It’s only when we no longer need someone that we can have a real relationship with them, and so too, with hair and it’s disappearance. Only when a man loses his hair can he truly appreciate it: one of the true and few ironic tragedies of above-brow human geography and an explanation, to some degree, of the New Bald philosophy: a state of mind that urges the rest of the body to clean up its act. It’s a kind of infectious Zen-like observance of grooming and ritual. When today’s man loses his hair he doesn’t simply paste limp strands across his greasy head, he doesn’t spend his days downloading vampire porn, fiddling with his ringtone – rather, it’s his wake up call, his moment of absolute clarity, his rebirth.
New Bald can be traced as far back as the early 90s, with Andre Agassi and Bruce Willis blazing an imitable, stubbly trail through the unsuspecting and complacent world of the non-balds. These anti-Sampsons are examples to the rest of us – hairless heroes, warriors beyond the comb who have taken what life has given them, and polished it.
New Bald, in effect, transposes the style efforts usually drained by attention to the hair and disseminates it throughout the rest of the body, manifesting itself in attention to detail: choice of glasses (rimmed), suits (sharp), shoes (shiny) and, of course, a type of facial hair that demands a prosperous media career. New Bald can be another shot at cool. Forget the shaggy old bastard you used to service with a ruffle in the morning. Now you’ll settle for nothing less than scented oils and Art Deco sideburns. It’s hell or be damned time: what have you got to lose? Your hair? No – you’re bald, remember?
Don’t be fooled though, Old Bald still has a stronghold – a flabby grasp on the weak pulse of hair loss: Sven Goran Eriksson, Larry David, Jack Nicholson. These men manage to hold their own in the world with either charisma or bizarre and inexplicable sexual powers. In most cases, however, Old Bald speaks of perversion, indecision and anxiety. It’s a hairstate to be avoided. Indeed, it can be quite a minefield and the balding man must be careful to navigate wisely or find himself stranded in the netherworld patrolled by David Gest with his blue-black haircloud, Calum Best with his near-arse hairline, Jimmy White with his spray-painted thatch and the gold-plated hair-holocaust denier Donald Trump, with his skunk-tail comb-over. But the erosion will tell, stripping them slowly of that which they hold too dear. Will these men, showing such insecurity in the transition, have what it takes to make that final decision? I think not. Trump’s ‘hair’ will remain even as the buzzards pick his skeleton clean.
If contemplating your next step along the path to baldness – deciding whether or not to seek out some elixir or magical potion – you might be interested to know that eunuchs, apparently, develop a natural immunity to androgenetic alopecia, castration somehow locking their testosterone in a feedback loop of eternal follicle recurrence. But a good eunuch, as we all know, is hard to find and there are many other treatments for baldness – follicular relocation, hair plugs, micro-grafting, implantation, standing under a tall man with a beard – but none will bring the peace that can be found in acceptance, in choosing (that mark of humanity) the respectful trim or, the real deal, going for the big shave.
No man is an island but that hasn’t stopped Alan Shearer and Steve McClaren growing isolated tufts amid their oceans of bald skull-skin. Its not just spluttering clods, however, who suffer from such delusions, even an expressive, articulate genius such as Zinedine Zidane took an eternity to understand that ‘the frazzled monk’ was not a look to be worn anywhere beyond the asylums of Marseille. Take note of what happened when he relented to the logic of taste and reached for the razor: nothing less than a renaissance, dragging the French team all the way to the World Cup final. This kind of baldness of intent is awfully common in the sporting arena: Del Piero and Roy Keane both periodically shaved their heads to reassert their desire. Even Jose Mourinhio, at the start of the season, snarled that his freshly shaven bonce was his ‘war haircut’. These men, each blessed with a fine mane, have recognized the streamlined benefits that hairlessness can bring. Of course, it can also signify mental breakdown, self-harm and a point of no return – see Colonel Kurtz or Britney Spears for an illustration of this.
So, if you’re looking for a more defined look, and want to avoid being mistaken for an indecisive fascist, and think you’re finally ready for the grace that comes with maturity, drop into Murdock’s for advice. Check out the Brave Soldier Solar Shield and the Malin and Goetz Vitamin E Moisturiser for that smooth transition from the old hairy monster to the new aerodynamic you.
If you have any other tips for maintaining a smooth dome, let us know in the comments section.