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by John Carrino

It happened around five years ago on a couples’ weekend getaway with my second serious girlfriend. Sara and I had been together for about six months and she was the first girl that I dated that didn’t make me feel like I had to change everything about me.

Sara was a straight shooter and a planner but managed to find the right balance between being fun and not being too controlling. FYI: most guys (myself included) don’t want to be bossed around to the point of humiliation. It’s a fine line that I wish most girls understood but that’s another subject for another blog.

One of Sara’s grad school friends came from money and her family’s home was in East Hampton and situated in the tall, stoic hedges and a couple of turns from the Spielberg’s sprawling estate. Yes, that same Spielberg that gave us Jaws and a lovable alien. This weekend couldn’t have come at a more insecure time in my life—or so I thought.

For starters, I didn’t come from money and we had a decent home with at least two generations under the same roof. Unlike my girlfriend’s family and friends, I was the first one in my family to graduate from college. In her family, education was not encouraged, it was expected. However, the one advantage that I always had was—great hair. In fact, I was born with a full, thick head of hair could rock a buzz cut or a mohawk if I was feeling rebellious.

The weekend went off without a hitch until I scanned our poolside photos on Instagram. Shining in the background was a gorgeous sunset and the top of my head. This lead to digging through several photos and scouring each snapshot for the last 12 months. There it was—where thick tufts of hair used to be was a thin layer of fluff.

I never imagined that if I was going to go bald it would be on the back of my head. I was only twenty-five-years-old and was better prepared for going gray. Panicked, I persuaded my girlfriend to buy a can of Rogaine at the local drug store. It was easy to apply and went on like a mousse. I even used it help style my hair. One week later and I was already noticing two things: 1. I was actually growing hair again. 2. I had a wicked rash where I applied the serum the resembled hamburger meat. Still, I continued using it to see if the rash would go away.

The second week I noticed even more hair growth and my rash started to subside. I found my confidence level going up by the day. By week three I wondered why I had waited so long. By week four my girlfriend began to notice that I couldn’t care less about having sex anymore. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get it up but that I didn’t bother. Which was ridiculous because my girlfriend was hot and she could have cared less about my unplanned and early male-pattern baldness.

Five years and three serious girlfriends later I decided that I would rather have an erection than hair and have since gone badass bald. It’s been a liberating experience and I’m not adverse to trying anything new provided that I can still perform. 

What is your experience with balding? Do you embrace or never stop searching for the cure?

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