When I was a teenager I had a gorgeous head of hair.
More often than not it was crafted into a magnificent quiff.
Mousse, wax, Brylcreem, gel, hairspray…all were employed and deployed, at various times and sometimes all at once, to create a do that was a thing of wonder. Only it and the Great Wall of China could be seen from space. It was proper lush.
In my mid-thirties I was standing in front of a room full of teenagers attempting to explain something when one of the boys made a comment about my having a “penalty spot”. At first I didn’t really understand. It only took a few seconds to realise that he was commenting on my hair thinning. I couldn’t accept it. I told him not to talk rubbish and that it was just the way I was parting my hair.
Shortly after that I visited the hairdresser and when she put the mirror to the back of my head I saw that the boy was right…my hair was thinning. I wasn’t bald, but the hair was beginning to beat a retreat from my scalp.
Now it has been ten years since I last visited a hairdresser and I “cut” my own hair with a pair of clippers. Fortunately as well as a long dance with the quiff I had also been a skinhead for more years than I can count and while I always favoured a suedehead it wasn’t too awful for me to remove the guards from my own clippers and just go full peanut.
Even now when what hair that is left is no more than a shadow on my skull, I often find myself thinking about letting it grow out…just to see. The fact that there is nothing really to grow out doesn’t come into it. Somewhere, deep inside of me, there is still a belief that things are just as they have always been, that a luscious quiff is still within reach.
But I have to accept that things change, I’m not the man I used to be and I can’t ever go back.
“Everything’s Electric” is available now.