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.


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About ryantpoole

Ryan T Poole is a former broadcast public relations specialist and morning show producer. His time is spent updating this blog, watching and analyzing TV and movies, reading, listening to music, taking care of his pets, and refocusing his energy into more productive outlets. He likes cold coffee, hot tea, long conversations, and obscure references.

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