Let It Shine 

There's nothing uglier than a bald-headed man in denial

There's nothing uglier than a bald-headed man in denial

Over the weekend, I watched the election contest trial down in Florida. After two straight days of watching high-priced lawyers trying to convince people that they have The Truth, I’ve decided: I can’t trust a man who is in denial about his hair.

I don’t want to pick on any lawyer in particular. Truth is, I don’t have to. Judge Sauls’ courtroom was filled with men who tortured their hair with picks, combs, curlers, hair dryers, hot rollers, gels—and, hell, probably axle grease and Super Glue. All this to make it look like they’ve still got their luxuriant schoolboy heads o’ hair.

You men with tortured hair, listen to me: The tricks ain’t working. You might be able to fool yourself in front of the bathroom mirror, but when you get out in some bright light, work up a sweat, and walk through a breeze, game’s over. The world knows you are a bald-headed man in denial. That hurts your credibility. People know that if you lie to yourself about your own hair, the truth ain’t in you.

Understand, I’m not making fun of bald-headed men. I know that if a man lives long enough, odds are his hair will fall out, his belly will blow over his belt, his prostate gland will grow to the size of a Nerf football, and he’ll have a bypass scar. Believe me, I’ve got empathy.

All I’m saying is that if you are bald-headed, then be bald-headed.

Here’s my own personal plan for when and if I go bald: I will shave my dome, ease down to the tanning salon and tan my scalp to match my face, then polish it so it shines. If I’m going to walk down the street bald-headed, I want people to say, “That is one bold bald-headed sumbitch.”

It’s not for me to tell my fellow men how to do their personal grooming. I walk out the door every day pretty much ungroomed. If it weren’t for the belt and the pockets, people might think I was wearing pajamas. In fact, I have gone around in pajamas. Some years back, I had to paint the trim on my house, and I didn’t have any painting clothes to wear. So I found a pair of old pajamas and put them on.

Wouldn’t you know, I ran out of paint and had to go buy more. I wasn’t about to change clothes twice, so I just headed for the Sherwin-Williams store wearing my paint-splattered pajamas. Well, you should’ve seen the looks I got. There I was, a big, surly, sweaty man in pajamas, all dotted and smeared with blood-red paint. I heard car doors locking all around me. People got out of my way like I was on fire. And I got extra-prompt service at the paint store. I didn’t figure it out until the end of the day, when I caught a look at myself in the bathroom mirror.

Anyhow, back to the hair. Let me gently offer some guidelines:

1. If there’s a place on your head where the hairs are as far apart as guitar strings, don’t try to goop those hairs together. Shave ’em off.

2. Don’t use long hair to cover up places where there’s no hair. When you’re down to substituting length for volume, it’s time to shave.

3. Corollary to No. 2: If you’re horseshoe bald, don’t even consider a part. Parts lead to combovers, and combovers lead to ridicule. Just shave your head clean, all the way out to the horseshoe.

4. If the hair’s gone to about the middle of your head, don’t comb it up tall. Keep it low. Exception: TV preachers. Y’all go ahead and comb that mid-head hair up tall. It works for you.

5. No long hair in back. Do not even consider the bald-headed mullet. That’s jailhouse hair.

6. No teasing! You’re a man, for cryin’ out loud. Men do not tease their hair, and they don’t let anybody else tease it either. I’m amazed that I have to explain this.

Maybe it’s just me, but before I’d go the combover or teasing route, I’d wear Devo-style plastic pompadour hair or paint-on hair. I’ll tell you what else I might do: I might just get a whole-head hair tattoo. With the extra space on my size-8 dome, an able tattoo artist ought to be able to create the illusion of an inch or two of real hair.

Oh, one last thing: While you’re checking your hair, you might as well check your pants size. Stand sideways in front of a mirror and look for belly lop-over. If you’ve got more than a half-inch of lop-over, it’s time for new pants. There’s no point in wearing a 32 when your belly has made you a 36. People will make fun of you. In fact, when wife Brenda sees a man with serious belly lop-over, she pokes me in the ribs and whispers, “Still wears a 32.”

I know, it’s a hard thing to face. It’s happened to me more than once. Best thing I can offer is: Buy Dockers. The waistband is about 2 inches bigger than the advertised size. I know that makes me feel better.

Visit Walter Jowers’ Web site at http://www.housesenseinc.com, or e-mail him at walter.jowers@nashville.com.


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