Author Topic: Kiss that comb-over goodbye  (Read 5488 times)

Offline Tyler

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Kiss that comb-over goodbye
« on: September 09, 2006, 12:59:30 PM »
I found this article on the web.  It has a couple stories about why guys decided to embrace baldness.

Quote
DEBBIE CAFAZZO; The News Tribune
The year was 1968, and long hair was everywhere.

Even on Broadway.

“Give me down-to-there hair, shoulder length or longer,” they sang in the musical “Hair.” “Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it – my hair.”

Imagine Tony Snesko’s embarrassment.

He was 22 that year, just back from Vietnam, sitting in an Italian barber’s chair in Los Angeles. That’s when the barber dropped the bomb: “You know, you’re losing your hair.”

At his barber’s suggestion, Snesko tried rubbing his hair with olive oil.

“I went around looking like a tossed salad,” he recalls.

His wife’s cousin, a stylist, suggested bleaching to stimulate the hair follicles. Nothing worked. Nothing except a comb-over, that is.

“I did what I swore I wouldn’t do,” Snesko, now 60, says. Over the years, as the top of his mop grew thinner, “the part migrated down to my ear.”

It was Snesko’s wife who came up with the answer to his growing baldness problem.

As they were getting ready for an important dinner

party, she asked him if she could fix his hair. Before Snesko knew what was happening, she had put Lady Schick to scalp. In minutes, the comb-over – along with the rest of his hair – was gone. She told him he looked sexier.

He liked that.

That was in 1991, and Snesko has never looked back.

Today, he has a bit of hair around the sides, which he keeps closely clipped, and a full beard – a look that appeals to a lot of bald and balding men.

In 1999, Snesko, a Washington, D.C., resident, started BaldRUs. com, a Web site devoted to celebrating baldness and educating consumers about what Snesko views as the false promise of hair replacement methods.

“Our only goal in life is just to persuade men to say no to rugs, drugs, plugs and comb-overs,” he states proudly.

Instead, his site encourages men to embrace their inner – and outer – baldness.

LESS IS MORE

Gregg Olsen, a 47-year-old true-crime writer from Olalla, says being bald is easier these days, thanks to a progression of actors, athletes and musicians who have made the hairless look fashionable.

But when Olsen graduated from high school in 1976, his hair was long and parted in the middle – like a lot of young men’s hair that year.

“Once that part starts getting wider, you’re in trouble,” says Olsen, who started losing his hair in his 20s.

He tried minoxidil (marketed as the drug Rogaine), but found it both ineffective and expensive.

His look has now evolved into a hip and distinguished one – close-cropped hair on the sides, none on the top, along with a mustache, soul patch and tattoo. But he acknowledges that as a young balding man, he felt prematurely old.

“A guy fights it,” he says. “Everywhere you go, you are always checking out other people’s hair. You look at people and think, ‘If I had that hair, I wouldn’t wear it like that.’”

But Olsen has learned to see the plus side of early hair loss: “In a lot of ways I have stayed the same, where other people have gotten older looking. Guys I went to school with who are just losing their hair now – it looks like they’re really aging.”

But Olsen looks like he did 20 years ago. Maybe better.

“I’ve been working out, and dropped about 20 pounds over the last year or so,” he says. “Gotta make sure that I don’t match the trifecta of unappealingdom: fat, bald and 50.”

THOSE WERE THE D.A.’S

If he lets the back of his hair grow long enough, 63-year-old Duane Diercks is proud to say he can still comb his hair into a pretty impressive D.A. – the same kind of hairstyle (named for a duck’s derriere) that the Spanaway man sported during his 1950s and early ’60s youth.

Did he ever think then, about getting older, losing his hair?

“You never think of those things when you’re young,” he says. Like retirement or death, Diercks adds, hair loss isn’t really an issue until everybody’s doing it.

Diercks once worked with a guy who wore a toupee.

“Everybody knew it,” he says. “It was so obvious.”

Especially after the man, named Al, started painting in white highlights so people would think he was going a distinguished gray at the temples.

There were several Als at work. People would ask for Al.

“You mean Al that wears the rug?” was the usual response.

“I never thought about doing any of that stuff,” says Diercks.

SMOOTH LANDING

Mark Zier, a 51-year-old minister from Puyallup, refers to his balding pattern as “a full landing strip,” with some hair on the sides.

“It’s a characteristic from my mother’s side of the family,” Zier says. “My dad kept his hair through his life, pretty much.”

But on his mother’s side, one cousin was bald at age 21.

“I guess I was emotionally prepared for the trauma,” says Zier, whose hairline started receding more than 20 years ago.

When Zier met his wife 22 years ago, she liked the thinning look. When she looks at pictures of his early 1970s perm, and a full head of hair, she has trouble imagining it’s really Zier.

Like a lot of men his age, Zier was determined to avoid the comb-over hairstyle – an invention largely from another, older generation.

“I remember working for a man who I thought had a full head of hair,” Zier recalls. “Then one day the wind blew, and it stood up. He looked like Bozo the Clown. I’ve never seen a guy run so fast to the bathroom to fix it.”

Zier makes as many jokes about baldness as he hears from others.

“Some people are sensitive,” Zier says. “For me, it’s just who I am. I don’t even think about it. I have fun with it.”

SHE LOVES HIM

Dick Inderbitzin, 77, carried a comb for five years in his left rear pants pocket – long after his hair-combing days were over.

It was hard, at first, for a guy who graduated from high school with a full head of curly hair to part with it, so to speak. Hair loss started when Inderbitzin was in his mid-30s.

He tried rubbing his head with liniment, but after six weeks with no results, he gave up.

Today, the Lakewood resident sees definite advantages to having less hair. He’s always the first guy to know it’s raining.

“My friends see and treat me for what I am,” he says. “I save on combs, hairbrushes and expensive shampoos.”

His wife, Pauline, gives him the occasional trim, just as she has for more than 40 years.

“It never bothered me,” says Pauline of her husband’s hair loss. “I think it bothered him more than it did me. I love him for what he is inside.”

TIPS TO TAKE IT ALL OFF

Sooner or later, many balding men decide that sparse patches of hair left on an otherwise bare head make no fashion sense. The moment of truth approaches. Time to take it all off. But how?

BaldRUs.com offers some advice:

The tools: Most use Gillette Mach 3 blades because they shave closer with few, if any, nicks. BaldRUs has also received glowing comments about the new Head Blade. (Read more at headblade.com.)

The touch: If you have sensitive skin and are subject to rashes, avoid shaving against the grain and shave in the direction that your hair grows. Or used to grow. Use aftershave if you’re rash-prone.

Lotions and potions: Aloe-vera lotion keeps your scalp looking young and healthy. Don’t forget sunblock if you’re exposing your bare head to the sun.

Ouch! If you want to try Nair or similar products, be careful not to leave it on longer than recommended. It burns if you leave it on too long.

Waxing is painful, but gives you a few stubble-free weeks.

Electrolysis or laser treatments can rid you of hair permanently, but they can be painful – to your wallet, if not your head.

Best results: Have your partner do it. They love the job – and it feels good.
Source: BaldRUs.com

HERE’S WHY YOU’RE LOSING IT

What causes baldness?

Author Kevin Baldwin (his real name, he insists) explains it in his 2005 book “Bald! From Hairless Heroes to Comic Combovers” (Bloomsbury, $19.95).

Baldwin says the most universally accepted answer is a combination of testosterone and heredity.

Some men produce an enzyme that converts testosterone to a substance that “switches off” hair follicles on the crown. Over time, the follicles produce thinner and thinner hairs. Whether this process occurs in any individual depends on whether the man inherits the genetic trait.

Baldwin’s book explores the history of baldness, including some wacky theories about its cause from the past.

“Like many bald men, I’d love to claim that it’s a high level of brain activity or an inordinate amount of sex,” he says of the condition that began for him when he was in his 20s.

“But I have a particular soft spot for the obsession of a Victorian doctor called Professor Wheeler. Despite his name, he wrote a number of lengthy treatises claiming that cycling was one of the main causes of hair loss. How he accounted for all the bald men who lived before the invention of the bicycle is not quite clear.”

Bald: From Hairless Heroes to Comic Combovers By Kevin Baldwin

Bloomsbury Publishing; $19.95

On the Web

Tony Snesko’s site: www.BaldRUs.com

Bald Headed Men of America: www. members.aol.com/baldusa

Original Article:  http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundlife/story/6074666p-5327495c.html


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