Hat Tricks

It's not what is on your head that defines you...

By Al Carlos Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: October 2, 2004

Hat Tricks

There are four primary reasons for guys over thirty to wear a hat: To block out the sun, to support a certain team or cause, in lieu of combing hair, or to conceal the lack of hair thereof.

Any man who wears a hat ? unless you are a cowboy ? to a semi-formal occasion, is either hiding bad hair or the unfortunate emergence of a chrome dome. Most men view hair as a sign of virility, but physiologically and chemically the opposite is true as one gets older. At least as reported by middle age Gringo doctors.

Don?t kid yourself. A toupee, irrespective of how much it cost or how it is secured to your cabeza, is a hair hat, and I ain?t mad at you.

The ancients seem to know this, that?s why some cultures have traditions of turbans and ornate head dresses. If you have always wore a head covering, then the issue of hair was moot, or mute if you were wrapped too tightly and had the propensity to blow yourself up.

During the week I am a mostly baseball hat wearer, in lieu of a hair combing type guy, and have learned to color match the cap with the T shirt/sweatshirt that I?m wearing that day. OK, maybe for a couple of days, I work at home, I could be wearing a lime green quincea?era dress and it wouldn?t affect the quality of my work, or the opinion of my employer.

My sons and I only wear the fitted caps meaning they are an exact size, say 7 3/4, and don?t have to worry about that unsightly cheap plastic or Velcro strap that runs across the back, which for me often times has failed. Unfortunately, because of the size of my dome, I have to put it on the last two dots, and sometimes the plastic strap splits up into a V shape squeezing the hat up to an unsightly point.

No one really knows when a man reaches the age where he cannot credibly wear his cap backwards. The older, you get the more you realize that the bill in the back negates the sun vision protection which is the intent of the hat in the first place. This is only practical if you fear becoming a red neck.

So wearing a hat backwards is the same as wearing a knit cap beanie, which is designed to keep the head warm when it is cold.

If you habitually wear a cap backwards in the hot sun, you are either a motorcycle mechanic, MLB catcher, or viewed by the X box generation as a wankster.

If you are an aging rock star and have a collection of exotic hats and wear them with impunity, to look cool, you are bald. Get in touch with your hairlessness.

In an epiphany, it came to mind that the reason I often wear hats is because my hair is prematurely grey. OK, strike the prematurely, but at least I have a full head of it. I?m not sure if wearing a cap makes me feel younger, or if I'm freed from the responsibility of signing autographs as Larry Tate.

Nowadays, white hair is an option for men, as it has been for women since hair color was invented. There are no more stigmas for men to get a color and cut. After all, we live in a youth-fueled society. It is much more circumspect to get a dye job then to look for a job.

My wife and Gay Joel once thought it best for me to explore life as a brunette again. They put a temporary rinse in my hair that was permanent, and I looked like a cross between Eddie Munster and Shemp from the Three Stooges without the talent. Hated it?The timing was poor I was working in a tire shop at the time.

What I didn?t know was that the roots grew out first, so with white underneath and dark brown on top, my head looked like a Mounds bar for weeks. Folks would look me in the forehead, then avert their eyes fearing I was having a melt-down midlife crisis, while wondering whatever happened to Moe and Larry.

I got a barber college buzz cut, mowing all of the darkness away and wore a cap to work for a while. I embraced my white hairedness. The bottom line being, it is what's in your head, not what?s on your head, that defines who you really are.

About Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos looks like Kenny Rogers.

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