Hair Care

By Daniel Geiger

Products have been created, gimmicks touted, procedures attempted – all for the purpose of recreating what so many unfortunate people have lost and continue to lose: their hair. Whatever way you paint it – man or woman, famous or not, old or young – baldness is anything but a revered quality in American society. Luckily, there is hope for those who are willing to put in the energy. What one man has found is that there is a product out there that really is what it promises to be. He’ll be periodically updating our BN readers about his experience with Rogaine, starting in this month’s issue. So whether you suffer from it yourself, you see it happening in your young son, or your boyfriend is starting to pathetically comb over strands in vain; we’re letting you know you’re not alone. In a time when it seems hard to save anything, we want you to know you can still save your hair. – KH

I was at a luncheon for work the other day and I saw him. I saw me.

Okay, the guy didn’t have the same broad shoulders, boyish good looks and tasteful, if not slightly metrosexual, wardrobe. To be fair it’s not often you find all three of those qualities wrapped up in the same package. Just ask my girlfriend. Or my mother. Okay but seriously folks, this guy’s hair loss looked eerily familiar.

He had that same type of patchiness I could see faintly (or not so faintly) emerging on my own scalp. He even had the same thin strip of hair absurdly clinging on at the hairline. What’s up with that? If I’m going to go bald at least let it be symmetrical. My mom has tried to make me feel better by telling me that I can always just get a buzzer and shave it all off if it gets too bad. Sorry mom, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

The point is that although baldness follows certain distinct patterns, it can actually also be pretty unique among individuals. For me that uniqueness acted insidiously, clouding my decision to do something about it. After all it’s hard to look at someone who’s gone bald and take their condition as a call for action if you think that your hair loss will progress along a far more forgiving course.

Take my grandfather for instance. The guy died before I was born but in pictures you can see how far his hairline had receded by the time he was in his 20s. Yet he had plenty of hair on the apex of his head, even later in life, and there was something kind of handsome and distinguished about it.

To think that there was a time when I actually thought that maybe I too wouldn’t look half bad with less hair! But then again denial is a part of most diseases for which there is no sure and easy cure.

My friend at the luncheon gave me what I feel is a much more accurate and startling picture of what the future would have held. I say “would have” because I started using Rogaine Foam a few months ago. With diligent and liberal application, I’m pretty sure that it has put my hair loss on hold, but I’ll be tracking that progress both here and in my bathroom mirror over the coming months to reveal what the magic foam really does. While I haven’t yet seen it regenerate hair that had already been lost, it has definitely revitalized and thickened what’s left.

Had I started earlier, it would have likely preserved even more of my hair. But I’m not complaining. I still have more than enough up top to qualify as a man who has a full head of hair, even if it has thinned in places.

As for my friend at the luncheon though, I’m sorry, but it’s time to get out the buzzer.

Daniel Geiger is a reporter, musician and artist living in New York City.

Originally published February 2009
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