It was sophomore year of high school. I was sitting in chemistry class, racking my brain about some formula or element or whatever. In a state of confused boredom, I scratched my head. A few follicles fell out of my head and landed in the spine of my opened textbook.
I about dry heaved.
What in the hell is this?, I thought. My dad is bald, something I had long been made well aware of, particularly by my dad's friends who not-so-gently reminded me of genetics and that, with the exception of the hair, I looked a lot like him. I knew, at some point, I was going to lose my hair. I just had no idea it was going to start at 15.
Somewhat expecting what was going to happen, I scratched my head again. More hair fell out. I knew I was going bald.
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I came home a wreck. I explained to my parents what was happening, wondering how this could be happening. We went to doctors of varied kinds looking for answers. Maybe I was too stressed at school -- after all, my chemistry teacher seemed an absolute nut. Maybe I had some skin disease or a fungus that could be cured. Eventually it became clear, this was just genetics and there was nothing that could permanently stop it.
I spent a reasonable amount of time crying about it. It's one thing to go bald gracefully, but not so early in life. I went to an all-boys high school. They noticed, quickly. They pounced quicker. Thank goodness I had thick hair so I could at least get through high school looking like I had a modest head of hair, but it's hard not to notice a thick mane shrinking.
In my senior year, in an act of capitulation, I went to my long-time barber and told her to buzz it all down. It was in college that I realized I could still be attractive to girls without a lot up top. After graduate school, I met my wife, who, in 2011, convinced me it was time to shave my head clean. I was going to be on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" for the first time, so why not sport the Tim Rosaforte? I've never looked back.
Bald people notice other people going bald faster than those with hair. When you see it happen to you in the mirror each day, it's easy to see it in others. So it wasn't hard to tell that Jordan Spieth is going bald. It doesn't look like he's ever had a lot of hair -- kind of like Peyton Manning -- but whatever was there is steadily ejecting from his head. When Spieth won the Masters, a lot of people noticed. The green jacket ceremony meant Spieth was seen by millions sans hat. It was obvious.
Several of Spieth's peers have already made light of his fate, including Matt Kuchar, who jabbed Spieth about it after they played together at the RBC Heritage in April.
“I may be older, but we have similar hairlines," he said after Spieth mocked Kuchar's age.
After Spieth won the U.S. Open for his second consecutive major, more people noticed. The Open Championship opened more eyes. Bald man and comedian Larry David noticed, telling Golf Digest that Spieth is going "wildly bald" and that he has "three, four years" left with hair before he officially goes from balding to bald.
Spieth sounds somewhat resigned to his fate.
Just asked Jordan Spieth if he'd seen this. "Yeah, that was pretty funny," he said. "Hey, nothing I can do about it." pic.twitter.com/yXDktpbylD
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) September 15, 2015
Well, there are things. Rogaine is a good topical cream, but you have to use it forever. Same with Propecia, which is basically Rogaine in pill form. Then there's hair plugs -- just ask Wayne Rooney. But the best approach, Jordan, is letting nature do its thing before one day busting out the clippers and shaving it all off.
Of course, replacing shampoo and conditioner with a razor and shaving cream comes with more than a change on the grocery list and in the morning routine. Bald is beautiful, but it takes work to keep it looking that way.
You need to invest in a good moisturizer and a great sunscreen. Even better? Buy a combo product and lather that on each morning. Nothing helps a little razor burn quite like that.
You've got plenty of Under Armour hats, so you won't need to invest in new ones. However, the sun will no longer be your friend. If you don't wear a hat when you go out, you'll wind up getting sunspots on your head and start looking like C. Montgomery Burns. Sunscreen is good backup, but a Flexfit or fitted ball cap is a must. No more wearing hats with an open back or you'll soon have a moon-shaped sun tattoo on your head. It's a bad look.
But, when the summer heat comes, that's when the hat also becomes your enemy. The sun's strong rays still tan where your hat isn't, meaning you'll quickly develop the Easter Egg tan, looking dyed two different colors based on where your hat lays. It's not fun, but it's better than the alternative of an increased risk of skin cancer. Get used to the ribbing, or just spend the occasional 10-15 minutes out in the sun without a hat. It'll even out, sort of.
Don't dress like a slob. People will think you've given up on life. Instead, be sartorially splendid. People will know what you lack in hair style you've injected into your wardrobe.
But, the best piece of advice I can give you, Jordan, is something I can't tell others. Keep winning majors. No one will care how your head looks if you keep winning majors. Your dome can just shine as much as all those trophies.