No Vacancy

I'm Making Peace With Male Pattern Baldness And Becoming A Bald King

Losing hair at a young age may seem like a cruel injustice, but there is hope.

Still from The King And I. Courtesy of Twentieth Century Studios.


No Vacancy is a monthly column on often-overlooked aspects of the American life. While roadside hotels and remote estate sales may not be the flashy parts of modern life, they are inextricable from American culture.

If you were to use the internet as a guide for “what to do if you are losing your hair,” you would ultimately conclude that you need to shave your head, go to the gym, and adopt an alpha mindset. Follow these three simple steps, leave behind pesky superficiality, and evolve into the most chad-looking 27-year-old that has ever existed. Meanwhile, companies such as Hims will tell you there is a way to get your hair back with an arsenal of sprays, shampoos, and gummies. So which way is it, balding man?

Bald-induced feelings of despair will have you clinging to clippers, reaching for the Rogaine, or even booking a ticket to Istanbul and getting a cheap hair transplant procedure. But what if you want to avoid shaving your head or paying for remedies that require repeated applications until you croak? Well, there are options! As a fellow balder, let me help you.

First, we must deal with losing our hair on a philosophical level. To transcend the plight of early-onset balding, you must accept that life is indifferent to your thinning crown. So why should you care? Of course, to the individual, it may seem like everyone is clocking your bald spot and aiming to thwart your love life, career, and credit score based on how much hair you have. The reality is, most people do not care; if they do, they should swiftly be cast aside. This philosophy will likely not come easily or with great speed. It needs to be cultivated through self-reflection and, of course, by re-reading this article daily for affirmation. If you walk in the woods, do the trees or birds care if you are balding? No, and neither will your friends or lovers.

“To transcend the plight of early-onset balding, you must accept that life is indifferent to your thinning crown. So why should you care?”

Look at Ronald Reagan. A beautiful head of hair, but hated by many around the globe. Contrast him with Wallace Shawn, bald as an egg on top but with a nice side shrubbery— he could not be more beloved! An important semantic distinction to make when you are a young balder is the difference between “bald” and “balding.” When you get to old age, you’ll likely be totally bald, but just because you have some loss doesn’t mean it’s a DEFCON 5 alert to take drastic measures. If you still have decent coverage, you are allowed to work with it. The mantra of the masses will be “Let it go, bro,” but consider who this is coming from. Assholes! Feeble-minded cowards who run at the first sign of trouble.

What is a young man to do? If you have a newsboy cap in your “cart” do not check out yet! Let’s explore some options first.

Bleach your hair. Why not bring a little whimsy into your life? Get goofy with it. This applies to the brunettes. Let it grow to around an inch. Go to a beauty store and purchase some bleach and a developer. Invite your crush over and play some Joni Mitchell while your scalp singes. The result will be beautiful! Then, as your roots grow, you will look like the latest indie musician with a glowing Pitchfork review.

“An important semantic distinction to make when you are a young balder is the difference between 'bald' and 'balding.'”

Try letting it grow out. Maybe you have been keeping it clean cut at around the 0-3 clip guard length. Take six months and see what comes of it. You may like how you look! It takes a certain grit to rock this look; some people may take you aside and inquire about your mental state. They may even say, “let it go, bro”, but you tell them, “I already have!” If it gets long enough, you could even try slicking it back with some pomade and go for the debonair look.

Whatever route you take, remember there are other aspects that make you, you. Balding early is not the end. In fact, it is just the start. Your 20s and 30s should be about experiencing the world so you can start to understand it. Spending too much time and energy fussing with your hair can poison that opportunity. Take this time to revamp your wardrobe, read novels that expand your understanding of what it means to be human, and develop interests that expose you to new people and new ideas. Strive to achieve that rich inner life everyone seems to be talking about. You do not have to join the monastery just yet.

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