Hair loss is something that is tough for some men to endure. It can cause self-esteem issues and anxiety when establishing relationships with others – whether it is a new friendship or a potential partner.
Twenty-five per cent of men who are directly impacted by baldness start to see the signs of hair loss before the age of 21.
When I was 17 years old, I was in grade 12. My life was changing.
I had a lot of friends – some old and some new. I was looking into colleges and working my way towards getting a diploma. I joined my high school’s hockey team as an assistant manager. After that, graduation came. I got a certificate.
As summer rolled around, I decided to change my looks. I started to work out more and build more muscle. That’s when my family noticed other changes on the top of my head. That’s right, my hair was starting to thin.
I was in Portugal on vacation with my aunt and sister. We went to the beach. My aunt noticed I was going bald. I did not believe her.
A month later, I went back to high school to get the credits I needed to get my diploma. When I first returned to school, some of my friends noticed that my hair was thinning. It made me feel self-conscious.
In September of 2014, I went for surgery on my leg to extend my hamstring muscle. I stayed in rehab at Holland Bloorview. I started noticing the hair loss a little, too.
But I figured that it was from the medication I was taking after I left rehab. I started to stress more. That made my hair loss even worse. My sister kept making fun of me. She did not help – even if it was just a friendly jab.
In the summer of 2015, my mom decided to see if there was anything out there that could help. I was 18 and my hair looked like a wig blowing over in the wind.
My mom and dad saw a commercial on the TV about a hair care outlet. It had a four-step process on how to regrow your hair. All the reviews I looked at were favourable.
So, I went on the hair product system for about a year. At first, I saw results. My hair grew thicker and that gave me hope.
When I went to college in 2016, I did not bring the hair products with me. I figured my roommate would I think I was weird. But as my stress returned. My hair started to thin again. This time, it got worse.
Once that school year ended, I shaved my head. At first, it was weird being a 20-year-old with no hair because you don’t know how people will react. I thought: “People would treat me differently? I wondered how this would affect my chances with girls? And would people make fun of me?”
I posted a picture of yours truly bald. My friends made jokes about it. But it was in a fun way and that made me feel better. Eventually, I let my hair grow back but it did not look good. Ever since, I have been bald, and I love it because it makes things easier for me.
I also gained confidence. I wanted to find what razor blades would be good for head shaving I came across a Youtube channel called “Bald café” and I was interested.
Bald Café is run by Harry James. He is from the UK and he interviews men who are losing their hair at young ages to share their stories.
I recently interviewed Harry via Skype and he told me his story.
“My hair was probably starting to fall out very slowly at 14 at a slow rate. I heard someone say by the time you really notice it 50% has already fallen out,” he said.
I asked Harry how he got his confidence back. “I get a lot of my confidence now from helping people. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true,” he said.
Harry told me why he started Bald Café. “It’s made me more confident. It’s given me a real purpose. It’s given me real drive. I just love to do it. I love interacting with people. It’s really like given me a lot of faith in humanity,” he said.
The most important thing for men who are going through hair loss is to remember that being bald is beautiful.