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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Have you seen this man? (Mount Healthy PD)

Police in the Midwest are on the lookout for a serial thief who has been stealing obscene amounts of the hair growth drug Rogaine—as well as the memory supplement Prevagen—from drug stores in the region.

And yes, the suspect is bald.

Mr. Clean’s most recent theft involved nearly $900 of the hair regrowth treatment from a Walgreen’s in Mount Healthy, Ohio. However, he has been linked to additional thefts in other Ohio cities—like Cleveland and Cincinnati—as well as Kentucky.

“We’re scratching our heads on this,” Mount Healthy PD Detective Chris Jones said recently. “No pun intended, I guess.”

Authorities don’t believe the bald burglar is using the Rogaine himself—judging from his still shiny and hairless scalp—but think he may be reselling it online or at flea markets.

The search continues, for now, but there is one thing this guy could do to prevent his arrest: start using the product himself. After all, no one’s looking for a hairy suspect—at least not until he starts stealing hair care products, that is!

I’ll never cut my hair!

Me as a long-haired hippie!

Shortly after graduating from high school—and partly due to my “hippie” friends and the fact that I frequented Grateful Dead shows—I decided to grow out my hair. For as long as I could remember, hair had been an issue for me. I could never find a style that fit and any attempt to make it look presentable always failed miserably. My hair is straight and dry, so my options were definitely limited.

Growing it out into a ponytail was, in many ways, my only chance to “look cool” and fit in, so I started the long, grueling process that—little did I know—would continue for nearly eight years.

Ask anyone who has grown out their hair what the worst part is and I’m certain someone will mention the “in-between stage”—the period of time when everything is uneven and you simply can’t do anything with it. My approach was to wear a Surfer’s Exchange ball cap for an entire year, which certainly didn’t please my parents. In fact, once my hair was long enough to pull back into a tiny, metrosexual-looking ponytail, I have the hat to my mother with some lighter fluid, a bucket and a book of matches. She celebrated her birthday that year by burning the cap in our driveway and I know she enjoyed it. She’s actually been eyeballing a sweatshirt that I’ve worn for decades, but I’m still unwilling to part with it.

After a number of years, my hair finally evened out and I was able to pull it back into a true ponytail, this time one that more closely resembled a horse’s tail. It was long, straight, blonde and very easy to manage. All I needed to do was wash it well, condition it so a brush could get through it and pull it back. And by the end of each day—when I pulled out the rubber band to head to bed or something—some of my hair would still be wet!

I’m not bragging, but I had some of my best luck with women when my hair was long. It’s a phenomenon I still can’t understand. Perhaps they respected the fact that now I could relate to them better since I was also dealing with the challenges of having long hair. I like to think it’s because I was more attractive, but strong self-esteem has never been one of my character traits and I discounted this notion very early on. It was nice to get some attention, though. And one time when I was bartending, a woman offered to give me a larger tip if I let her run her fingers through it for five minutes. I did it, of course, but I’m certain that I enjoyed the experience more than she did.

Over time, my mother came to accept my long hair—which now stretched all the way down to my ass—because it reflected my liberal, hippie-like sensibilities. And she knew nothing she could say would make me cut it since I was young and this was one way I tried to rebel against the establishment. My father, on the other hand, never cared for it much and thought long hair only belonged on women. Of course, he was a “macho man” from Argentina who has always been very clean-cut, so I could understand where he was coming from. I continued to resist his requests for me to cut it—even when he offered to fund a week-long getaway anywhere in the world for me and a friend—because I was defending my new identity. In retrospect, though, I probably should have accepted his offer.

My hair continued to grow out for eight years and took me all the way through college and beyond. Eventually, I started a graduate program and yes, still maintained my lengthy locks. Then I moved to Charleston with my girlfriend at the time so she could start her culinary career at Johnson & Wales.

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row (Photo credit: zoonabar)

That’s when everything changed.

Since she would be in school all day, the responsibility for paying our bills fell on my shoulders. This meant I needed a job. A good job. With more than a decade of experience in the food service industry—and given that I had worked in nearly every position, from busboy and server to bartender and manager—I decided to focus on local bars and restaurants. This was my first time job searching in a major metropolitan area and in many ways, it felt like a cattle call. I would find myself among dozens of other applicants, all of us hoping to secure the one or two open positions at this steak house or that seafood restaurant. And thanks to a strong resume and even stronger interview skills, I always seemed to make the final cut. And that’s when I would hear the same fateful words.

“You’re perfect for the job, Scott, but we’re going to need you to cut your hair first.”

Initially, my sense of rebellion strengthened and I would basically refuse. “Thanks for the opportunity, but I’m going to look elsewhere,” I would tell these potential employers. And then I would hear the same thing from the next boss. The cycle went on and on. After a week or two of this, my rebelliousness started to fade because bills were piling up and, to be perfectly honest, I was starting to crave more than Ramen noodles. A little voice inside told me it was time to face the music, cut the hair and join the ranks of adulthood. I didn’t want to “sell out,” but basic survival made it necessary.

Regular Haircuts

It was time to cut my hair.

For several days, I visited barber shops and salons throughout the “low country,” but no one would cut off my ponytail. Stylists would say things like “it’s just too beautiful” or “you’ll regret it later.” This went on for some time until one stylist sat me down, put her scissors just above the rubber band holding my ponytail in place and asked, “Do you want me to cut it?” I said yes, so she snipped it off, through it in a bag and wished me well. She didn’t even charge me for it, which was a nice bonus.

Incidentally, I think my girlfriend kept my hair and, after I left her, made some kind of voodoo doll out of it. That would definitely explain a lot of the bad luck I’ve experienced over the years.

Within a week of becoming a short-haired man again, I found not one job, but two. My mornings would be spent working the grill at a nearby golf course and I would report to a fine dining restaurant later in the afternoon. After six months of this—and while my girlfriend did nothing but go to school while we were financially drowning—I had enough and called it quits. Several weeks later, I had moved home and found myself again living in my parents’ house.

I try not to live my life with regrets, but I can say one thing for certain: I miss my long hair. And who knows? If I can someday monetize a blog or start working from home as a freelance writer, maybe I’ll get the chance to grow it out again. I only hope male pattern baldness doesn’t prevent me from doing so!

Your hair = a child’s happiness: A charge from Bald for Babes & Gnostic Bent

Hey everybody!

Here’s a post from baldforbabes.wordpress.com that I STRONGLY URGE you to read. A friend of mine is trying to collect hair donations for Locks of Love by June 2013 and needs your help. For those of you unfamiliar with the organization, Locks of Love collects hair from donors and uses it to make wigs for financially disadvantaged children who lost their hair (e.g. from chemotherapy and so on). As we all know, body image is a huge issue in this country (and most of the world) and these kids face a lot of challenges through no fault of their own. Please consider helping them and start growing that hair today! I promise you won’t regret it!

A Year From Now, I’ll Be Bald…

… Join me?

So, many of you are familiar with the organization Locks of Love, the hair donation group that makes wigs for financially disadvantaged children who have lost their hair. What is not so commonly known is that June 1st is actually International Children’s Day… as well as my best friend, Erin’s birthday.
When Erin died suddenly in 2006, at the age of 29, she left behind a legacy of kindness and giving that I had only ever previously witnessed on news specials. Erin loved people. She loved making them happy, helping whomever she could, whenever she could. And as an organ donor, even in death she gave what she had to help others live better.
In the spirit of this remarkable woman who left us so far before her time, I would like to make a decidedly smaller donation that will help someone I may never meet. On June 1st 2013, I will be shaving off the hair I have been growing for the past four years, and donating it to Locks of Love.
“Why shave it instead of just cutting it all off?”, you may ask? Excellent question!
Honestly, I can only hope that I never have to experience what someone goes through when they lose their hair due to a medical condition…
..Once, while in Thailand, I met a wonderful woman – a young mother to two incredible, talented young girls, and a recent sufferer of alopecia. She’d shown me pictures of her long, blonde hair, and reminisced about how much she’d loved it. Then she told me how shocked she’d been when, in just 6 months, it was just gone. It was an experience I couldn’t begin to understand any more than I could know what it felt like to lose my big toe.
So I’m shaving my head because I don’t just want to give my hair, I want to stand in solidarity with the person who will receive it.
And I want you to stand with me. For the next year, I want those of you who are interested in being a hair donor to grow out your locks, and on International Children’s Day, 2013, give as much as you can to a child you may never meet.
Here’s a little information on what Locks of Love is looking for:  (General guidelines for a Locks of Love donation can be found here.)
  • The biggest thing to remember is, for hair they use themselves, the shortest layer of the donation must be 10 inches.
  • Shorter hair will also be taken, and Locks of Love will use it to help offset the cost of wig making.
  • Grey hair and coloured hair is okay, but only so long as it hasn’t been bleached first.

If you can’t or don’t want to make a hair donation, ask your friends and family if they might be interested instead. (Heck, ask them even if you are donating.)

Here at baldforbabes.wordpress.com, those of you who want to donate can keep in contact with me and with one another if you like, and you can send in pictures and videos of your experience growing, cutting and (perhaps?) shaving your hair.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and thank you even more if you decide to help.
With love,
Braddock
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