Did you know that there is a Bald and Free Day? Actually, there are TWO Bald and Free Days only one week apart. According to Holiday Insights, Bald and Free Day is either on October 7 or October 14.
However, Holiday Insights states that Ã¢â‚¬Å“todayÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ whichever Ã¢â‚¬Å“todayÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ is Ã¢â‚¬Å“a day to cherish and appreciate the freedom that comes with being bald. While the rest of us are spending money on hair cuts, hair shampoo, hair sprays, combs, and such, the bald guy is smiling as he saves money and time.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Holiday Insights declares Ã¢â‚¬Å“enough with the bald jokesÃ¢â‚¬Â but then seems to violate its own command by noting that one advantage held by the bald is that they never have a Ã¢â‚¬Å“bad hair day.Ã¢â‚¬Â
When I was a child, one class occasionally had debates. One time the assigned topic was Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bald is Beautiful.Ã¢â‚¬Â Half the class was assigned to argue in the affirmative while the other half had to naysay it. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t recall which side I was on but I think the debate was reasonably lively as well as good-humored.
Also as a child, I heard a woman tell a woman who was married to a bald man, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard bald men are more virile.Ã¢â‚¬Â The wife of the bald man replied, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard that too but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Virile? I wondered. What did that mean? However, I did not ask.
Many years later, when I found out what virile meant, I thought that bald men probably got that reputation because hair loss is something associated with men rather than women so men who are follicle free may be perceived by some as more manly and therefore more virile. At that time, I had never in real life since a bald woman although I had heard that such creatures did in fact exist. In fact, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d heard a couple of people say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are more bald women than bald men.Ã¢â‚¬Â However, as my father pointed out, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You see bald men out there all of the time but if there are any bald women, they must always cover it up with a wig.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A woman wrote to a prominent advice columnist (either Dear Abby or Ann Landers) saying that she had lost her hair due to an illness and taken to wearing wigs over her dome. Her husband liked her bald and she wanted to shave her head and keep wearing wigs in public. The columnist told her to do what she and her husband wanted but to make certain she always wore a wig in public, as Ã¢â‚¬Å“for someone unprepared for it, the sight of a bald woman can be a traumatic experience.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It seems likely that the number of bald men is in fact greater than that of bald women since there is a specific syndrome called Ã¢â‚¬Å“male pattern baldness.Ã¢â‚¬Â I have a friend named Jonathan who recalls a quote saying something to the effect of, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Women are cursed with having periods once a month while men are cursed with having male pattern baldness once in a lifetime.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I have a good male friend who has a large classic bald patch in about the middle of his head. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the end of the world,Ã¢â‚¬Â he comments. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing to get thrilled about either. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing good about it. It takes away your attractiveness.Ã¢â‚¬Â He also said that if he had the money, he might well get a hair transplant.
He may have reason not to feel like celebrating his baldness. According to Ã¢â‚¬Å“Heir Apparent,Ã¢â‚¬Â an article by John Egan published in the New York Post, a survey commissioned by the Hair Sciences Center of Colorado Ã¢â‚¬Å“indicates that two-thirds of American think men with full heads of hair are more successfulÃ¢â‚¬Â than those lacking them. The survey also found that Ã¢â‚¬Å“more than half of respondents between 20 and 50 said people with Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgood hairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ snag better jobsÃ¢â‚¬Â and that Ã¢â‚¬Å“nearly half think people with Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgood hairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ are brainier.Ã¢â‚¬Â The last finding may lead some people to question the brainpower of many of the survey respondents.
One could also question the intelligence of the authors of a government pamphlet a friend of mine recalls. This friend, who describes himself as Ã¢â‚¬Å“the only male in my family to still have a full head of hairÃ¢â‚¬Â says he felt Ã¢â‚¬Å“a bit surprised that the government actually referred to baldness as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfolically impairedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in one of the brochures.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I have another male friend who writes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am going on 58 years old, and I have absolutely no problem with hair loss. In fact, my barber has to thin out my hair during haircuts. My father is 78 and still has a full head of hair.Ã¢â‚¬Â This same friend continues, Ã¢â‚¬Å“For the most part, baldness is not a bad look. I had come more culturally acceptable I guess. I think that some guys at some point in their baldness should get a hairpiece. Sometimes their baldness looks very bad on them. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stand guys who do the comb over.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This aging friend with a full head of hair has a puzzle in his life relating to hair loss: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Once an uncle of mine passed away. I noticed that his obituary said that in lieu of flowers, to make a contribution to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. I thought Wow Ã¢â‚¬â€œ was that something terrible that he died of? When I looked it up, I found out it was about baldness. To this day, I do not know if my cousin was joking or not with that obit. My cousin and uncle were not bald.Ã¢â‚¬Â
My friend author Natty Bumppo writes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have a widening bald spot according to photos I have seen taken from my rear, but I cannot see it in the mirror. The hair I see is long and ample (and blond! although it looks gray in photos). As a senior in high school, Bumppo is adamant that he Ã¢â‚¬Å“had the best looking hair among the boysÃ¢â‚¬Â but their peers voted another guy as having Ã¢â‚¬Å“the best looking hair among the boys.Ã¢â‚¬Â Bumppo continues, Ã¢â‚¬Å“He went bald in his 20Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s! Served him right.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bumppo has strong feelings about hair loss. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like bald!Ã¢â‚¬Â he states. Ã¢â‚¬Å“For myself or others.Ã¢â‚¬Â
EganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s article discusses a man who is perfectly happy to have a hairless head. His name is Ken Baldyga. Long stuck with the nickname Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bald Eagle,Ã¢â‚¬Â he started going bald while in college. He wears his nickname with pride and has turned his last name and domed top to his advantage. In his words, being bald has Ã¢â‚¬Å“allowed me to disarm people by poking fun at my lack of follicles.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Those are the thoughts of others and myself on baldness and Be Bald and Free Day. Dear Readers, what are yours?