Friday, August 13, 2010

Follicles for Algernon: One Man's Struggle with Male Pattern Baldness

Clark Kent’s Lunchbox Badge

Today I'm guest posting over at Clark Kent's Lunchbox.  Ron Mattocks, the proprietor of the blog, is one of the OG's of Daddy Blogging, as well as an honest-to-God author with a book--Sugar Milk--that I am currently enjoying and you should rush out and buy immediately, and a regular writing gig at Houston Family Magazine, among a million other projects.  And with his recent appointment as Carnival Cruise Ship Ambassador, he is also a diplomat of the high seas!

Although Ron can be as funny and ironic as anyone in the blogosphere, he tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, and his essential nice guyness comes through in every post and every page of his book.  I think that's the secret of his massive popularity among readers and other bloggers.  Don't tell Ron this, but whenever I mention something from one of his posts, or from our correspondence, my wife says, "He's the earnest guy, right?"  And I say "yeah."  Usually I would say "earnest" with a hint of snark in my voice, but in Ron's case, I say it with admiration.  

In addition to being a wonderful writer and an all around mensch, he's got great hair, and for that I can never forgive him.  Thanks, Ron, for all your encouragement, and for this opportunity to post on your esteemed blog! 


I’ve gotten to the point in my life where, like a lot of men, I need to make a decision about my hair. The options, however, are limited. I guess it would be more accurate to say that the reasonable options are limited. I could always go for something like the look rocked by one of the cashiers at my local Home Depot: kind of a William Shakespeare thing, curling under at the jawline, with the few remaining wisps on top swept back like the gossamer wings of a dragonfly. Or I could spend hours each day maintaining an elaborate comb-over like the guy who sits in the old K-Car filled with newspapers and plastic hangers in the parking lot by the tennis courts.



  1. I'm sticking to my guns. Women don't care that much about hair. And you're the (second) handsomest guy I know.

  2. @DiPi--Thanks for the heads-up. This is why I'm known as a master of social media.

    @Granny--I choose to believe you!

  3. I heart Mr. Lunchbox. Shall now go harass you over there.

  4. How about "Biotin?" My stylist recommended it the other day when I voiced similar anxieties...

    The other side of Beta Dad! Loved this so much I won't mention your spelling of "mencsh," something I'd only do over at Daddy Dialectic. Thanks for the hilarious post -- and for showing the way down a road I may soon be following...

  5. @Chicago Pop--thanks for pointing out the typo! We pedants have to look out for each other. The correction has been implemented.

  6. I'm trying to find some witty retort to this post, but really I am just happy I am not the only one who has felt the guilt associated with feeling bad about myself for my lack of follicle prowess. I started losing my wavy mane in my late teens, and have always found it ironic that I would be given the ability to grow a full beard in high school while simultaneously watching it erode so rapidly up top. Now, almost ten years later, I have consigned myself to the fact that I will be sporting a similar 'do as Jason Alexander within the next 10-year cycle (although I hope that mine will take on a more dignified air, a la Patrick Stewart), and that has been a bitter pill to swallow to say the least.

    My current struggle centers around the ubiquitous Bosley commercials I have to endure (even when fast forwarding through them) while watching soccer on TV, reminding me with alarming regularity that I don't HAVE to accept going bald (a devastating and devilish rhetorical technique, I may add). The shame one gentleman portrays when removing his cloak for the pretty "follicle analyst" is one I know all too well.

    As I get older, and as my actual age begins to be reconciled with how old everyone thinks I am, my shinny dome is becoming less of an embarrassment, but only just. Teaching has helped, as it forces me to remove the Dodgers cap which many, I am sure, were convinced was sewn to my head (a side note: I seem to remember some "good natured ribbing" at our first weekly RWS 796 meeting from you and Lauren). I just hope that if I ever have kids they get their Mother's hairline instead of mine, as I wouldn't wish the resulting insecurity on my worst enemy.

    Thanks for giving me a shoulder to cry (and shed) on.

  7. The pre-emptive strike felt pretty good to me (as I'm sure it did to Geo. W. Bush) when I did it several years ago. It can then be couched as "choice." Plus when you let all your stubble (face/head) grow out together it doesn't look so bad. But lately I do have a tan circle appearing on the top; not sure what that is....

  8. Also, I always envied your hair.


Don't hold back.


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