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I Didn't Tear My Hair Out When I Started Going Bald

I was the human version of one of those Sphynx cats.

29/08/2016 11:06 AM AEST | Updated August 29, 2016 16:03
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"You have minimal styling options when you are bald."

It's been years since I've visited a barber.

You are probably imagining me slumped over my laptop, fingers poking out onto my keyboard through a curtain of hair. You've assumed that I am refusing to cut it lest I lose my writing abilities like some sort of blogging Samson.

But the real reason I haven't paid a visit to a haircutter is that, on my head, there be no hair to cut. Yes -- I know I am missing out. I feel it. The whole process of getting your hair cut at a barber is so cool now with all the beers, Instagramming and bravado.

When I was a kid, a barber was just a creepy guy who sat you in a chair, told you weird stories about amputations and charged you $10 to cut your ear.

These days, barbers are cool. Some of my friends have become them as a proper job, not just as a way to meet like-minded men. They all have tattoos still, but in a cool way -- not as a souvenir from some stint in prison or an unwanted war.

I see these barbers when I live vicariously through my son's hair. He's young, but he has a wavy set of locks that takes me back to my golden years when I was using hair gel like a Kardashian uses Snapchat.

I lost my hair young -- in my early twenties. When I tell people, they often react as if I've told them the love of my life died on our honeymoon. I did finally shave my head on our honeymoon, after hopelessly trying to convince myself that my wife wouldn't notice my thinning hairline just long enough to marry me.

I'm not sad about my baldness. I often look back on all the great times I had with my hair and smile. They way I look at it is this; my hair did really well and went into an early retirement. It was like a successful undercut app developer.

But some days, I'll be driving with the windows down and I'll miss that feeling of the wind blowing through what was once a dark forest of follicles. Now the air just flows across my scalp like wind over desert sands.

What I miss more than the hair is the product you can put in it. There is a joy that goes with a good new hairstyle and that only comes from the application of product.

Often I find myself lost in the aisles at supermarkets looking at all the hair gel, mud, clay, cement, spray and mortar. My wife will often wonder why I take so long to do the shopping. I tell her that the queues were crazy long, but the reality is that I spent an hour smelling the Men's Hairstyling range. These new products smell like muesli for your hair. From apricots to cinnamon, lychee to coconut and just a pinch of sleazy divorcee.

But this is a world lost to me. You have minimal styling options when you are bald. For a bald man, hairstyling is just about millimetres. Balancing the fuzz'n'buzz on your face and head like a skilled tradesman.

My constant styling dilemma is whether to go the #1 clipper in winter or just let it grow out and end up looking like a regional appliance store salesman. Last year we went on a tropical holiday and I shaved it completely off with a razor, like an Olympic swimmer preparing for an event. I was the human version of one of those Sphynx cats.

Vladimir Pirogov / Reuters
Lach on holiday in 2015.

The only style option I have above the shoulders now is the length of my stubble. Luckily, growing the occasional beard gives me options and a slight '90s action hero look that always goes better with a denim jacket.

The occasional beard option is slowing disappearing though, as I have noticed a few grey hairs slipping into the mix. I feel the only choice I have left is to grow the tuft of hair at the back into a ponytail, wait for it to join my beard in the land of grey and start to embrace the ceramics teacher look. Now, if I can just find some oversized cardigans and a solid supply of community arts openings I'll be set.

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