Like most men who are (ahem) “a little older,” I have less hair than I used to. A lot less, actually. And it’s no longer the dark brown of my younger days. When I look in the mirror I am a little surprised at the changed appearance. Gray hair? Me? Thinning? Well, why not?
When I was growing up my mom and dad used to get on me about combing my hair, and they would accuse me of “looking like a sheepherder.” Never mind that King David in the Bible was a shepherd when he was anointed king, and that Jesus is the Great Shepherd.
And then there were haircuts. For years my mother cut my hair—torture! Fact is, I didn’t like having hair all that much. To me it was more trouble than it was worth.
Once I was involved with military service, regular haircuts became a part of life. Of course, in basic training I had REALLY short hair—not by choice. On active duty I had weekly haircuts. I had to maintain a military appearance, meaning haircuts. I even wore a flat top or a crew cut for several years.
As we age many of us tend not to grow our hair as thickly as when we were young, and it’s normal for the color to go away as we lose pigment. Some men get really upset about that, but I don’t. And I refuse to color my hair. I like gray just fine.
Okay, I’m a guy, and I will concede ladies are entitled to a different point of view—they value their beautiful hair. And we men definitely appreciate it—on women. I just don’t think my hair was ever beautiful.
But when I think about it, it really isn’t about hair at all. It’s about getting older. Now, I am perfectly content to be getting older. It has its downsides but it also has its advantages. However I will concede we want to look a certain age. When we’re teenagers we want to look older. And when we get to be senior citizens we want to look younger. (There was about five minutes one year when I looked exactly the way I wanted to.)
So here is my advice to all of us men who worry about hair loss: Hair is nice, but health is really more important, including healthy hair. Focus on being healthy. That means an active lifestyle, good habits and a healthy attitude. If looking younger helps us be healthier, that’s okay.
I am happy to look like me and I don’t want to be anyone else or to look like anyone else. As a parent and grandparent, I find good reasons to be happy with a little aging. And I still need haircuts. Not as often, but I need them, and I do like a nice haircut.
Besides, most actual sheepherders I saw when I lived in Western Colorado had pretty good hair.