Hair Today, Bald Tomorrow

The perils of being pelon

By Al Carlos Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: April 8, 2003

Hair Today, Bald Tomorrow

I suspect that the whole cue ball hard-boiled egg look began as a reaction to Michael Jordan?s iconic success and quickly spread to gangbangers and dudes who had head lice.

Some women find the look virile; others spend a fortune buying their husbands and boyfriends sunblock head wraps and hats. There is no real way to tell if you look good as a bullet head unless you do it. After that it?s immediately too late.

Although the clean head look started with the African American community, dudes of all races have since jumped on the bandwagon so they could look fly like Mike. I have news for you: They don?t, because not all heads are shaped exactly the same, and due to lifestyle many homies' domes are necessarily round. Some Blacks look like Junior Mints, some Latinos look like potatoes, and some Asians look like lemons.

Mr. Clean or the Se?or Limpio look is synchronistical good thing for aging baby boomers like me, as many of us are destined by genetics, teenagers, and ex-wives to lose their hair anyway.

You may notice that the older and hipper OGs shaving all the hair off once that horseshoe head thing starts to happen and you look like you are wearing furry ear muffs, while your forehead looks like a landing strip for pigeons. This type of unfortunate hair arrangement inspires such insults as: His forehead is so big he doesn?t have dreams. He sees movies.

Being pro-choice bald is the most dignified answer to the used car salesman televangelist comb over. News flash: Everybody notices a comb over. Hello! The light reflects off of the scalp landing strip when you start to sweat.

Thanks to my parents I have a full head of hair, albeit grey, yet I don?t fear losing it as much as I used to now that being a pelon is a Vin Diesel fashion statement.

Unfortunately for me and my generation, we are seeing ominous signs of fools growing back Afros, homies sporting pony tails, and hipsters trying to look like Herman's Hermits.

It?s my luck that that once my hair starts falling out, big hair will come into fashion again and I will look played out. I am comforted by my kids not to worry. They assure me that I am played out already and hair has nothing to do with it.

Back in the day, the longer you hair, was the hipper you were. There is a part of me that still believes that is true, and if I had my way I would have a fat pony tail and a full beard looking like a sub-tropical biker Santa Claus.

But my wife isn?t having it.

When I was coming up, the axiom was: The longer you hair the hipper you were. Long hair indicated that you were a rock star rebel without a job living outside the mainstream. Women found that look daring and exotic. Back then if you were bald, this meant that you were probably in a cult, wore robes and passed out flowers at the airport.

Nowadays how you wear your hair or not is irrelevant.

The bald looks works for men of all ages, especially babies, really old dudes and those who like to wake up the last minute before going to work. There is, however, head maintenance. I?m sure that the process of head shaving, especially with a hangover which no doubt causes the head to feel fifteen times its normal size, can prove perilous.

There are many questions here: When is the right time to shave -- or should I say mow? How bald is bald enough? How do you know if you missed a patch in back of your head that will look like Velcro to the casual observer?

Very few guys go for the bowling ball shine. Many have that five o?clock shadow thing and carefully line the fringe of the scalp like a coloring book outline.

I inadvertently received the bald look once by accident. My wife and her friend at her salon decided to give me a splash of color to mask some of my grey. They put some black tint on that they promised would wash out. It didn?t, and I looked like a cross between Shemp of the Three Stooges and Eddie Munster for several months.

When the hair started growing back I looked like a Mounds Candy Bar with white on the bottom and a chocolatety top. No one would look me in the eye. Rather, their eyes always veered to the candy display on my dome.

I shaved my hair off, happy to live in a time that defies convention. I have learned to leave well enough alone.

About Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos is a national columnist and a screenwriter.

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