They started coming in around twenty-five, my young wife would see them and beg me to let her pluck them out (most of the time I would let her do it only because they seemed to bother her more than they would me.)
By thirty however, even she had to give up and face the facts… I have Grey hair.
When I was younger my biggest fear was that by thirty I would be bald! This was before people like Michael Jordan made baldness acceptable. Big Afros was what the girls dug, Back then your face could be as crated as the moon’s surface, and only your mother loved it, still, if you had a beautiful long “Fro” that was full and round, the girls would be in your face! So we would do whatever we could to get that look. Braids, big combs, and hair dryers so we could do what was called a “blow out” at home. Blow outs only held up to the first dance. After that, the heat in most “House Parties” and dance halls would take care of that in very short order. You went from a Jermaine Jackson “Fro” to a recovering chemo patient in 60 seconds flat!
You could have a chemical blowout that was really a “process” (hair straighten) by another name but I lacked the guts and money to go that route and had a problem with getting my hair more “white” just so it could look more “black” It was while trying all these different methods that I noticed that the top of the hair on my head was thinner than the back and sides!
From my young perspective it might as well have been cancer! My hair was making a break for the door and there was nothing I could do to stop its retreat.
Soon even my friends would comment “You’re going to be bald!.” on the outside I would laugh when I was hit with that statement and say something smart like “Thanks Sherlock” or “Your mama.” But on the inside I would rail against those genes that would so cleverly kill my follicles right in front of my eyes. Back then, I would have traded my receding hair for Grey hair of any length as long as it stayed on top of my head. Thirty came and went, and found me still with a goodly amount of hair on my head. Not a few guys who kidded me themselves were met with the same condition later and have lost more hair than I ever will and have passed me in the race for a chrome dome. So, as the grey starts to take over the hair I do have, I spend a lot of time on the age old question; what to do about It? The answer is one that is rooted deeply in how any of us comes to terms with age and its effects. My senabilities are (with this as well as most other things in life) is, “Play with the cards you’re dealt” and move on.
I do reject the notion of a dye job on a few levels, (but I can’t help but wonder what I would think if I was single and on the prowl) Cutting and shaving my head is the route that I have chosen for the time being and that from my point of view is still a tilt toward a vanity I do not care for, but the alternative is just as distasteful. And to be truthful I really do not shave it as often as I should. My former Boss stays on his head every day, I may cut mine twice a month and if that is not an indication of where I really am with my “final” decision I don’t know what is.
Women in this country do not seem to have these issues, they are tinting and dyeing hair all of the time before the gray hair comes knocking so it means little to them. Every now and then I come across a woman who embraces her grey, but not that often.
Maybe in time we will all come to where I think I’m near, Be who you are. However, I have to say that things are changing for men and they are now allowed to fret publicly about such things. My son won’t have to commiserate over this when his time comes. I kind of envy that, but happy that it will be one less thing he has to deal with. As young folks today have a lot of problems to deal with these days.