It’s one of the first things we see in a man: the hair on his head – or the lack thereof. We coax it, we coiff it, we gel it, we cut it, we shave it, we pull it,we love it, we hate it – one way or the other, hair pervades our lives. Think not? Think again.
Firstly, I must confess: I have lousy hair. Or, rather, I have way less of it than I would care to have. Yes, I am folically challenged. And it pisses me off like few things do. I actually had great hair when I was young and as a teen. Ladies in salons used to swoon at my luscious locks. Then I moved to a small town in Lancashire to study and, suddenly, my hair thinned at an alarming rate (moving to a small town in Lancashire will do that to you). Tons of lotions and potions later (Regaine, anyone?) and umpteen attempts at ‘clever’ haircuts to disguise my lazy follicles and still I know too well: I have crappy hair and nothing natural is going to change that.
I don’t envy the guy with a fancy car. I don’t envy the guy with a big, swanky house. Or the guy with lots of money in the bank. Or the guy with the perfect body. Thankfully, none of those are the type of envy that I possess. But let a guy cross my path with a great head of hair (you know – that type of hair that looks terrific whether too long or gelled or wet or even if the guy just rolled out of bed) and I want to kick him in the gut and quickly transplant all of his hair onto my own head! Yip, it’s that twisted. Such is my humongous envy of guys who have really great hair. And I know that I am not alone in that type of follicle envy.
For all of you guys reading this who know that you have great hair, just know this: your blasé attitude about your hair (“oh, you mean my great hair…oh, yeah, it’s nothing special”) kids no one. Especially those of us who are secretly hating you with every fiber of our being because you happen to have hair that is just perfect and so plentiful. It’s just so bloody unfair, right? And don’t you just love those people (men and women, older and younger alike) who think they have the right to point at your hair (or, worse still, ruffle what little hair you have), wink at you and say something inane like, “Oooohhh, seems like we’re experiencing some male pattern baldness there, hey?” Oh, thank you for pointing that out to me (or ruffling what little hair I have), because I had no idea that my hair is merely fine and not so fine. Punching that patronizing twat would surely be the most excusable form of grievous bodily harm, right?
Whatever our hair type and our relationship with hair is (and you can see mine is very healthy), the hair (or not) on our head is important to most of us. Why then do men’s hair salons and barber shops continue to proliferate and do such roaring business? Why then do so many men spend literally hours over the period of a year preening and teasing and styling away at their hair? And why is it that ‘having a bad hair day’ is somehow the exclusive domain of women? The legendary Jim Morrison was once quoted as saying that, “Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts.” Jeez, and that’s by one of the most iconic, handsome and seriously cool guys of the 20th century. And he had superb hair (the bastard). Imagine how me and my fellow fellers with fallow hair feel when we have a bad haircut day!
The way a man wears his hair says a lot about him. Untidy and unkempt may define a man as unpretentious but that lack of self-grooming may be off-putting to some. Likewise, the man who is uber-pedantic about his coif and never has a hair out of place may come across as perfectionist but also as anally retentive and equally unsexy. And don’t let the guy who shaves his head fool you. It may look sexy and virile to some but that’s as much a statement about hair as any haircut.
And so I go on fretting about my hair and even, ridiculously, spending money on it! Because even my little hair seems better when it’s been cut and styled and loved a little. I end with this quip by Sam Ewing: “Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.” Me and my few strands of remaining hair so identify with that.