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Follicle Folly: Hair Today… Gone Tomorrow March 21, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Hair.
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Earlier this week, I cut my hair. I had promised my sons that I was going for “the Fabio look.” (This prompted my oldest to suggest that I was only going for the “from the neck UP, Fabio look.”) Now, even that form of the Fabio style won’t be in the cards for me for awhile.

hair_today2

Why do I do this?

Is the Season the Reason?
Back when I coached Youth Football, I tended to buzz my hair near the middle of Summer, in anticipation of the upcoming football season. I tend to move around a lot when I coach, so I found myself showering a couple of times a day. After I started buzzing my hair, I realized that my head stayed much cooler without all the hair.

However, there is a downside to this when you’re also an idiot: Hair provides a modest amount of cushion for impact. One such impact might be an ill-fated head-butt of one of your players during a proud moment when they’ve just made a tackle. Granted, hair doesn’t provide much protection against the skull-to-helmet impact in such situations, but every little bit helps.

Obviously, I’m speaking purely in hypothetical terms here. I would never have done something quite so stupid, even after my then-eight-year-old son made a spectacular, game-saving body-slam tackle for a loss of several yards.

Remembering Dad?
When I was growing up, my Dad was already 75% bald. He had your typical, male-pattern baldness thing going on, and it didn’t seem to bother him a bit. According to Mom, he’d been that way since his early 20’s.

Now, clearly I’m biased, but I always thought my Dad was a pretty good looking guy. (This is in spite of the fact that he was occasionally mistaken for former President Gerald Ford.) Growing up, I razzed Dad about his lack of hair, but in all honesty, I fully expected to lose mine the same way he did. I’m currently in my late 40’s, but I’m well aware that I may suddenly be in that same situation at a moment’s notice.

The idea of suddenly looking even more like my Dad doesn’t bother me a bit. Am I trying to somehow maintain a connection there? I don’t know, but if so, I’m OK with that.

Do I have Something to Prove?
One of my friends who is (by his judgment) prematurely bald commented, “You’re just being cruel, aren’t you? You’re just cutting it off so when it grows back, those of us who don’t have hair will be jealous.”

This kind of reaction has always puzzled me. Allow me to explain.

I have several relatives who have experienced varying degrees of hair loss. Although I don’t know what kind of emotions this has brought about for them, I can say without hesitation that I would be perfectly happy to look like any of them. Maybe I’m weird, and maybe I’m in the minority, but for me, some people seem to put a lot more value in hair than it’s worth.

Perhaps hair continuing to grow on my head is nature’s way of countering the fact that I have great difficulty in growing anything resembling facial hair, and have virtually no hair on my chest or legs. (What little is present on my back is blonde, and generally invisible.) You can probably imagine the weird looks I get when I’m changing clothes in the Men’s locker room, when other guys are wondering if I shave my chest.

(For those of you who know me, I’m well aware that I get weird looks in many places, and not just the Men’s locker room. I will not belabor the possibility that I get weird looks in the Men’s locker room for other reasons.)

Is it The Look?
Several of my friends shave their heads, for no other reason than to intentionally look intimidating. You be the judge:

stairwell3

I suppose it works, unless you happen to know that I’m a complete teddy bear. When I try for this look, people who know me think it looks ridiculous.

Or is it Just Laziness?
The real secret to the short hair probably has a great deal to do with my widely-recognized tendency toward laziness. On Sunday, I spent quite a bit of time trying to get my hair dry before going out into the cold weather. For those of you with long hair, you can appreciate how much colder the wind feels when it passes first through a bunch of wet follicles.

Then on Monday, I was about to shower when I realized that I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of washing and drying that much hair. I dug under the sink, found the hair clippers, and in a few minutes I was surrounded by piles of hair strands roughly four inches long.

Standing there, staring at the lack of hair on my head in the bathroom mirror, I noted again the corresponding lack of hair on my chest. I looked briefly at the pile of freshly cut hair. I looked back at the bare skin of my chest. I looked back at the cut hair. I thought about the tube of Crazy Glue adhesive in the cupboard.

Nah…

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Comments»

1. Oscarandre - March 24, 2008

We often see hair as our fortune, don’t we – and also one of the first indicators that we will not be young forever. When I was a kid (and evrybody wanted long hair) we got a new barber in town who saw it as his personal duty to reintroduce the good old “short back and sides” so beloved of our fathers. This was despite our very strident instructions as to just how much he could take off. One kid I knew was so mortified that he didn’t return to school until it had grown again.

2. Tim - March 24, 2008

Oscarandre,

If I didn’t know better, I would swear you and I grew up in the same neighborhood, with the same barber. You just triggered for me a memory that I had long since pushed into the darkness of things long since forgotten.

I was in 1st or 2nd grade, and I can remember “the day after the haircut” as if it were yesterday. I had been very specific about how I wanted my hair cut, and can remember the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach when he spun the chair around and I saw my bald head in the mirror. I knew, without question, this was going to be one of the worst days of my life.

I was horrified at how I looked, and got on the school bus the next morning with the hood of my raincoat pulled up over my head, where I kept it even after I was inside the school building. The teacher made me take it off, which resulted in gales of laughter from my classmates.

Ashamed and crying, I ran to a closet, where I promptly closed myself in. I remember a knock on the door, and how I feared it was going to be the teacher, demanding me to come out.

Instead, it was one of my soon-to-be best friends. He held out a cap that he’d worn to school that morning, and said “You can wear my hat today if you want.” I did.

Isn’t it odd that last Monday, I gave myself the same cut that I so despised as a child? – Tim

3. Tiffany - March 28, 2008

Ahh, that explains the new photo at the top of your blog. I was wondering (and actually wasn’t entirely sure it was you!). It makes you look a little like Vin Diesel’s long lost midwestern cousin… 😀

4. Tre Pryor - April 13, 2008

You and your two brothers look *very* much alike!

5. Tim - April 13, 2008

Tiffany,

I’ll take that as a compliment, even though I’m not particularly crazy about Vin Diesel.

Tre,

He ain’t heavy, he’s my… uhm… come to think of it, all three of us weigh exactly the same. Curious how that happens. 😉 – Tim

6. Allison - January 27, 2012

Ugh– just for the drying time alone it might be worth a GI Jane do. On the flip side, however, I only have to worry about a sunburn on my part rather than the whole noodle.

I like the three faces of Tim progression!


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