The Balding Husband

“Sounds great honey!”

I’ve been saying this a lot recently. As much as I can.

You see I am trying to win over my wife’s heart. For a while now I have had most of her heart but not all of it. Now I need all of it. Every last square inch.

When a husband has less hair, he needs to find other ways to win more heart.

My wife responds well to, “Sounds great honey!” The more enthusiastically I say it the bigger the smile. On downtrodden days it is harder for me to be enthusiastic, but I force myself since enthusiasm is what is wanted most by people.

We should put in nice gravel all over the backyard: “Sounds great honey!”

Lets get our hot tub up and running again: “Sounds great honey!”

I am going to be going away for a week to go camping with friends: “Sounds great honey!”

We should go into LA today and eat at a nice restaurant and then go to a bookstore and buy a bunch of books: “Sounds great honey!”

Maybe you could trim all the trees today and clean the leaves off the roof: “Sounds great honey!”

Would you please pay all our bills this afternoon and wash the dogs: “Sounds great honey!”

I have been committed to being so enthuisiastic with my wife because I am balding. I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am having to confront the inevitable fact that it is happening to me. It is not a rapid balding but my hair is thinning more and more every single day. Each day that I examine my head in the mirror, I am noticing more and more scalp.

The last time I had my haircut, the stylist said, “I will not cut anything from the back, since you need that hair.” Fuck, is what I thought when she said this. Balding is happening.

I did not think it would happen to me. My mother’s father had a full head of hair all the way up to his very end. My father has a head without much hair on it, but I work hard not to be as driven and stressed as him. As a result, I believed I could avoid his hair loss fate. The last time I spoke with him I considered asking at what age he really started to thin, but I decided that I would rather not know.

As I write this I have a concoction of aloe vera, lemon and castor oil in my hair. I am supposed to leave this concoction in my hair for an hour, twice a week to encourage new hair growth. My scalp is currently burning but they tell me that this is encouraging blood flow.

You see, my wife is 14 years younger than I am. She is just a year or so over the age of 30 and no woman just over 30 wants a balding husband. What would a younger woman like my wife do with a balding husband? Once my head of thick and wavy hair is half of what it was when we first met, how will my young wife cope with this? It can’t be easy for a beautiful, young wife to have an older, balding husband. Sounds superficial, but whether we like it or not, thinning hair is an issue.

So I have had to start being extra nice. Extra enthuisiastic. “Honey, could you come here?” “Sure honey, I will be right there,” I reply and move quick.

I have read that I can compensate for undesirable physicalities (hair loss) through kindness, enthuisiasm and making more money. This is why you sometimes see those very unattractive men with beautiful women. They have these three necessary ingredients.

I don’t know about making more money, but I can certainly be more enthusiastic and kinder.

When a man or woman is physically pleasing to the eye, he or she can get away with behaving like a shit. But once the appealing physicalities start to fall away- we have to stop being angry, greedy, selfish selves. We have to get better at being nice and putting others first. If not, we end up alone.

I have been taking supplaments, doing hair conscoctions, standing on my head for thirty minutes a day, massaging my scalp before bed, orgasming only once a week (sperm retention is said to help in Ayurvedic medicine), only using organic hair products, meditating twice a day for twenty minutes, abstaining from alcohol, eating more fish, keeping stress levels low and exercising- all in an effort to grow new hair or keep the hair I have left. Few things are more distressing to me than taking a shower and finding hair that has fallen out. I have none to spare.

I kick myself for the things I took for granted in my full-head-of-hair-youth.

I can’t afford to be a balding husband. I just can’t. It is too much of a blow to my sense of self. I have always been a man with a full head of wavy, thick hair. Who the hell would I be if I had more scalp showing than hair? The thought is terrifying even though I realize aging often involves coming to terms with these things.

For now, I need to wage a war against hair loss. I can’t imagine subjecting my beautiful, young wife to the insecurity of having a balding husband.

I need to go wash this stuff out of my hair then stand on my head for thirty minutes. I can’t be wasting my time writing. Writing isn’t any good for encouraging new hair growth.

My Hairstyle. Conversation #22.

Why do you waste your time having these ridiculous conversations with yourself?

I am starting to wonder. Not really sure why.

I wonder if it is even helping at all?

Not sure. How would I really know?

Not sure. There is no real marker in the sand or scale by which to weigh any personal growth progress.

Nope. I can only measure it against my life.

How about your hair?

What do you mean?

You should use your hair as a way to gage whether or not these conversations with yourself are helping.

How so?

Well, how do you feel about your hair?

I am frustrated with it. I don’t think I like it very much. I have always had a troubled relationship with my hair.

How so?

I feel like it is the root of most of my insecurities. I never think my hair looks cool enough. I am never really satisfied with my hair and am always comparing it to other men’s hair.

But you have nice hair.

Thanks but I have always been dissatisfied with my hairstyles. My hair is a great source of confusion for me.

In what way?

I just can’t decide on a hairstyle. I am as confused about my hairstyle as I am about my life. Maybe the two are interconnected some how.

Maybe.

I have always been dissatisfied with my hairstyles. Ever since I first started styling my hair many decades ago. My hairstyles have never felt good enough.

Why?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I am always changing my hairstyle. One day I have decided to grow my hair long. The next day I go and get a haircut. One day I decide I will part my hair to the side and keep it clean cut. The next day I want it to be wavy, long and wild. It is madness.

And now I notice that your hair is thinning a lot on top. You no longer have a full head of hair. Balding is happening. In a matter of years it may be noticeable.

I feel like the thinning is already noticeable. I use thickening hair products. I often ask my wife if my hair looks like it is thinning and she says yes.

Yikes.

I know. Its depressing. I am so used to having a full head of hair. I don’t like it. Someone told me to rub my fingernails together in order to stimulate hair growth. I have been doing this a lot. I want to be able to have a positive relationship with my hair before it is gone.

So what do you need to do in order to make that happen.

I need to chose a hairstyle and stick to it consistently for at least a year. This is what I think.

What hairstyle would that be? Clean cut and parted to the side or free and wavy?

I really want to watch porn right now.

See how the moment something gets stressful your brain wants pleasurable release?

Yes.

Besides, we are not talking about this now. Lets stay on topic, ok?

Ok.

I like the look of clean cut/parted to the side. It is very stylish especially with my beard.

Isn’t that the hip look these days?

Yes. It is. I notice that when my hair is styled this way I get more looks from girls. But it is a trendy look. I see other guys with this exact same look and that makes me uncomfortable. Especially when I see guys who are idiots but have the same beard and hairstyle as me. Makes me feel uneasy. I guess it kind of makes me feel like a follower but then I remind myself that even guys with longer, more anti-establishment hairstyles still have a hairstyle.

I see.

When my hair is free and wavy and longer I feel more like me. I feel like less of a trend or style follower this way. More at ease within myself. But the look is nowhere near as stylish. I feel like I look like a less-stylish-middle-aged-man. I like fashion and when my hair is less stylized I feel less well kept.

But you feel more comfortable inside?

I do.

How come?

Because when it is longer and more wavy and free it looks like less of a hairstyle. Less fashionable and trendy. I suppose this allows me to feel more independent. More in line with “indie” values. Less dependent on fashion and a monthly haircut. It is more of a I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck look. Things are just easier this way.

I see.

Also my hair is thinning so I like to have my hair long and wavy on top while I still have it.

Yes. But also you might want to enjoy being able to have a fashionable hairstyle before your hair thins too much also.

Yes. I realize my hair will not look nearly as stylish once it has thinned more on top. But maybe it is healthier for my hair to just let it be long and wavy on top. To not be weighed down under hair products and a combed down style.

Maybe. I have also heard the more hair you have the more alive you are because hair has nerve receptors that pick up various kinds of sensory stimulation.

Hmmm. So people with less hair are less alive?

In a sense, yes. They are just less stimulate by the experience of being alive. They have less of a sensory experience.

I see.

So what is it going to be?

I just don’t know. I like the idea of having a fashionable hairstyle. I like the idea of being clean cut and looking well put together if you know what I mean.

Yes.

But at the same time I like having a more free and wild look. I like having a full head of wavy hair unencumbered by a parted to the side hairstyle. But then again, I think I am more attractive to the ladies when my hair is more stylized.

Look. You are going to have to make a choice. This back and forth needs to come to and end. I want you to decide on a style now and stick to it for a year.

A year!

Yes. I want you to decide on a style and then manage and maintain it for one year. If you can do this, then you will know that these conversations with yourself are helping in some real and tangible way.

Remember when we talked about no longer killing flies?

Yes.

Remember that we agreed that I would no longer take the life of a fly?

Yes.

Well I am still killing flies.

Ok. I suppose that is one strike against the effectiveness of these conversations. Lets not talk about that now. Lets stick to the hair style topic. What is it going to be?

I hate having to go and get my haircut.

I understand.

If my hair is clean cut and parted to the side I do have to get haircuts more often.

Ok. Make the choice on what you feel best about inside yourself. Not on what others think or on how much interest you get from girls.

This is a tough decision.

Yes.

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So what is it going to be?

Ok. I will keep it short and parted to the side. I will maintain the more fashionable hairstyle. Parted to the side. Longer on top. Shorter on sides and back.

You sure?

Yeah. I like the idea of having a nice hairstyle. For a long time my hair was more long, wavy and I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck. Maybe it is time to let that look go and stick with something different.

I think it is hard for heterosexual men to have a fashionable look. Makes them feel insecure in their masculinity. Takes a bit more effort and inner strength for a heterosexual man to have style.

I agree.

Ok. So we have agreed that you are going to stick to the parted to the side, shorter hairstyle with a full beard?

Yes.

For one year you can not change this look. You need to stick with this.

Ok. Lets do it.

This is one way we will know if these conversations are working.

Yes.

Allright. You have chosen your hairstyle. Now stick to it.

Fair enough.

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But what if I want to change my mind?