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Fickle Follicle Of Fate For The Bare Of Pate

Sun., Dec. 28, 1997

Judging from my column photo, you can probably envision my joy when news broke that baldies like me can finally buy a pill to regrow hair.

It’s called Propecia. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug as the first pill to fight male pattern baldness.

That this announcement arrived over the radio a few days before Christmas only added to my gibbering rapture.

Finally, Santa remembered the chrome domes.

“Yahoo! Yahoo!” I bellowed while dancing around my living room like a hulking hair-impaired Sugar Plum Fairy. “I’m going to be shaggier than Elvis.”

As usual, my wife, Sherry, stepped forward to douse me with a bucket of cold practicality and reason.

“You know about the side effect, don’t you?”

“Side effect?” I spluttered.

I had missed the Catch-22 of the story. According to researchers, being on Propecia may lead to “a decreased libido and difficulty achieving erection.”

Dudsville. Talk about a deal with the devil.

The world is filled with millions of lonely, single baldos who believe thick hair is the magic ticket that will get them into Babe World.

So let’s say this stuff works: Baldos pay 50 bucks a month to take Propecia, which grows hair, which lands them a hot date, which leads to a hotter romance, which leads to …

Groinal meltdown.

Sort of defeats the whole purpose, huh?

This is no miracle. This is yet another case of scientific hair-assment.

You lab-jacketed pranksters must get a real hoot out of torturing the forehead fraternity.

Some years ago, Rogaine was touted as the antidote for being mistaken for a two-legged Chihuahua.

The husband of an editor ponied up big bucks for the privilege of rubbing goop on his head for the rest of his life.

I never noticed any additional fuzz on his sparsely timbered cranium. But the dried Rogaine left a flaky residue that made you think the poor man was not only bald, but suffering from psoriasis.

We glabrous galoots react to hair loss in a variety of creative ways.

One friend of mine went the rug route. What a shocker. One day he had the hairline of Dave Letterman sidekick Paul Schaefer. Next day it looked like he had a dead wolverine perched on his head.

Another pal did just the opposite, attempting to recreate Michael Jordan’s fleshscape. The slick look, he reasoned, would make people think he was Kool and the Gang, not merely bald.

That worked until someone asked how his chemotherapy was going.

The Kentucky Weave is the most pathetic way to camouflage baldness.

Also called a “comb-over,” the technique involves growing the hardier side hairs about a yard long. Each morning, these anaconda-length hairs must be painstakingly coiled around the offending bald spot.

Once the hair cap is situated, it must be slathered with epoxy or some industrial-strength lacquer to hold it all together.

People who favor the Kentucky Weave look like they are walking through life balancing a brittle hairy manhole cover.

Trust me. No one is fooled.

Then there is the Defeatist Method I follow. I see my wisps as sad straggling soldiers who have put up a long, valiant fight against an unseen evil enemy.

My follicles are falling like Raid-sprayed roaches. There are no fresh recruits in sight. I can only watch as the battle rages to its inevitable conclusion.

Fortunately, I married a woman 25 years ago who took me to have hair or have not hair.

“I don’t care about baldness,” Sherry told me, surveying my deforested scalp with a wry smile. “Obviously.”

, DataTimes


 
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