Breaking bald, or how I coped with losing my hair

Breaking(brāk) bald(bôld), or how I coped(kōp) with losing(lo͞oz) my hair(he(ə)r)

By Graeme(grām) McRanor(mākrinər)

Recently, I went bald. Not ncessarily unusual given my age and sex(seks) but, generally, when a man loses his hair, he sees it coming. Or going, as it were. It’s unsettling(ˌənˈsetl), but at least there’s time to prepare for the inevitable(inˈevidəb(ə)l) – to grieve(grēv), make arrangements(əˈrānjmənt), say goodbye.

Mine disappeared overnight.

Okay, it might have been months, but I didn’t actually see it happening. Sure, there’s been some natural thinning since the lustrous(ˈləstrəs) 1990s, but one morning I woke up to what could pass for a crop(kräp) circle on the right side of my head; it was as if tiny(ˈtīnē) loggers had clear-cut a section of old growth while I slept.

Reaction(rēˈakSHən) to seeing sections of my own pallid(ˈpaləd) scalp(skalp) for the first time was similar to how the theatre(ˈTHēətər) audience responded in 1980 when, as a feathered(ˈfeT͟Hərd)-haired 10-year-old, I first glimpsed(glimps) the back of Darth Vader’s(vādər) disfigured(disˈfigyər) dome(dōm) in The Empire(ˈemˌpī(ə)r) Strikes(strīk) Back.

The horror(ˈhär-,ˈhôrər).

“It’s because I went vegan(ˈvejən,ˈvēgən),” I told my partner, Suzy, an experienced(ikˈspi(ə)rēənst) plant-eater with extravagantly(ikˈstravəɡəntlē) luminous(ˈlo͞omənəs) hair.

“Why do you think that?” she asked.

“Because I Googled it,” I replied. “It’s a thing.”

Determined(diˈtərmind) to bridge(brij) any nutritional( n(y)o͞oˈtriSHənl, n(y)o͞oˈtriSHnəl) gaps in my diet(ˈdī-it), I hit up the local health food store and bought protein(ˈprōˌtēn) powder(ˈpoudər), nutritional yeast(yēst), vitamin(ˈvītəmən) B12, vitamin D, silica(ˈsilikə), collagen(ˈkäləjən), L-lysine(ˈlīˌsēn) and branched-chain(CHān) amino(əˈmēnō) acids(ˈasid).

also reintroduced chicken twice a week – yet, a month later I was still shedding like a golden retriever(riˈtrēvər).

Then my beard(bi(ə)rd) began moulting(mōlt). I shaved(SHāv) the rest because it’s tough(təf) to look professional with half a beard.

“Maybe it’s because I quit drinking,” I said to Suzy.

“Yeah, that is definitely(ˈdef(ə)nətlē) not a thing,” she replied.