Nicholas Goodchild

Historic and Pared Down

Going Old

27 February 2013 by Nicholas in Personal

I always told myself that, when I went bald, I would shave my head. Unfortunately I missed this by some time, as no one actually bothered to tell me I had gone bald and I only noticed when confronted with a photo with a large white patch on my head and tried unsuccessfully to work out where the light source for what had to be a reflection was coming from . . .

Now I trim my head using the clippers with no guard. I used to use the guard but it was harder to get right and my hair seems to be getting progressively more bald (as balding, I assume, works). Last time I trimmed my head my hair looked noticeably patchy and thin when it was long enough to tell I had rested on it. This time it was obvious much sooner. It’s going to get to the point where I don’t dare have much more than stubble for fear of the places where stubble no longer grows.

Being bald, of course, has meant some adjusting. Luckily I have had a tendency to keep my hair short since my teen years (I had an ill advised attempt at growing my hair long when I was about 13 and then very little since). Short hair has a habit of acting like velcro when you put a shirt or top over it. The friction can mean a lot of effort in getting cloth to slide over your skin. Also, and this one really should be obvious, being bald is colder. I wear a lot of hoodies now, some of which stay on due to the aforementioned friction. But I feel the cold and know that a millimetre of hair can make a huge difference to how warm I feel.

There are other weird aspects to being bald. Trying to judge if you have shaved hair to a sufficient length by touch and the point where stubble buttresses up against a bald patch and you have no idea if the change in texture is due to baldness or having left a patch of hair too long. The way skin feels less elastic where it is bald. Trying to remember where your hairline actually was the last time you trimmed it. Knowing your head its as likely to be flesh, red or purple as your hair colour. Worrying that your hair may be grey or white if you actually let it grow. It’s a constant stream of surprise and reality versus memory and hoping you can look like Jason Statham or Bruce Willis when Mr Burns seems to loom large.