I am balding and no one cares (3 Minute read)
This is the first time I provide an in depth play by play commentary of one of my biggest insecurities. Enter MALE PATTERN BALDING.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
Stuff that. Let’s keep it real. Let me show you some of MY “behind-the-scenes”.
I am 27 years old. My hair started falling out when I was 16. There, I said it!
It’s funny because I was known for having a massive afro at school. Everyone loved it. I used to bounce my hand on my head like a basketball. Then my afro became less bouncy. It was subtle at first. Then it became more like bouncing my hand on a beanbag.
I was freaking out. “Oh no, I’m too young to die…everyone’s going to make fun of me…no one will marry a bald 25 year old”.
Every possible solution was explored.
I still remember seeing a Dermatologist to have a biopsy taken from my scalp. Ironically, I still have the scar from the biopsy and no hair grows from that area. I remember sitting in that Dermatologist’s room and him trying to sell me this powder to rub into my hair. The powder was not purchased.
The search continued. Say hello to Ashley Martin. You may have heard of these guys from the advertisement on TV (if anyone still watches TV) of this guy in a white doctor’s coat talking about exceptional hair regrowth results. To be fair, it worked. It was expensive but, it worked. For a few years, I took a tablet every day and I put drops in my hair an hour before I slept every night. At the back of my head, I was suspicious about any long term side effects of taking these medications for an undetermined amount of time but, it worked. So I kept taking it.
I still remember one of my first review visits where the guy from Ashley and Martin told me “your hair looks healthy now…you don’t look like an old man anymore”. I agree that my hair looked healthy but, the “old man” comment seemed a bit unnecessary. It’s probably not good practice to fuel other people’s insecurities. However, you can’t change other people. You can only change your own perception of things.
About 9 months ago, I stopped all the treatment.
I was sick of remembering to take a tablet every day and because the drops I put in my hair were to be left overnight, all my pillowcases had this yellow stain. But more than that, I had just started promoting healthy living and I wasn’t sure if there were any long term side effects of the medications I was taking.
Just before I stopped the treatment, I did something that terrified me. I shaved my head. I wanted to see what I would look like if I went bald. My findings: I looked alright. For the people that had never met me, they didn’t think even twice about my bald head. What a powerful lesson to learn. Let me repeat this because I think it’s important; they didn’t even think even twice about my bald head. They didn’t care.
I was warned that if I stopped the medications my hair would fall out in a hurry. They weren’t kidding. Within about 9 months, I have developed a beautiful bald spot and people are starting to notice. Welcome self doubt and self consciousness. I worry about people seeing it. Especially when I am sitting down or I bend forward, I worry that people can see it.
Recently, I have been trying to change my mindset. I don’t think it’s healthy to extract any sense of self esteem or self confidence from things that I can’t control. My hair falling out should not have ANY impact on how I feel. I used to think to myself “how can I delay my balding?”. Now I am trying to think , “I am grateful for my bald spot as it gives me the opportunity to develop a powerful skill; the skill of dealing with insecurities”. Hopefully a skill I can pass on to my kids and maybe even some of my readers.
I am still self conscious. I am getting better though. It will be tough but secretly I am looking forward to shaving my head. I feel like my bald head and my winning smile will make a sensational combination.
If you ever doubt yourself, remember this.
“When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realise no one was ever thinking about you in the first place” – Winston Churchill
Be kind to yourself and don’t take things so seriously. This is still a work in progress so please feel free to use this post as a platform to share your tips on how you have dealt with your own insecurities. Please share this post if you think someone can gain some value from it and perhaps take their first step towards embracing their insecurities.
“If you are insecure about something, just remember that no one cares anyway” – Dr G
As always don’t do drugs, stay in school and if you are a balding, think about how much money you will save on haircuts.