I’m folliclely challenged. It doesn’t hurt to say it. Too much. It’s not like being folliclely challenged came as a surprise when I hit my 40’s. Oh no. I didn’t spend the years prior with a thick and full head of hair. I had few options upon my trips to the barber. Shampoo costs were minimal.
When I was a senior in college, my roommates played a prank on me. One night I pulled down the sheets of my bed and saw multiple advertisements for Rogaine stuffed into a paper bag.
Anyway, those jerks played this prank for a reason. My hairline was already heading south. Yup, there was no hair swaying when my head bopped to the music.
For further confirmation of the future of my hair line, I could look at my older brother. My second oldest brother and I bare a resemblance. I can look at him and see where my hair is headed. I love him anyway.
My parents felt bad about this. My mother would lament, “My father died with a full head of hair. I always learned that if your maternal grandfather had hair that his grandsons would have his hair.”
As you can imagine, that did not make me feel better. At all. My parents actually sprung for Rogaine for me. I delicately massaged it into my hair every night for six months. I prayed I would be like Karl Malone. At the end of six months with little progress, my excitement waned. I applied the Rogaine on a less regular basis till I eventually just stop. Alas, there was little progress.
As my 20’s progressed, I grew interested in Judaism and eventually became a baalteshuvah. The biggest reason for my move toward Orthodoxy was my belief in Hashem and his role in the world. Yes, I was content with my new found faith. You want to know a side benefit? The kippah. Following up on my new found religion meant covering my bald spot. Isn’t life beautiful? There is a God, and he is good!
As the years have gone by, my bald spot has turned into a bald head. Yet, I’ve not upgraded the size of my kippah. However, Hashem gave again. He really is good.
How so you may be wondering? Well, shaving one’s head became fashionable. I was halfway to a shaved head naturally. I simply had to sit in the barber’s chair and instruct him/her to shave off the sides. That’s it. My disappointment over baldness would fall away like the remaining hairs that surround the barber’s chair. I would be hip and cool.
For the last year, I’ve been thinking—really thinking about shaving my head. I decided I was going to go for it when it got warm out. And then May came and I strolled into the barber shop ready to go for it. Except I couldn’t do it. I was reluctant to join the club. Not quite an early adopter here. Instead, I got an extremely short haircut. Baby steps, I suppose.
I actually like the look. However, I’d still prefer hair. Some things you never get over.
A problem has arisen. My kippah keeps falling off my head. My hair is so short that the clips are not secure.
This is making for a dilemma. My kippah is flying off with nearly any movement. In fact, the kippah falls to the ground more often than a baby does when learning how to walk. I just wish kippahs came with suction cups. Then, I could move about freely without worry of my kippah flying off my head all Frisbee-like.
Ahh, what to do? I have neither answer nor clue. I think I need Hashem to step in again and answer another prayer.
Larry Bernstein is a free-lance writer, teacher, and tutor. He and his family live in Bergen County. You can fi nd his website at larrydbernstein.com His blog address is memyselfandkids.com
By Larry D. Bernstein