Four Blades and Some Nivea
In 2012 I started shaving my head. I wish I could say I shaved my head for solidarity with a friend who was going through cancer treatments or that I lost my bet that the LA Kings wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup or that I failed at fire-juggling, but I did it for vanity. I am a vain, vain man. Long before I started my crusade against the gluten industry, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. Alopecia is when your body doesn’t recognize hair as hair and causes it not to grow and creates bald patches. Occasionally I would have some flare-ups and I would use a steroid lotion to restart hair growth. This was my pattern until I graduated college and lost my health insurance. After that, it became very expensive to keep regrowing my hair. Late in 2011 I was losing my hair in larger and larger patches, and it was staying out for longer periods, too. Towards the end of May in 2012 I was missing about 45 percent of my hair and I could no cover it. I gave in and decided to shave it all off. I went to my hairdresser where she shaved off the remaining clumps and I went home to shave off the rest of it with lady’s leg razor. Seriously, those things are a godsend when it comes to going over the awkward contours of a head. I was now bald and proud. Hell, I even went out and bought some new hats so I wouldn’t burn my scalp in the summer sun. I started to rely more on my confidence and personality because, let’s face it, I couldn’t fall back on my blond-ginger roots to get me out of trouble. It was a pretty speculator summer and autumn. I started experimenting with my hair growth again toward the beginning of winter and discovered that most of it had grown back in the bald patches. I could grow out my hair out again. For almost all of 2013, I had my hair back in some very interesting and awkward hairstyles, but it was my hair from natural growth – no steroids or creams to induce it. That was until late in the fall when I had a resurgence of alopecia and the patches got bigger and bigger. I had to shave my head again after readjusting to having hair. This looked like it was going to be my new cycle. I started a new ritual of shaving my head weekly, which has now gone on a year. I kept it clean with my beard and changed my appearance from bald with a beard to completely shaven to a bald head with a mustache (with or without sideburns), it didn’t matter, I just wanted to keep changing my limited look. However, I was getting frustrated that no new hair had grown in the several months following my weekly ritual shearing. I went to a new dermatologist for suggestions and treatment. She put me a cream that just had to be left on for 30 minutes and washed off after applying it to the scalp. That was back in September and now in a few short months I’m already seeing hair growth and feeling a lot more optimistic about my scalp health. For the first time in nearly a year, I have hair in new places on my scalp and it’s only getting better. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to get a haircut, which sounds like a bizarre aspiration for a 26-year-old, but I really wanna be warm this winter.