Despite outward appearances (confident and self-assured), the loss of my hair was a psychological blow to my self esteem. At the time, I was desperate to get my hair back as I linked it directly to my attractiveness to others. I didn’t go completely bald, but I started to have a "Colosseum" look i.e. the top becoming more bare and the sides growing as usual.
Photo by Sholto Ramsay on Unsplash
Thirty years have passed since I last went to a barber, as I decided to sport a bald look. The years have been kind, but recently I have been intrigued by the phenomena that is male weaves (or hair replacement units or hair systems). I am amazed at the transformative effect both physically and mentally of having a bit of hair, placed on top of the head, has on the
growing number of men who have gone through the procedure.
Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash
I didn’t like the idea of a surgical procedure. For me it would take too long to be effective and there was the risk of infection and scarring. Also, I had the nagging thought that anyone looking at me would know that I had “that procedure”.
But could a non-surgical procedure be a chance to visit my barber after such a long hiatus?
After seeing a few videos I started to think of the advantages:-
Limitless styling possibilities: I could get practically any hair colour, style, density, length or texture to suit my mood/taste.
Hardly any side effects: As a non-surgical procedure, the only possible side effect is an allergic reaction to the use of the adhesive to stick the hairpiece to my scalp.
Quick results: The procedure brings immediate results unlike surgical hair transplants or medications; I wouldn't need to wait for up to 7 months to get visible results.
Reversible: Surgeries are permanent in nature. If I didn't like the results, I'd be stuck. Weaves are temporary, I could easily change it or stop using one.
Guaranteed results: A weave works for every person irrespective of the reasons behind their hair loss or the degree of their hair loss. While in some cases of a lot of hair loss, surgery may not be workable.
Not dependent on donor hair: Hair transplant requires the removal of hair follicles from one part of the body, known as donor hair, to a bald part of the body. Surgery may not be an option if there are insufficient healthy donor hair follicles. Weave techniques, on the other hand, do not rely on your hair and are probably the best option for people with no donor hair.
More affordable than surgery: A surgical hair transplant procedure can cost you up to £10,000, If you are not satisfied with the results, another hair transplant may be the only option. A weave can cost anywhere between £200 and £1,500 per procedure. Note, it's per visit, so depending on how often you go and what you're getting done, costs could add up to a lot more.
Photo by Amadej Tauses on Unsplash
I imagine now my fellow baldies reaching for their computers and searching for the nearest hair replacement operative, but hold on, there are some good reasons why hair replacement systems may not be the best option.
Regular maintenance: Whatever your hair situation, if you wish to look well-coiffed, a regular maintenance regimen is necessary to keep up with the natural effect. All hair transplants
require a lifelong commitment to hair care, including regular cuts of your naturally growing hair.
Repeat purchasing: Hair replacement is not a one-time investment, with top quality hair replacement systems lasting up to 5 months if correctly cared for. However, no matter how well you look after your unit a replacement will be required.
Okay, so there’s only a couple of drawbacks to going with a non-surgical hair replacement system so why not go for it?
Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash
The advantages of being bald
Save time and money: Shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes, creams and the hairdresser – being a cost-conscious man, these expenses add up. Another great advantage is saving time: I don’t need to spend hours styling my hair or ages drying my hair after a shower.
Looking great in any hat: That's right, I don’t get hat hair!! I can rock pretty much any hat and look good. If I add a pair of neat looking sunglasses I feel like a million quid every time I leave the house.
You don't age: Sure, when I first started to lose my hair, I looked older than my peers, but as time went by their hair turned grey and some become patchier on their heads. So, apart from a few wrinkles, I have maintained looking the same age for a number of years. Famous examples of men who don’t appear to have aged much include Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Common (rapper), Djimon Hounsou or Bruce Willis. Not bad company.
Draws attention to my best features: I think having a bald head means that people focus on my face and not the way my hair looks. Therefore, my best facial features will now be a lot more prominent, (whatever they are) and this I hope makes me appear more attractive. I sometimes sport a beard which further enhances this effect, since people's eyes will be drawn further downwards.
So I think I’ve settled on keeping my current hair (or lack thereof) style. However, it might be an interesting experiment to see the reaction of people I know and don’t know if I donned a full head of hair for a couple of months.
How to deal with baldness