Sweating in style

In the summer of 2010, while taking a stroll around Beijing’s Chaoyang Park, I saw dozens of couples posing for wedding pictures. The skies were clear, and it was sweltering hot. I’m guessing it was around 95 degrees. The men were sweating through their tuxedos, and the women were having trouble keeping their hairdos in place. Continue reading

A thinning red line

I’ve probably wasted a few weeks of my life looking into the mirror, staring at the endangered grassland atop my head where red curls once grew. I tilt my head and adjust the light in the bathroom. I apply gel to prop up the strands that are too weak to stand on their own. And then I look again.

I feel like a loser.

I began losing my hair at 22, in my senior year of college. At first, it was like a slow drip. A few hairs at a time. By my late 20s, the pace quickened, and I helplessly watched my hairline move higher and higher.

I considered intervention and scanned hair-loss products at grocery stores, always late at night to avoid being seen. I even carried a bottle of Rogaine to the register once, but stopped short of buying it at the last second. Better to bald gracefully than to try to fight it. 

With a college roommate and my sister in March 2008. (Photo by Erin McCracken)

By the time I turned 30, my hair had thinned enough that you could see my scalp in several places. If I didn’t wear a hat to the beach, my head burned. My mom tried to reassure me, “It’s really not that bad.” My brother had a different opinion. “No dude. It is that bad.” Continue reading