Over the years, you will likely have had a tumultuous relationship with your hair. From those halcyon days of ruffled schoolboy styles to the prim and proper first-day-at-the-office cut, there will have been good times. And from the moments when irreversible bed head threatened the success of a date, to the times when stubborn flyaways have seen you literally tear your hair out, there will have been bad.
Despite these ups and downs, you probably always thought that you’d make it – survive the odd hair-raising argument and stay together, grey but happy, until the end. But, one morning, after a particularly thorough combing, you’ll find yourself staring into a mirror under the cold hard bathroom light and reach the realisation that it’s over. Your hairs are in the sink and the cards are on the table: you’re going bald.
However, before you let this follicular fiasco take hold – and send you spiralling down through the five stages of hairy despairy grief – take stock of the situation. This isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s anything but. Going bald is a second chance, an opportunity to transition into a new style and period of your life with both gusto and grace.
Why am I balding?
Firstly, before you flip your wig, try to identify why you are balding. If your father before you, his father before him and his father before him all began to lose their locks around your current age, then the likelihood is that your fate is fait accompli. So why not ask your relatives how they dealt with the situation? If you share genes, you’ll have shared this challenge, and your follicularly-challenged forefathers may be hiding some marvellous tricks and tips they have refined over time.
However, if you appear to be the first in your family to go prematurely bald, take a look at your wider life. Hair loss can be attributed to anything from stress to particular hairstyles (the man-bun is especially bad), so it may be time to – both literally and metaphorically – let your hair down to combat baldness.
How can I slow the process down?
If you’ve taken out your man bun (you should anyway, they’re terrible) and de-stressed, but still find that your hair is falling out, further steps can be taken to slow the process.
Thickening shampoos can help hide the appearance of thinning hair, and a cleansing conditioner can help unblock clogged follicles which may be impeding growth. German haircare brand Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo has patented skin activators and C1 to help stimulate hair growth (and has quickly seen itself as a cabinet keep-stay for many men).
Facial hair also proves a surprisingly effective tool to distract from your looming hair loss. So be it a statement ‘stache or a big bushy beard, grow hair elsewhere and eyes will be drawn away from your receding crown.
How can I hide my baldness?
Certain hairstyles will do wonders for your thinning thatch. Fluffy layering is a sure-fire way to keep your hair looking luscious, and the buzz cut is a smooth and simple way to embrace your baldness without giving up hair completely. Of course, reaching for the razor is always an option, but – regardless of what many men think – it’s not always the best idea to go full-dome as soon as your hair starts dropping. Who knows what shape head might be under there?
But as strongly as we’d advise against removing everything from your head, we’d also suggest you don’t add anything either. Becoming the man who wears a hat at all times will do nothing to save your image – even if it’s a particularly natty flat cap. And did someone say toupee? Because if they did, then they should take a long hard look at themselves.
The comb-over, another common mistake, will only work for you if you’ve been rocking it your entire life – meaning no-one will suspect that only now is it hiding a shiny, bald scalp. But, to pull this deception off successfully would take some enviable forward planning and top-notch daily styling.
Instead, the best way to go bald gracefully is to, at first, ignore that it’s even happening. After a little while you can begin altering or tailoring your haircut to make the best of a bald situation. And finally, when you start losing so much hair that you look like a tonsured monk, or Gollum, then it’s time to whip off any remaining wisps and learn to love whatever head shape has been lurking below your hairline all these years.
When you think about it, the benefits that come with being bald are numerous. You may feel like your scalp has betrayed you, but whilst others are spending money on expensive hair products or avoiding fedoras for fear of hat hair, you can hold your shiny head high. For you’re statistically going to look ten years younger and ten times tougher than other men, and fretful thoughts of bed hair, dandruff or going grey will never pass through your hairless head again. Result.