My hair started thinning in 1997.  But before it turned traitor on me, it was huge.  If I had tried to end it all by jumping off of a tall building and landing on my head, my hair would have saved my life.  It was like having a hairspray-reinforced trampoline on my head.

The 1st picture below is one of my senior pictures.  I look like I am 12, but alas I am actually 16.  You suspected I rode the short bus before, but now you know it.

No small amount of work went into fine-tuning this hairdo.  It was not so much that I wanted to have the Mt. Everest of hairdos on my head.  In retrospect, I think my hair probably penetrated my skull and was controlling my mind to some extent.

“Part me,” it said.  “Part me perfectly, for I am worthy of such a part.  Shampoo me and condition me, but never ever cross me.  I will make you pay.  Style me, and you will receive your reward in Heaven.”  See how the hair is mixing threats with quasi-religious rhetoric?  This was nothing new for my hair.  It was shady, both literally and figuratively.  It provided me with ample shade and was of questionable moral character.

I finally got a different haircut in the fall of 1996 when I was 17 and a freshman at Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State).  My hair did not rebel against me or steal my soul or empty my bank account and run away to Reno.  It did not turn against me, in fact, until a year later.  In 1997 I began to find hair on my pillow.  It was starting to thin.  It had lost the will to live.  Now I have to keep my hair in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at night to keep it alive.  A man’s gotta’ (hair)do what a man’s gotta’ (hair)do.