|Whoever said "In life, death and taxes are inevitable" was probably a balding man in denial. As a man who is currently going through this process and watching his friends go through this, the balding process can be categorized into 7 stages. Why seven you ask? Having read many books by management gurus (or quacks), I learnt that 7 stages is more powerful than any other number. This blog post will get more validity because its a seven stage process. The seven stages are described below.
1. Denial - For most men, the balding process probably starts in their late 30s to late 40s. One tends to notice that they are losing their hair but most choose to live in denial. Perhaps, you can feel the barber gingerly cutting the hair on certain parts of your head, perhaps the water feels more in touch with the skin on your head or perhaps you can see your hair line receding in your pictures. You notice this with all your friends, but when it comes to you "Nah! It cannot be happening to me".
2. Slow Acceptance - Within a few months, its undeniable that its happening to you. The proof is more clear. The flash reflecting off your forehead in pictures is hard to deny that the balding process is well under way. Its a tough pill to swallow but you look around at your friends and that probably is the most comforting factor.
3. Cover up phase - Somewhere between the acceptance and the next phase, there is a phase of trying to cover up. This is typically achieved by wearing a cap to every event no matter how inappropriate it is. Its your brother's wedding day and everyone is wearing their best attire but you show up there with your Manchester United cap. That cap just becomes a part of you. Probably the worst prank anyone can play on you is to steal your hat.
4. Home Remedies - Once we have begun to accept that the balding process has started, its time to start some home remedies. These range from applying various types of oils, rubbing of lemon juice, followed by various types of massages. Heck, even rubbing beer is apparently a cure. Though I think many men will prefer drinking it and going bald than wasting it on their hair. If those natural remedies do not work, the market has various products like Rogaine to help.
5. Surgery, Wigs and Other Remedies - If those home remedies still does not stop the flow then many folks resort to expensive surgery or some medical options. You will always find a cure for baldness advertisement in any publication these days, be it surgery, wigs or some other procedure. Of course, Dr Batra is legendary in India, perhaps more for making you want to pull your hair out due to his SMS messages than having any success in growing your hair. If you are skeptical of these procedures, take a look at Harsha Bhogle who may be proof that there is some hope there.
6. Reluctant Acceptance - Once you have exhausted the home remedies and surgeries, one has no option but to accept this reality. You may still continue to wear that hat everywhere, but you tend to take it off occasionally. You look straight at the camera, not at some weird angles that appear to make it look like you have more hair. You feel better than all your friends are in the same boat and you reluctantly accept it.
7. Bald acceptance - The final stage is bold acceptance of the baldness (although I think in the age of political correctness, we should be called follically challenged). Once you have attained "Nirvana", you accept your pate and move on with life, probably never thinking of all the stages you went through to get here. To those men that go straight to the final stage, I salute you but for the rest of us mortals, hope springs eternal.
Ladies, Balding is probably the male equivalent of menopause, so yes, we do have our own mid-life issues.
Life Tip: Never complain about your greying problems to a balding man.
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