Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

My bald head

Photo on 2-19-14 at 3.22 PM

Every man in my family loses his hair.

I’m not exaggerating. It happens to us all. Both of my grandfathers—Nat and Curt—were bald. My dad, God bless the man—pretty bald. My uncle—not bald, but, well … yeah.

Hair doesn’t like the Pearlman men, and that’s OK. Long ago, I accepted that my thick brown locks wouldn’t last long. So, in the lord’s year of 1995, I took action. I was 23, working at The Tennesean, and I shaved it all off for the first time. It felt great. Amazing. Awesome. Fuck baldness! I’d attack it before it attacked me. I’d be the aggressor. The strong one. Ever since, I’ve shaved my head. Usually with my own electric trimmer. Sometimes—if I’m on the road—at a barber shop.

But here’s the quirky thing: Of all the Pearlman men, I’m the one who, ahem, hasn’t lost his hair. I shave it, it grows back—thickly. There’s modest recession in the front, but only modest. I have no bald spot in the back; no thinning. Nothing. Just hair. Thick, brown hair. I’m not sure if this is karma, or merely weird dumb luck. But now, 19 years in, I’m so used to shaving it all off, and so loving of the feeling of a clean scalp, that I refuse to stop. This drives my poor mother crazy. She doesn’t understand why I’d take a gift like hair for granted.

Every so often, some angry reader will try and insulting me with a bald comment. Which wouldn’t even bother me were I bald.

But I have hair, dammit.

I have hair!