In the movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, Ulysses Everett McGill played by George Clooney was always worried about his hair. He declared himself a "Dapper Dan man" because of his loyalty to a brand of hair grease and he always grumbled "my hair" whenever he roused awake. In the movie, the point is well made that Everett is grateful for his gift of a thick head of hair and is committed to taking care of this precious gift.
I have had a good run with hair myself. As a child of the 70's, I grew up in a time when haircuts where seen as "over-rated." The men all wore polyester leisure suits and had long sideburns and the boys all had hair well below our ears and bangs covering our eyes. Then there was high school and college in the 80's. Now it is called a "mullet," but then it was a "lady magnet."
On to the working world and professional school, so the time came to get serious. I already had business in the front, but I had to finally let go of the party in the back. My part moved gradually from the center to the side which is more appropriate for grown men. This is the hair that served me well for the last 20 or so years.
Sure, the hairline is going back a little but I have plenty of time before I have to make another hairstyle change. I have been passively doing some research. I notice the Hair Club for Men commercials and have paid attention to the availability of Rogaine and other medical products.
I have asked my friends what they knew about the procedures, the products and cover-up methods. I watched with some interest as Matt Lauer cut his hair really short and pretended nothing had changed. I have been using expensive shampoos for years and scrubbing hard because a barber told me a long time ago that it helps scalp blood flow.
But again, I have plenty of time. Right?
I mean - I have seen lots of pictures of myself over the years and I usually pay attention to my hairline in the photographs. But it turns out that I am always looking at the camera, usually with a big toothy grin and the hairline looks ok still.
And then there were the videos.
Recently the Mike and Amir video series from Review of Optometric Business was released. I asked you to watch and you went in record breaking numbers to see the discussions.
I watched the videos myself. Like always, I was watching for ways I could improve on communicating the points I am trying to make. The videos were set up kind of like a friendly debate, where your strategy is to keep talking so the other guy never has a chance. But you have to breathe sometimes. And during one of my breaths, Amir starts talking.
So naturally, I turned to him, ready for when he stopped for a breath and there it was! My forehead was sticking out so far - I thought Amir was in danger of being knocked out of his chair.
The saddest part is that I have all of these people who I call friends and none of them told me that I looked like the biology professor at LaGrange College that we called "Dr. Forehead."
You have got to tell a brother!
When did this happen and why didn't you people tell me how bad it had gotten? Now this important decision has turned into an urgency. Where is the phone number for the hair club? How much does that cost? Doesn't that Rogaine stuff burn? What am I going to do?
I can do this. Let's do this like the OD that I am.
Which is better?
1. Shave it all off like Mr. Clean or Michael Jordan,
2. Comb it over, covering the bald area
I remember learning about my dad's baldness as the wind blew his comb-over straight into the air. I was devastated I could never do that to my kids so the "comb-over" is out. "1 is better than 2."
How about now?
3. The "Matt Lauer," really close haircut, but not shiny
Rogaine requires consistent application from now on and is not guaranteed to re-grow hair. "I choose 3."
And one more time....
6. Transplant from the back of the head
The most dreaded answer in all of optometry -
"I don't like either of those."
So (1) is cut it all off, like Mr. Clean. And (3) is cut it so short that you still need shampoo but not a comb, the Matt Lauer.
This has been a big deal to me and I am even having dreams about haircuts. But now that I have made up my mind how I am going to face this problem and I can move on. Not deciding is a nagging issue that won't go away.
Making a decision allows you to start moving ahead. And often, you find a lot of unexpected benefits, like freedom to ride with the window down anytime and head rubs from just about everybody.
So if you are trying to make a decision about an issue that you know you need to address, make the decision and move on.
Right now, you are trying to decide if you are coming to the Executive Retreat in January. Just decide now to register and start making plans to be there. You will be enrolled in the BluePrint™ and can start improving your practice right now.
Just do it because you know it will be great and you need it.
See you there,
p.s. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou is full of great lines and you should watch it if you haven't seen it in a while. In addition to "My Hair," another quote from the movie I like a lot is "Damn, we're in a tight spot." If you find yourself in a "tight spot" from time to time, I have an answer for you. Click here to see how to get out of your "tight spot."