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Correcting Your Behavior Since 2017

Hair Apparent

As a public service to those men out there who are attempting to hide their hair loss with some sort of fakery, I offer this helpful tip: it isn't working.

Friend, each morning when you affix your faux tresses, you see them from only one angle in the mirror—straight on. And I'm sure you find the view very convincing. But you don't see what the rest of us see: the way the neckline features the immovable stiffness of a horse-grooming brush, the mismatched tufts of your real hair that peek out from underneath, betraying the impostors with their lack of family resemblance, and the overall helmet-like quality. And then there's the part in this alleged hair, which more often than not looks more like the crisply stitched edge of a carpet than anything naturally occurring in the human anatomy.

Yes, there are some hairpieces that are virtually undetectable . . . but certainly not yours. Those belong to very rich movie stars who've ventured off under cover of night to the unlisted lairs of those secret gurus of the scalp who know how to replicate real hair—the kind of hair that's come by honestly. Working tirelessly, these dedicated masters implant each replacement follicle individually, introducing it to its fellow strands at exclusive, high-ticket mixers for new arrivals, and from then on, they all work together as a team. These hairs are top-level transplants. They have lifetime memberships at golf resorts and first-class airport lounges and own their own yachts. Trust me, they're not on your head. They wouldn't be caught dead there, you'll pardon the expression. The ones that adorn your pate like a resting otter are strictly non-union knock-offs.

And here's why it's not benefitting you the way you think it is: we're judging you. We're instantly assessing you as dishonest and foolishly unaware. And when you're out of earshot, we're talking about it. People think less of you because you've tried to fool them with your ersatz coif. And it comes across as a little sad, because your hair hat isn't disguising your baldness; it's calling attention to it.

Look, the Curmudgeon knows all too well the trauma of lost locks. I was once in possession of the thickest mop of gorgeous brown waviness you've ever seen. It was very nearly afro-pick-worthy. Losing it was beyond disappointing. Even so, authenticity won out over pretense. I couldn't imagine wearing the equivalent of a mask on my head every day, walking around with the worry of being exposed for follicle fraudulence. So I let nature take its cruel, cruel course. And now I'm a bitter old bald man, but that's beside the point.

I know it's no fun learning that everyone is onto your ruse, but someone had to tell you, and that someone is me. What can I say? It's sort of a calling. There's only one person who believes your pretend hair looks real: you. For everyone else, it's taking extra effort to avoid staring at the odd assemblage that sits atop your head. And then the puzzle becomes trying to figure out whether you think you're fooling anyone, or whether we're on Candid Camera. So do yourselves a favor: save the expense, stress, mockery—especially mockery—judgment, and untold hours of daily preparation time by forgoing the toupe route, and keeping it real.

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