Embracing My Baldness
When I first started balding in my mid-twenties, I knew I could do one of two things: either ask The Rock for his workout routine or find a way to embrace it. And I really didn’t want to work out more than I had to.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel insecure as I saw my hair begin to disappear. I’d get nervous going on dates. My barber would tell me I’m too young to be going bald (as if I had a choice?). My family would offer reassurance and pretend they couldn’t notice.
My friends have always joked that I’m like a grandpa due to my introverted tendencies, but this was a little too on the nose.
As a comedian, my hair loss also trickled into my work. I made jokes about it on stage almost as a way to point it out before anyone noticed. I started wearing hats more often. I would hardly say I enjoyed watching recordings of my sets or seeing myself on camera. I’d tune out the jokes and instead focus on my fleeting hair, “Oh, look! This week there’s even less!”
I also struggled with the amount of time I devoted to this issue. It felt trivial. In the grand scheme of things my baldness was insignificant. There are infinite problems more worthy of my attention. I’d ask myself questions: Do I really care that much about my appearance? Is it bad that even a sliver of my self-esteem is tied to something like hair? What would Bruce Willis do? Does anyone even notice? It’s a privilege that I have the bandwidth to care about this problem.
At the same time, there is still a stigma around hair loss.
There are infomercials and products devoted to ‘solving’ the problem. There are TV tropes about the stress associated with going bald. It’s a point of insecurity for many men, and especially for those in their twenties. But perhaps most importantly, I believe that everyone deserves to feel their best (unless you’re like a really bad person).
Like many, quarantine has presented me with newfound time and an absence of human interaction. Basically, I’m bored. Plus, I think Shaq looks pretty cool and I’ve always liked Larry David. So after a year or so of conversations with myself debating whether I should do something, I finally did.
So, on a hot Sunday morning I paid my respects and took a moment to think about all the great times I’ve had with my hair: my bar mitzvah, prom, college, watching “Ratatouille” for the first time. Then I grabbed a razor.
It might sound dramatic, but I felt a little lighter the moment I got done shaving my head — and not just literally. It felt like I finally addressed a root of stress in my life.
And guess what? I feel better now. It might not be what I envisioned I’d look like at 28 (I thought I’d look more like Chris Evans), but I feel good and that’s what matters.
I wanted to share my hair loss story in case there’s anyone out there experiencing something similar. Is it the most important thing? No. But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it — especially if it’s causing you stress.
If you’re like me and considering saying goodbye to your hair, do it! You have my full support. It feels great on the other side. At the very least it will be a conversation starter. We can start a group chat. We can all meet somewhere once a year. I look like Pitbull’s less rich cousin now.
My point is: Hair loss doesn’t need to be a big deal. Do whatever makes you feel healthy and confident. Don’t do anything just because you think you have to. It’s about what’s on the inside, etc, etc…
Sure, I’m a little disappointed my slow motion “Baywatch” runs won’t look as cool, but I love my new bald head.
Jon Savitt is a writer and comedian featured in outlets including Funny or Die, College Humor, Washington Post, MTV News and more. He’s also a past contributor to the popular comedy web series “Good Mythical Morning.” Find him on Twitter @savittj.