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Dear Jon's Rules for Baldness.

by Dear Jon
January 8, 2002

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Sort 108_Dear Jon-Dear Jon's Rules for Baldness. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

My hair is just starting to thin on top. I have noticed it for a couple of years, but when I went home for Christmas, my incredibly sensitive sister pointed this fact out to me in a not so subtle way. What should I do? Should I seek a remedy now or should I just let nature run its course?

Folically Challenged

Dear Folic,

In addition to being "folically challenged," you are also "informationally challenged." You are challenging me for advice without giving me any information. I do not know whether you are young or old, rich or poor, and most important of all, male or female.

The rules for baldness are as follows. It will be up to you to decide which apply to your case.

1. Combovers do not work for any man of any age ever.

2. Women of any age who are bald should seek a remedy.

3. There are many kinds of baldness. There is "male pattern baldness." There is "shaved head" baldness. And there is baldness that results from sickness; sometimes the hair gets sick, sometimes the skin gets sick. Baldness can be a consequence for certain chemical or radiation treatments for other ailments. Men should seek a remedy only depending on their age and the kind of baldness. Women should seek a remedy anyway.

4. This is not a matter of chauvinism, or if it is, it is not a chauvinism that is repressive. Male pattern baldness is not natural to a woman, so it is culturally normative to assume that a woman's baldness is the result of a problem of some sort. Also, women are accorded lots of attractive options as remedies, such as beautiful headscarves. Men who wear beautiful headscarves are dressing as pirates looking for mateys, har har.

5. Some men boldly lose their hair. Some shave it off on purpose. Others are ashamed to lose their hair, see it as a sign of aging, and seek remedies. In my estimation, male pattern baldness is actually a distinguishing feature of masculinity. (You recall from the Webmaster's illustration, that I do not suffer from baldness. I have a widow's peak and a high forehead, but my hair is thick on the scalp.)

6. Everybody laughs at everybody else for some reason or other. Bald men are the brunt of jokes, but that does not mean they look funny. Hairy men are the brunt of jokes as well, especially when the hair is in the ears and nose or on the back. In any event, by the time men and women are fully mature, women are resigned to the fact that all men are funny-looking anyway. It might be big feet, it might be knobby knees, men are goofy-looking and there is nothing to be done. What DOES look even goofier, is when an unnatural remedy is imposed on natural male pattern baldness. It looks goofy and it is pathetic.

7. I have to admit that I am skeptical of chemical solutions. I don't want anybody messing with my testosterone until decades have proven that there are no long-term damaging side-effects.

8. If your testosterone is too busy to make hair, you are just fine.

9. For other baldnesses, one might seek out toupee's or wigs. When possible, wear a hat. This is considered impolite, generally, indoors, which is another advantage that women have.

10. The Benjamin Franklin look only worked for Benjamin Franklin, and even he looks funny. A comb-over would have looked a lot worse.

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