Home Commentary & Short Stories The Struggle To Move On After Being Betrayed By Your Hairline

The Struggle To Move On After Being Betrayed By Your Hairline

by Dewan Gibson

I just turned 43 and my edges ain’t right. To be fair, my hairline struggle is not new. I was born with a large cerebral cortex that resulted in a bulging forehead. My hairline showed great resilience in keeping up with such massiveness, but it’s now withered at the temples. My kids are like, “Haha! Dada has a v-cut!” They’re right. I look like Harry Belafonte on the Calypso album cover. No disrespect to my brother-in-swirl; I just miss having a hairline that’s of equal strength across my dome. 

"Calypso" album cover by Harry Belafonte

I don’t think I’m balding. My father has a full head of hair made omnipotent by Murray’s pomade. My mom says her dad kept his hair. I’m not sure of the details. I didn’t see him often, but I remember him wearing a cap. He had a straight mane flowing out the sides and back. Could it have been that Grandpa’s ceiling was missing, or at least thinning? Perhaps.  

Being that I have a high deductible health insurance plan, I get medical advice from Reddit. I searched hair loss groups, and man, it’s scary. Dudes fly to Turkey to get Indian hair sewn in. Others take meds that give you a lil’ patch of hair and impotency. Some just comb their sh*t over and shelter-in-place on windy days. There’s also the “bigen.” A dye that makes it look like you got lined up with a Sharpie and sweats out by the second quarter of an NBA game. Crazy! 

There are few other choices for the hairline deficient who decline the options above. One can wear a cap, but that just delays the inevitable “Daaaammmmn!” once you do the big reveal. Your best bet? A haircut. 

I usually get a lineup and leave the top and sides poofy. But a struggle hairline blends in more naturally with a low cut. I asked the barber, a masculine, middle-aged Black woman who looked like she could be part of the Mayweather family, to cut the curls off and line it up tight. (This was the first time I’ve been cut by a female barber. It was great. No worries about a nutsack resting on my knee.) 

She buzzed away only to momentarily turn off the clippers. “You got some funny hair…” I laughed and explained that the left side of my hairline has always been stronger than the right side, more so during the past decade. She examined the birth defect and nodded. 

Her work was done just 20 minutes later. “I got you looking like a little boy!” And I felt younger right away. No need to worry about a hairline if you don’t have much hair. Bonus: The hair that I do have is brushed forward, creating the illusion of a competent hairline.

I got home from the barber and the kids were pumped. “It looks good, Dada!” My boy with sensory issues wouldn’t stop rubbing my head. My wife stared and at least pretended as if she liked it. “Hey, you got a new husband!” 

The last stage of grieving a f***ed up hairline is accepting that it’s not coming back. I think I’m there. But! If medical technology progresses to where I can take a pill that makes my hairline damn near connect with my eyebrows, I’m on it. Even if I have to go all the way to Turkey.

Author's son running his dad's new haircut
Author with Bone Thugs rapper Bizzy Bone.
Bonus: Me and Bizzy Bone during my prime hairline years.

-Dewan Gibson

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