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"But let me tell you, losing my hair wouldn’t worry me so much if I felt like a grown man instead of a really old boy. I wouldn’t be using pills and potions to cling to my hair if I felt like I’d actually accomplished something of value in my life."

Holy hell, if you didn't just sum up EXACTLY why I've been struggling with my own thinning hair. I've always known that's the case, but at the same time, you put it so eloquently, so succinctly... I'm glad now I have something to tell other people when they ask why it bothers me that isn't a long winded metaphor.

I saw a great comic on the topic that is really too long to summarize here that called a receding hairline the "genetic grim reaper". The point at which the illusion of youth is finally dispelled, which is intensely difficult to grapple with if one, as you said, hasn't actually ever transitioned out of psychologically.

It's your body telling you, "Alright. You had your fun. But it's time to grow up."

"No! You can't do this to me! I'm so young!"

"You're twenty-eight."

"I know! I'm basically a kid!"

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Long hair in pop music has always been weird. First it was cool to have short hair, then long hair, then short hair, then long hair, rinse and repeat. Problem is, after a certain point it just became reactionary to what other people were doing and had no deeper meaning. Especially once the '00s hit and band members no longer had any sort of uniform look, where half had long hair and half had short and wore mismatched clothes. At a certain point the purpose of it became lost, as it always does in this era.

One of my favorite stories is that of Urge Overkill, who deliberately wore long hair and gaudy costumes during the grunge era because the old look was now seen as uncool and they were going to make it cool again. They were seen at as sellouts for it. Really shows how strange the importance of image in the genre changed over the years. Now it doesn't really mean much and every band looks the same as a result.

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On a more humorous note, people's denial about their receding hair reminds me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u7PZUGhyac

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You're capturing all my middle age anxieties in your writing lately.

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Hair related: I always found this song profoundly moving. Some commenters have said the whole thing is an allegory for cancer treatment; the Samson referenced in the song had long hair when they met, but the woman cutting it in this version explicitly is not Delilah, but another person unrecorded in Scripture (“the Bible didn’t mention us” and his loss of strength is not something she wants. His consumption of Wonderbread (easy to digest) and the refrain of “I have to go” seem to speak of impending mortality as well. Hauntingly beautiful, in my opinion.

https://youtu.be/p62rfWxs6a8

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