7th October 2016
Even more amazing was the fact that before scissors got anywhere near my head, a stranger would take me to a seat, wrap a fluffy towel around my neck, run water and fingers through my barnet, and gently massage my scalp with soapy suds of loveliness.
Come the 1980s I was my own young man. No one knew better than me, and I knew there was nothing finer on the head of a trendy gent than a soft rock mullet. Spikey on top, shaved at the sides and long at the back. What a catch.
Hello 1990s. Hello university. Hello clippers. As a student with no money, the communal clippers became the go-to solution to the hairy problem. Fluffy towels and Radio 2 gave way to the student kitchen and discussions about whether we could sell our clippings to raise beer money.
And then the folic world fell off a cliff edge – a definite parting appeared. I got a job and attempted to grow back my lion-like mane only to discover that my once-thick and lush head bush now resembled the centre court at Wimbledon on finals’ day. Hair today, gone tomorrow. All those wasted years. No perm, colour and set for me.
The hair was going and I had a choice to make. Should I save it or shave it? I chose aerodynamics. I chose solar power. I chose to embrace the baldness and stand resplendent in shiny glory. But it could have been so different. I could have clung on to my wisps, encouraged growth above my ears and neck, possibly with a view to creating a little roof à la the Millennium Stadium. If I were more of a sculptor or builder I could have done a Trump.
But I didn’t and do you know why? I like being bald. I like feeling the wind on my skin and seeing my ears unencumbered by the vagaries of a hairdo. I am a shiny happy person.
A word of caution, however. Some of you may have noticed I have a very round head and a very ‘full’ face. It’s a head like a pale water melon, or a small hot air balloon. Beware the Bic razor if your head is more of a little honeydew melon or a quail egg – a hat might be best.
But for all you baldies in business I have a message for you. Don’t be embarrassed or saddened by your lack of scalp carpet. Don’t fear those men with their big hair and their wax products. Stay strong, be proud. If you see a fellow baldie in the street, give him a little nod of approval and let him know he’s not alone. And above all, take pride in the fact that you’ve not paid £25 for a hair cut, that when you go on holiday you only need to pack shower gel, that when it rains you don’t care. It’s all about the small victories.
Okay, I obviously have some compensatory issues going on, but I’ll be tackling beards, moustaches and general facial furniture another time. But for now, and with a nod to one of seminal ’80s band The Smiths’ finest songs, “Slapheads of the world, unite and take over.”