Three years ago, a couple of months before my 50th birthday, an irregular bald patch appeared on the back of my head. By my birthday I had lost most of the hair on my head and face, and in a couple more months I didn’t have a strand on my body, not even an eyelash. It never grew back. This is why I look the way I do – it isn’t some sort of fashion statement. This is the old me:
I had developed a nasty autoimmune condition called ‘alopecia areata universalis,’ which means that my immune system actually attacks hair follicles. This was not a pleasant experience, and it’s taken a while to embrace the new me. In addition to the love of my family, finding the Alopecia UK charity network was a tremendous source of strength and reassurance, and I’m now trying to pass this on to people coming to terms with the condition through participation in the online support group and through projects such as this one.
This blog started out as a personal Facebook challenge to raise awareness, and also self-esteem. Alopecia can strike at any age, and many of those afflicted are kids. I thought for their sake, and, quite frankly, my own, it might be fun to come up with a hundred hairless heroes – bald cultural icons (whether real or fictitious) that I thought were pretty darn cool. Thus was born The Haircut 100: a celebration of slap heads, chrome domes, cue balls, Kojaks and skullets in honour of those among us who are, as they say, too tall for our hair, and in need from time to time of a bit of positive reinforcement.
As I’m quite nerdy, geeky and goth, so is my list, so I’ll apologise for that in advance. The wide world of sport, for example, might be a bit under-represented, though I’ll cheerfully accept suggestions from the floor. The point is – kids, girls, guys – this is not a bad look if you embrace it. Bald, my friends, is the new black…