It happens to all of us at some point. Having an older boyfriend sounded kind of hot until his hair gets wet and you see it: the beginnings of bald patch. Maybe his forehead was already big and his hairline was only getting higher, but, as you’ll find out, that death by a thousand cuts is nothing compared to the sudden appearance of an honest-to-god bald spot. Our society doesn’t prepare little girls for this moment. Maybe your grandma even told you that Jewish men only get bald spots because they wear kippahs, and here you are: with a non-Jewish boyfriend but one who still has a bald spot. But nothing can hurt your feelings unless you let it. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know for when your boyfriend starts going bald.
The Hair-Regrowth Treatment
Whether he’s a big spender going for the name-brand stuff or a nice Midwestern boy who’ll get it at Costco, your boyfriend’s first move will probably be to get himself something that promises to reverse hair loss. Here’s what the savvy girlfriend will look out for:
Dilemmas. If he moves your roommates’ toothpaste to make room for his hair treatment in your bathroom, is this overstepping? If he passes out drunk before he can put it on, should you apply it for him? Our take is that it totally depends on your situation. This is a great time to evaluate your relationship and set boundaries. If rubbing an ointment into your partner while he lies there sweating and moaning doesn’t just sound like a good way to live out your war-nurse-injured-soldier fantasy, but seems like something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, go for it!
Opportunities. Show your supportive side by looking for opportunities to tell him that it’s definitely been working. You may be thinking that he’s taller than you, and that it’s hard enough to get him to go down on you without inspecting his head and telling him it’s looking better. But fear not—at some point, he will probably try to demonstrate that the strength hasn’t yet completely left his feeble aging body by picking you up. If he doesn’t, just fake a sprained ankle for a piggyback ride.
We live in a different world these days, and hopefully your man has kept up with the changing times. If he has, he might have a lot of female friends, and there’s a chance that one of them might at some point get blackout and yell at him that he’s balding. He might also have sensitive male friends, and you may one day witness one of them share some life trauma and then, feeling defensive, say, “But bro, that hairline.” The important thing in these situations is to encourage your boyfriend to acknowledge these comments as constructive feedback and to take them as a learning opportunity: has he considered how it makes them feel to have to watch his rapid physical decline?
At some point, your boyfriend might just get frustrated and shave off all his hair. He might try to hide behind arguments of practicality, but unless he’s Pitbull, it’s a flimsy excuse. Ladies: this is a red flag. He’s willing to completely cut something off just because it’s getting less attractive. Especially for those of us who play on aging ungracefully, enough said.
Even the best-managed boyfriend-balding experience will eventually lead to a moment of panic. Most likely, this will come when he tells you that some male relative of his was bald by 26. Fear not, though: let genetics work for you. Be sure to drop plenty of hints about how full hair runs in your family. It will be a sensitive time for him, and he’ll be thinking a lot about what lies ahead. Make sure he knows that you have desirable genes to pass on to his sons. After all, we haven’t come that far.
Three words for you: start saving now. Nothing will make him regret anything he had to say about your spending habits more than your being supportive of his hair-transplant goals. Take that high road! But even the most financially prepared couple can still face issues as part of this process. He’ll probably go to Mexico to get it done cheaply, and it’s hard not to worry. In a far-away exotic locale, newly vain about his hairline, meeting other women at a plastic surgery clinic…. Let him know that this may be a tough time, but it’s also an opportunity to show how much he values your relationship and deserves your trust. And if it turns out he doesn’t deserve it, just pray they gave him the wrong color of hair. It’s out of your hands now.
If you get to this point, can I instead direct you to this Guide for Finding the Right Divorce Lawyer for You?