienced hair loss, then like me, you’ve probably read up on Rogaine. It’s actually pretty cheap these days. There are generic options that cost less than $5 per month, and it’s widely available. It mostly comes as a foam that you apply twice daily to affected areas (for men it’s typically the crown and forehead), and it can take about 4 months to see if it’s really working. From what I understand, it works to prevent hair loss, but doesn’t grow hair back. For certain types of hair loss it’s quite effective, but if you stop using it, the hair loss occurs again immediately.
I know less about Propecia. In fact beyond knowing it requires a prescription, and can have severe side effects, I really don’t know anything about it at all.
Rogaine is also available for women — and shocker: it’s more expensive than the male version, I assume because of the darn pink tax. I have only talked to a few women who have tried it and don’t know how effective it is us ladies. Mostly, when I talk with women about hair loss and hair thinning, the suggested fixes are taking a daily dose of biotin, and making sure there’s nothing happening with your body that’s known to affect hair loss (like the copper IUD did for me).
Though it seems like hair loss is a less frequent occurrence for women, I imagine it could more traumatic than it is for men. Though I’m sure it’s a total bummer for men to lose their hair, it’s certainly a normalized thing in our society, and there are lots of examples of successful men who have shaved their heads due to baldness. For women, it’s a different story. I’ve found female hair loss is rarely talked about openly — even for women going through cancer-related hair loss — and comes with a great deal of shame. I’ve also observed that women can hide it more easily than men can by wearing wigs.
What are your thoughts on balding, hair loss, or thinning hair? Do you have kids old enough that they have experienced hair loss? Is this something that worries you? When you were dating, were bald men a deal breaker for you? Or if you’re dating now, does it cross your mind? What about female hair loss? Have you tried Rogaine for Women? Is there another product (or a supplement) that has worked for you? Would you ever wear a wig? I’d love your thoughts and tips.
44 thoughts on “Are Bald Men a Deal Breaker for You?”
Great topic! I started dating my husband when we were 24 and 25 and I tell people now that I knew on our first date that he was going to bald (we are in our mid-thirties now and he is bald). His hair was thinning at the time and I didn’t know this, but it was something he was really self-conscious about it. For about a year he tried to hide from me that he used rogaine! And when I stumbled upon it on his bathroom counter one day and he got embarrassed I told him “I have known since our first date that were balding and it didn’t matter at all. You can be hot with hair and hot without it ;).” Baldness isn’t really a factor in attractiveness (for me). Shortly after that, he stopped using rogaine. I don’t know if it has changed at all in the last decade, but from what i remember rogaine actually made his hair pretty greasy. He now keeps his hair very, very short and wears a full beard – I actually think he is more attractive now than when we first started dating!
My husband started losing his hair in college—mostly the front, typical male pattern—so I already knew he was going bald when I married him. He has me clip it pretty short all over these days, but I don’t think it bothers him too much. Who it bothers is our oldest son, who is 18 and has gorgeous hair. I mean dark brown, glossy, loose curls— yeah I’m jealous. :) Apparently he has hair like Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, which I don’t watch, but I can see the similarity. That boy devoutly wants to hang onto his hair and is hoping he will take after my dad, who had a thick head of hair all his life. I guess we’ll see. :)
It’s funny, ask me a few years ago and I would have said it was unlikely I’d date a bald guy (mind you, was also married to my ex husband and didn’t think I’d date again LOL) but now I’m very happy in a relationship with a man who is balding and keeps his hair tightly shaven to minimise the effect. It doesn’t bother me at all and he’s so much quicker at styling the hair he has! With my lion’s mane of hair, we can’t both be monopolising the bathroom LOL
My husband can grow hair on his head, but since he started graying young (early 30s I think) he started shaving his head. I think it’s a good look for him, and it saves on haircuts since he can shave it himself. If he had hair now after about 10 years of not having hair, he wouldn’t look like himself. Also his hair is naturally curly and wavy, and he was never very good at styling it.
I have/am experiencing hair loss due to menopause and it sucks! I’ve always had a TON of hair, so that’s how I’m used to seeing myself. I doubt anyone else notices, cuz I still have a lot compared to the average (and it’s curly) But it has taken so much effort and thought and research into different hair products to figure out my “new” hair. Especially since it’s happening at the same time as I’m going majorly gray. I dye my hair, but the texture of the gray hairs is quite different. Menopause is such a puberty in reverse, with all the changes in skin and hair and body. The only saving grace is that you get perspective and wisdom with age (hopefully) and can handle the changes (mostly.) Menopause blows, but at least it’s a nice reminder how hard things like puberty as, are my kid is currently going through that. So we’re going through all this female crap together! Ha!
A million times DITTO! Same story – always had TONS of thick curly hair – now when I pull it back in a ponytail it’s a shocker!! And my DD is a teen with CRAZY long, thick beautiful hair (and plenty of hormones to go along with it!) It’s like we’re living in reverse LOL
Was feeling bummed about it till I read this post and your comment – glad I’m not alone!
Years ago Gabby had a post about an older woman with white/silver hair cut super short and she used Nivea of all things to spike her hair on the top of her head – bright red lipstick, I don’t remember her name now, but she is my goal look when the thinning gets to be too much. :-)
I’ve never even seen my husband’s hair! During chemo for cancer, he had women hit on him repeatedly for the first time ever, and decided he’d “discovered his haircut for life.” And other male friends who’ve experienced cancer-related hair loss said the same thing.
Thanks for this topic, Gabby! Oh this is a HUGE issue for me, my hair loss that is, NOT my husbands. He is losing his hair – we’re both close to 50. But I am right there with him. I have two kids 5 and 8 and definitely lost hair after both of them. However, I started losing hair about 15 years ago. I have tried everything (except Rogaine or other drugs.) I have seen more doctors and tried iron IVs, all kinds of supplements, shampoos, homeopathic treatments, cleansing body of metals, etc. The stress from my hair loss alone probably causes more hair loss if you ask my husband. My hair is very short, similar to yours, Gabby, which is how I sorta get away with it. I’m a natural girl so my hair is graying, and I wear a bit of makeup but have really considered just shaving my head someday and hoping to pull it off. The thought of a wig seems so weird and unnatural and really just another thing to worry about – since I can’t swim with it, etc. I’m considering Rogaine. A girlfriend has used it for over a year and hasn’t experienced much growth so it’s kind of discouraging to me. It really is a taboo topic for women. I feel for men with thinning hair but at least shaving their head or keeping their hair short isn’t a head turner in and of itself.
I went through chemo a year and a half ago, losing all of my hair–and I mean ALL of it (body and head). My hair has mostly grown back normally, but my eyebrows never fully regrew. I now draw them on every morning and I hate it.
When I was bald from chemo, I largely didn’t hide the fact that I was bald. I would wear a sunhat for protection from the sun, but I hated the feeling of scarves and the wig I got. I actually got a lot of compliments on my buzzed look that I had at first. Many people told me I looked good bald, as well, but it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t a shaved head by choice at that point. But I think “bald from chemo” is different from thinning hair or balding due to hormones, as far as the way you’d feel about it. I knew my situation was temporary and I was honestly going through so many nasty medical side effects that being bald was just one of many issues. I imagine I would have felt different about an unknown variable like hormonal female hair loss.
Have you considered microblading for your eyebrows? My eyebrows started to thin(they lost their wings) when I started menopause and I am going to have them microbladed.
Unfortunately, microblading is out of my budget right now. However, the results I’ve seen are really impressive!
I never, ever thought I would date someone who was bald/ing, and yet, I’ve been happily married since 2005 to someone who is bald.
My mom had bouts of alopecia areata patchy over the years that were stress-related. With those, she would find a quarter-sized bald spot and then after a few months, the hair would grow back in. Then about seven months after I got married, my mom started losing her hair hand over fist. Unlike in the past, she noticed the hair coming out, not the bald spots. It took two weeks before she was bald from head to toe – alopecia areata universalis. There’s so much I could write about it – how people who see her without her wig always assume she’s undergoing chemo (and find kinship with her as a result), how she got her eyebrows tattooed back on and it was a game-changer, or how she now has random patches of hair back that are nothing but annoying (seriously? chin hairs?).
My mom is a role model for how to handle hair loss. She wave that characterization right off, but she’d be wrong. Of course she had her struggles with it as she went bald and shortly thereafter, but overall, she took it in stride. What strikes me the most about my mom’s baldness is how to the rest of us, it just is, especially to the grandchildren. My mom never believes us that it’s true, but it is. I have to think back to remember if she had on hair when I saw her earlier today (not sure, but I think she had on a soft hat). The oldest grandchild was 2.5 when my mom went bald, so they don’t have any memory of her without “hair hats.” For the kids, that carries over to other people, too. About seven years ago, my mom showed my oldest a photo from an NAAF gala of some little girls who are bald and asked what my child noticed. After she listed four or five things about the photo, my mom asked if my daughter noticed that two of the little girls were bald. Completely nonplussed, my daughter said, “Hm. You’re right.” To this day, it blows my mom’s mind that the baldness was a total nothingburger to my daughter.
The second track on Free To Be You and Me is the one where Mel Brooks asks Marlo Thomas, “Who’s bald – your mother or your father?” My kids always scream, “MY GRANDMOTHER!” and roll their eyes at the statement that a bald girl is “disgusting.”
This has gotten very long, so I’ll quickly answer your questions: Do I think about possibly going bald? Yes, daily, since it’s unknown whether alopecia is genetic. Do I worry about it? Meh – a little, but I’ve had such an amazing role model and lots of time to consider the very real possibility that it might happen that I hope I would take it in stride. Would I wear a wig? Yes, but not all the time – only at times when it felt more socially appropriate to have on hair. Would I try Rogaine or something similar? No, because it’s not effective for alopecia, which is an autoimmune disease. Even if I had non-alopecia hair loss, I think I would pass on the meds. Would I date someone who was bald/ing? Already did – and married him, too! :-)
Thanks for this topic!
My older son (age 25) also has total alopecia. He had a few quarter sized bald spots when he was 5. Hair grew back and then senior year of college and first “adult” job was so stressful, that the hair loss came back and eventually no hair. His younger brother has Type 1 diabetes (since age 6, now 23). Yes, alopecia is an autoimmune disease as is T1D are autoimmune diseases. Both have no prevention and no cure. Our sons’ situations are not uncommon…one T1D and another to have another autoimmune disease. (We have NO family history of autoimmune diseases, either side.) So, lol, son #1 is in grad school for immunology…for other issues, but it’s odd happenstance this is his research area. He’s researched drugs and processes, but there really isn’t much to be done about alopecia. And, like your mother, he is a poster child for good attitude in it all. No nose hairs, eyebrows and eyelashes are a nuisance. People talk to him as if he’s had chemo for cancer (ask nicely before assuming!). It’s also weird that his disease is obvious and his brother’s, a much “worse” situation, is a mostly invisible disease…and he has a full head of hair. #1 is engaged to his gf who knew him with hair and they are still together. He just moves ahead and is who his is. I had some difficult feelings (and genetic guilt?) around his situation (he doesn’t look like the person I raised), but am used to it now and am just super proud of him being a great person in the world.
My boyfriend was 32 when we started dating. And he was already mostly bald. And his last a lot more hair since. So he has the crown around his head. I find a charming and adorable. I think because the day I met him he looked at me like I was the only woman in the room. And I fell head over heels in love with him. I couldn’t care less that he doesn’t have hair. It’s funny my dad has a full head of curly hair and a big beard. So I was always more comfortable with that. But when you know you know.
I’m in the same boat Katherine. We were 31 when we started dating, 32 when we married, and now we’re 38 – soon to turn 39. He has been losing his hair along the way and although he’s sometimes self-conscious about it, I’ve never cared. He is the kindest, most diligent and loving man I have ever met. He is sensitive and caring and funny, and is the best dad to our three kids. I also think he’s hot. I guess everyone has their “list” when it comes to who they love. Baldness doesn’t factor for me.
Copper IUDs cause hair loss? How did I miss that side effect? You’ve solved a mystery for me today!
For me too. I thought it was just because I was getting older. I didn’t know there was a connection.
I didn’t know this either until I read this post! I’ve been worried about my thinning hair for months. Right after reading more about this I scheduled an appointment with my gyno. I got it removed today. Thank you!
Copper is very bad for your brain, too. It is shocking. Avoid ALL copper items that touch food.
My husband has thick, dark, curly, long hair and it’s not uncommon for men to stop mid sentence and admire and envy my husband’s hair. This kind of thing started happening when he grew it out long. I love his have and can’t imagine him bald.
I had the most awkward bald spot grow back after my third baby. It was right in front and for a long time I looked like a 3 YO who cut her own hair.
I’m 28 and have been experiencing hair loss since just after high school. Like some other commenters, my hair was previously very thick and curly so it doesn’t look like really thin hair yet, but it is shocking how much less I have. It seems to be a common thing among curly hair people that I know? I also have hundreds of greys, which I’m embracing because at least they are hairs on my head!
My mom’s hair thinned and greyed really young, and when she had chemo in her late 50’s the rest of it fell out and never grew back. Between that and a single mastectomy, it was really hard for her to see herself as beautiful. I watched all of this with sadness, as the most beautiful person in the world didn’t see herself that way anymore. I was simultaneously grappling with my own hair loss but not wanting to vocalize any negativity about it out of sensitivity for her.
It’s hard to lose my hair. Female baldness is so unaccepted by today’s beauty standards. I have been a first hand witness to how beautiful somebody can be without hair, but I can’t reconcile that with my own reality. If I ever get down about it, I try to think about how grateful I am for my health, my sight, my hearing, and my mind. All things I should never take for granted but often do when lamenting my thinning hair. I haven’t had children yet, but am mentally preparing myself to lose all of my hair after, just in case.
This is a topic I’ve not thought much about, but your post and all the comments are so interesting! I think when I was younger I’d probably have said baldness wasn’t something I considered attractive, but as I’ve aged I’ve realized how many attractive balding men are out there absolutely rocking it! My husband has a full head of long curly hair that hasn’t changed much since I met him. He stresses occasionally about whether his hairline has receded at all or whether his part is growing wider, and has made it clear that if he starts to lose it he’ll cut it super short/shave it off. I’ve never known him without his mop of curls, but when he was younger he used to shave it so it’s something he’s not unfamiliar with.
Personally the idea of my own hair loss freaks me out completely. I lost clumps after my pregnancies, which seemed like tons to me but wasn’t noticeable to anyone else. I constantly think I see patches that are thinner on the sides of my head, but my husband says I’m imagining things. I have a love/hate relationship with my hair, so the teeny tiny part of me that’s not freaked out by hair loss occasionally daydreams about losing all of it, facing what that would feel like and mean for me, and starting over.
My genetics class taught me to follow male pattern baldness by looking at your mother’s brother. Meaning it’s passed down maternally (so your dad or your mom’s dad has no influence. Your mom’s brothers would).
That means my son will probably lose his hair…but he was jinxed no matter what. Every single male in his extended family on all 4 sides is bald or nearly bald. :) Growing up with plenty of bald men, it never occurred to me that lack of hair would make someone un-dateable. Plus some of the hottest men alive are bald (hello Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. Bruce Willis. Vin Diesel. Patrick Stewart. Taye Diggs. And those are just the ones off the top of my head (pun not intended. ha)). And while my husband isn’t bald yet, he’s lost enough that, like those above, he keeps it cut super short.
This reminds me of the sad yet hilarious story of a good friend telling her exhusband she wanted a divorce. His response was “it’s because I am balding, isn’t it?” Yeah, never mind the years of emotional abuse and relentless control- it’s your lack of hair I just can’t do anymore. (Insert laughing and eye roll)
I started a new medication for my Crohn’s disease last spring after a bad flare and it caused a ton of hair loss. It was super stressful and emotional and hard to deal with. I wore my hair back in a bun or ponytail all the time and tried not to wash my hair often because if I wore it down, it was constantly falling out, and, being summer, I could feel all the stray hairs on my exposed arms. Washing it and brushing it wet was the worst. Thankfully, it seems to have mostly gone back to normal now that I’ve switched to a new medication and now I have a lot of hair that is about 2 inches long all over my head. A good problem to have, though. I definitely thought about what my options would be if the hair loss continued – wear a wig, cut it super short…But none of them felt that great. It’s definitely super stressful as a woman – doesn’t seem like there are any socially acceptable options (well, maybe the wig, but that feels like a huge amount of work to me…maybe I’m wrong though…).
This is so interesting. I don’t worry about it with my husband because, frankly, I think bald is sexy. In fact, we shaved his head for many years simply because it was easy maintenance, felt good for him (he is an ultra runner and so bald head was great for him for running), and I liked it. When he decided to grow his hair back, so many friends in our running community that we hadn’t known before were so surprised to see him with hair. It was fun.
What WOULD freak me out is if I started seeing substantial hair loss or thinning. I wear my hair long mostly because my husband likes it. And honestly, I would be pretty self conscious and freaked out if I started loosing my hair. I wouldn’t mind so much if I could be comfortable again with short hair, I’ve worn it very short before and love it, but my husband really doesn’t like it short and was so rude about it last time that it affects me still. So I can totally understand the typical man’s reaction of fear about hair loss.
My hair really thinned at the temples after my first daughter, and I was so embarrassed – I didn’t it was a “thing” until I was all the way through it and it had filled back in. After my second daughter (who is 16 months old now), I don’t feel like it’s filling back in. And it’s more on the top of my head than at the temples this time. This time around, I was prepared for what happened last time, but of course it’s a whole new thing again.
I am embarrassed about it again this time, but I think it’s related to the fact that I’ve gained quite a big of weight, and hair loss is among other things often a side effect of your hormones being thrown off by being overweight.
A friend of mine has been losing her hair for a few years, and she has gone the Rogaine route (after seeing many, many doctors and having nothing really help). She too is SO embarrassed, and she’s a healthy weight, eats healthy, etc. Nothing at all to be ashamed of!
For me, the thought of having to put a product on my head twice a day for the rest of my life in order to avoid hair loss just isnt worth it. I’m not someone who wears makeup very often, and I find any daily beauty routine I’ve ever tried to take on as an adult has failed. Thank goodness I got in the habit of brushing my teeth as a kid! So – I think I’m just going to let nature take it’s course.
I found a cool “fiber” power product you can sprinkle on the bare spots that sort of covers it up and fills in and thickens the hair that is there – for the moment, I use that if I’m feeling particularly self conscious. I would maybe go the wig route someday if it gets really bad.
This is such a interesting topic. I am extremely low maintenance when it comes to my personal appearance – I’ve got a ton of grey hair and in the last decade, I’ve developed a large (but thankfully benign) mole on the side of my face. Neither of these things bothers me – I don’t do anything about them and I’m never self conscious about them. What I am self conscious about is the fact that my hair is really thinning. I can’t help but feel almost embarrassed about it when I go to the salon to get my hair cut, which means I go as infrequently as I can. The annoying thing is that it was a hair stylist that first made me self-conscious about it – I went to my mom’s hairdresser once when home for the holidays and she said something along the lines of “Your hair is so thin! Guess you didn’t get the good hair genes that your sisters got!” to me. Then a couple of years later, I went to a high-end local salon and the hair stylist I saw immediately started a hard sell on hair growth products even though I hadn’t mentioned that I was concerned about my hair thinning. I never went back to either of these stylists again, but it still annoys me that I can’t shake the self-consciousness I feel as a result of their comments.
Omg what did that stylist say to you??? That is absolutely horrible to compare you to your sisters in that way. How hurtful. I would have never gone back. *rolls eyes*
I will say that having hair falling out so much postpartum was the hardest part about pregnancy and childbirth. It took a bit but eventually I felt a new semblance of normal after giving birth. But, my son’s 2nd birthday is next week and my hair is still not “normal” for me. My hair is kind of thin anyway, so having what felt like so much fall out was hard! I know it’s normal, but still hard when all you want to feel is like “yourself”.
The problem really isn’t with balding, it’s with rude people who comment on it. My husband has a receding hairline and shaves his head clean to combat it. It’s never an issue for him, until a rude person rubs his head or pretends to see their reflection. I think he’s hot with his bald head and beard (this has always kind of been ‘my type’). He looks rugged and sexy, especially in flannel plaid shirts.
I think there are so many attractive men who are bald. It’s so much better than the alternative….the dreaded combover! I feel for men who have to experience it. We can see how difficult it is for women. I lost fistfuls of hair after the birth of my second child. Wow that was freaky to see on the shower floor. And my mom has severely thinned hair so I suspect that is part of my future. Baldness is an uncontrollable trait. We would vilify a man who said he’d only date a woman for her big breasts or thin hips and tell him to look deeper at the whole person. For me it’s the same thing.
My daughter tried using biotin but had unwanted results – yes, it did help with hair on her head, but the hair on her legs, upper lip, chin, and arms also started growing like crazy (and she had never had ANY chin hair before that.
My husband’s hair has stated thinning the last few years and sometimes I tease him about it (just like he teases me about being nearly 3 years older than him). But we’ve had serious talks about it, too. This stems mostly from his dad having done some pretty serious stuff (and REFUSING talking about it, though it was obvious) to try and minimize his own hair loss. We’re pretty sure he’s done chemical treatments, like Rogaine or something, but we’re 90% sure he did hair plugs of some sort. It actually looks fine, but it’s clear from family pictures that he was balding, and then suddenly, voila! hair!
Anyway, my husband swears he’ll never do anything about it, and I wouldn’t want him to. If anything, I’m game for just shaving it off. But that might be because I cut his hair, and it would be less work for me if he shaved it!
Did a health care provider tell you that the copper IUD can cause hair loss? As a nurse midwife who’s put in hundreds of IUDs, I’m concerned that this is misinformation. Progestin containing IUDs (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena) can rarely cause androgenic side effects like hair loss, but the copper IUD doesn’t affect any part of your body outside of your uterine lining, so I don’t see how this would be possible. I believe my patients when they tell me they have side effects that are not recognized by academics. But I’m concerned when I have patients who are attributing things to their birth control solely because they read it in a blog.
My dad is mostly bald and has been since his mid-20s. The top of his head is completely bald, but he has hair around the side of his head. I don’t remember him with a full head of hair, and he had already lost most of it by the time my parents started dating and got married. His sister used to be a hairdresser and always comments that he had the most beautiful and thick hair before. His maternal grandfather was also bald, so it does seem that the skips a generation/goes through the mother thing is true for our family. However, from what I understand, it’s only a 25% chance that my (potential future) sons could become bald. My dad doesn’t have brothers but does have a bunch of male cousins on that side of the family- several are bald but not all of them. We often joke about it because my dad is also red-green colorblind, which is similarly transmitted. So my sons could also inherit that!
I wear my hair very short and always struggled with post baby hair loss. I felt like my scalp was showing and I hated it. I could see myself either wearing it even shorter or shaving it if I experienced hair loss. I have autoimmune issues and hair all over my body has thinned over the years (including the outer half of my eyebrows.) In some ways, it’s great – less maintenance. But I do feel a little nervous about losing the hair on my head. My husband likes my hair short, and I don’t think he’d mind it no matter how I wore my hair, but I know I would have to adjust.
My husband was already balding in his 20’s when we met and married. Not long after, he started shaving his head, and I was relieved. He’s shaved it ever since, and I love how it looks. Recently, he added a beard, and he looks fantastic :). My oldest son is sure he will go bald as an adult and is rocking a huge Afro right now (age 15) while he can.
After several years of chemo in my late twenties and early thirties, my hair never grew back in a consistent manner. I had several bald spots, very thin hair, an uneven hairline, a weird wiry texture. I tried hair extensions for volume 2 1/2 years ago and they were a huge disaster. My solution? Shave it off. I haven’t looked back. I sometimes get stares, but I am already a foreigner where I live so some of it might be the baldness, bust a lot of it is that I’m a blue-eyed, very pale white girl in a Mexican city with a majority dark-skinned indigenous population. :) What I like most is that I always know how I look! I used to stress and look constantly in mirrors to readjust my hair to cover the bald spots. Now… I know it’s bald! And I know I’m rocking it!
A side irony/hilarity is that a lot of people who don’t know my health history, assume I shaved my head because of my politics and/or my queerness. Nope, just a desperate attempt at a good (no) hair day! Ha!
A final note – I am a super feminine person so being bald was an adjustment. I wear very feminine clothes, makeup most days, sometimes even fake eyelashes. I shave my own head so I save a lot on hair maintenance costs (just essential oils and a good buffing and I’m on my way!) I used these savings to justify getting my eyebrows micro-bladed (of course, the cost is significantly less in Mexico than the US). Having strong eyebrows definitely helps balance the impact of the baldness. It’s a good look and I can’t imagine every going for anything else.
oy. As a young woman my hair was so long and so thick that I could barely get a hair tie to hold it in place for a ponytail. I couldn’t use barrettes – they just popped off from too much tension!
After my 5th child, my hair began to fall out – in clumps, and it was scary, but eventually it slowed down. It still grew very quickly but just never came back as thick as it once was, but every year I would cut my below the waist length back up to a reasonable low shoulder or mid back length.
2 years ago, at age 58 I decided to break my rule and just go ahead and dye my hair for the first time – EVER. I should have kept my rule. The dye burned as it was applied, and after 45 minutes or so my scalp was blistered and bleeding, which led to me losing incredible amounts of hair immediately, particularly in one area, which still is has so little hair that if I don’t maintain the position of the hair around that spot- it appears bald. (insert sad face here)
I have never been what I would consider vain, I rarely worry about makeup, although I do consider myself feminine, I’m not girly girl. The deal is, when it first happened it was devastating to me, I admit to crying over it. But as the days went by and reality of my new situation sank in, what can I really do but accept it? I searched for options. I have clip in pieces if I need them, though in the past 2 years I have never used them. I sought out you tube folks who are skilled in the art of deception ; ) and so I know how to camouflage if I need to, and in the long run, if it gets to a point where its just too much, yes, I’ll cut off my usually long lengths for a sporty cut and maybe buy a wig when I want it. My hair is NOT growing back, nor is it growing as fast as it used to…that dye did a number on me.
As far as men are concerned… I am more attracted to how a man acts than what he looks like… although, Thor, if you’re reading this, I’ve always thought you were and still are pretty cute.
I have a friend who just can’t fuss with her hair because her arms are too weak, so she has a selection of wigs that she can place easily and be done with it. Another friend who wears a wig for religious reasons, and another who just doesn’t want to deal with her hair on a busy morning – her hair has so much curl that it takes quite a while just to comb out, much less put in a ponytail or whatever… so a wig helps her out on busy mornings. I don’t think wigs should be any more stigmatising than spray tan, acrylic nails, or even makeup.
I’ve lost half my hair over the last three years and you can now see the bald patches. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I don’t mind bald men, though!
My mom’s hair started thinning quite a few years ago, I think after she hit menopause? She has used Rogaine for years, she noticed a big difference in it keeping the hair loss at bay. Her dad only had a small ring of hair ever since I remembered growing up and baldness wasn’t a big deal in my family (other than for my mom, I guess). My younger brother’s hairline started receding in university, he just keeps it cut somewhat short and doesn’t worry about it. My older brother has started receding within the last few years but likewise doesn’t care overly. My husband’s father is also quite bald and doesn’t like the look, he has been shaving his head for years. My husband started receding probably ten years after finishing high school but it’s going pretty slowly, and he doesn’t care at all.
I think if I started to lose my hair I’d cut it pretty short and either wear hats/head coverings of some sort (I’m partial to bandanas while doing sweaty work anyways) or keep it velvety (not quite shaved, just buzzed super short). I’ve shaved my head twice before, once to raise money for cancer and once after a terrible couple of haircuts. I already don’t like doing my hair so I don’t think losing it would be a major trauma for me, but you never know.
My 17-year-old daughter started losing her hair as a high school freshman. She went from having a full head of hair that could form two normal braids, to hair so thin she could barely form two wispy baby braids as a senior this year. Blood tests showed no problems other than being a little low on vitamin D. My husband’s hair started thinning in college, so the dermatologist thinks it might be hereditary. Among the options given (Rogaine, biotin, vitamin D), my daughter started Rogaine and vitamin D his fall. Doctor recommended the generic men’s version of Rogaine for its better price and more powerful formula. So far she seems to be retaining more of her hair since starting Rogaine, but time will tell. We know she will have to keep using it to retain the hair.
I’m working on a book about baldness and the social and emotional impact that comes with losing your hair. It will be an anthology and I’m looking for contributors. It will be a non profit project. Any money that may come from sales will go to paying expenses in producing this book, and any other money will go to charities such as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
I’d like your permission to use your online article on whether baldness is a deal breaker.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you, and God bless,
Larry S. Barbee