June 4, 2010

AUSTRALIA: Hats off to baldness

MELBOURNE, Victoria / The Age / Executive Style / Suits You / June 4, 2010

By James Cameron
June 1, 2010

Baldness is often associated with George Costanza levels of awkwardness, insecurity and inadequacy. It's time to debunk all that. Bald men have got it going on too.

I don’t know many times I have said ‘I would give it all away for a head of hair.’

A lot would be my guess. I see kids with full Mick Jagger style haircuts and think of the possibilities. Older men, they hurt me the most. They have no right to have that much hair, where’s the fairness in that?

In my teens I used to gel my hair like there was no tomorrow, up it went and like a rock it would stay there all day long till I would wash it out ready for the next day’s application. With free abandon and no care for the future I styled my hair to suit my daily whims. My brother had great hair, thick and wavy. The kind that still looks thick even after you shave it. I was the one who was receding a little at the time and yet one day, virtually overnight it seemed, he lost it.

After a lifetime of having that beautiful hair flicked in my face I’d be lying if said I didn’t feel some degree of Schadenfreude. It was gone and I still had most of mine. But there is a force in the universe that doesn’t look so kindly on those who take pleasure in the misfortune of others and slowly but surely, with each haircut, mine gets shorter and shorter.

Clearly I have been dealt a raw deal as far as my follicles are concerned (there’s only so much bluffing one can do!) but this has made me consider the bald man. Too often associated with George Costanza levels of awkwardness, insecurity and inadequacy, it’s time to debunk all that. Bald men have got it going on too.

The first step is acceptance - get over that difficult hump and you’re on your way to freedom. Once there, keep it short and trimmed and be proud. It’s gone and there’s no use worrying about it. This is your lot and the sooner you come to terms with it, the sooner you’ll shake the stereotypes and the social discomfort.

True, the transition is no fun, no fun at all, and the earlier it happens in your life the worse it is. But there’s a certain maturity that comes with the loss of your hair and, as that comes, so does your confidence with your new look. Girls don’t seem to mind and if you’re good with it, so are they. There will always be the superficial girls that want their hand in a lock or two, but forget about them, they’re trouble. You don’t need them and you’d never behave like that anyway.

If you’re looking for inspiration, there’s some celebrities with serious street cred blazing a trail. Bruce Willis is president of the club - a megastar and action flick legend that sticks it to the fully-coiffed baddies. Jason Statham is super cool and handsome and had Saffron Burrows eating out of the palm of his hand in The Bank Job. Though there are some deniers I eagerly await Jude Law’s entry to the club. Then there’s Kelly Slater. Look at this man, he’s still tearing it up and is as quick as anyone underwater, probably quicker.

What I’m saying is, the world is your oyster as a baldie, so don’t give up, don’t be forlorn, hair isn’t everything.

James Cameron has been designing menswear for the past decade. In this time he has witnessed more than his fair share of trends and fashions, most of which should never have involved men, but men and fashion should not be mutually exclusive. There are a few guidelines every man should know and follow and still hold on to their masculinity.

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