My problem is two-fold. My husband of almost 20 years – who has been bald since before I met him – recently decided to stop shaving his head and start using Rogaine to re-grow his hair. I prefer him bald (honestly!) and the cost of Rogaine just isn’t in our budget right now. It is very expensive, and we really could be using the money to pay down our credit card debt. This, however, is only half the problem.
“Oscar” was only a teenager when he started to lose his hair, and that which is growing back is coming in gray. He feels this makes him look “old, not distinguished” and has started using hair-coloring for men. Since Oscar is willing to admit that we cannot afford both the Rogaine and trips to salon every month, he has been using hair dye from a box that he picks up at the dollar store. Tazi-Kat, it looks horrible!
I have tried to gently coax Oscar into going back to his natural look, but he insists that being bald makes him look old; that he is tired of constantly having to shave his head; and that he loves his new look. Our 20th wedding anniversary is next month, and we were supposed to have our portraits done, but I do not want this stranger posing next to me in the photos! What can I say to my husband to make him realize that he was sexy the way he was?
Dear Dyeing Inside:
In calling your husband a "stranger" you sum up what is upsetting you so much: He no longer looks like the man you love. This does not mean he is no longer the same man, and if this is the look he prefers you will have to adjust to it. Do not give up without a fight, but do battle lightly on this topic.
How would you feel if your husband told you that you would look much sexier if you just gained 20 pounds? Just as women tend to be sensitive about their weight, men are at least as sensitive about their hairlines, and to suggest that less is more is like telling a woman that she needs to gain weight: however sincere the sentiment is, it sounds hollow.
If your husband refuses to believe you when you tell him how attractive you found him when he was bald, it might be time to dig through some old pictures – and to take some new ones, before your portrait sitting. So often, when a person makes a change to their appearance they think they look terrific, until they see pictures of how they actually do look.
Since your anniversary is approaching, a nice gift would be a “Through the Years” photo album of you and your husband; a collection of pictures from every year of your marriage, documenting both special and everyday occasions. Use this project as an opportunity to reminisce over photos of times past, how “handsome” your husband looked, and what a beautiful couple you are. Tell him that, as a part of the project, you would like to take some more recent photos of him with his “new look”.
Once Oscar sees the photos of how he actually looked before next to the photos of how he actually looks now, he will be confronted with the unvarnished truth – and if he looks as bad as you claim he does, you might want to have the electric razor ready and waiting. If Oscar is still convinced that he looks better now than he did bald, at least you will have a very special anniversary gift to give to him; one that will feature him looking like the man that you fell in love with all those years ago.
P.S. For many women, bald is sexy. Michael Jordan, Telly Savalas, Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Zane, and L.L. Cool J. (just to name a few) are all bald and I have yet to meet a woman who would kick any of them out of bed! You just might want to remind your husband of this fact!