HIS AND HIRSUTISM Hair. Heads Up, My Fellow Male Marchers.

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Heads up, my fellow male Marchers.

Get ready to temporarily ride the new permanent wave, as yet
another panacea for male pattern baldness heads for the

Now comes Merck & Companys Propecia, the same drug
known as Proscar, already widely used in larger doses to treat
enlarged prostates. Seems this chemical that controls our glandular
mayhem also, as an unexpected and sure-to-be lucrative side effect,
puts lost hair back on our heads.

Steel yourselves, gentlemen, as we mount up to mess with Ma
Nature one more time.

And, as mothers and segues go, it was my mother who helped set
many of my male patterns, (Sorry, Ma. I dont blame you for
everything, but I give credit where its due) and on this issue of
balding and bald pates, she first influenced my philosophy when I
was a hairy-headed kid testing her maternal restraint with some
forgotten act of boyhood terrorism.

She said, (I might have been chasing her with a snake at the
time) that if I didnt cease and forever resist doing such a thing to
her again, shed: Snatch me bald-headed.

Horrors. And, because little boys are such literal-minded
sponges who wouldnt know a metaphor from a petit four, I
believed she could and would do it.

I also developed a deep sympathy for Mr. Rudnicki, a
baldheaded music teacher who mustve been scalped when he
wouldnt stop chasing his mother, and she not only could but did.

As for Ma Nature, heres the gist of it, guys:

Lets say we have two stages of male hormones. One is
testosterone. We all know about this one. Its what makes us
overload the washing machine, wear our baseball caps in reverse,
and buy riding lawnmowers with headlights. Well call this little
chemical engineer: Testy One.

As we age...or as we begin to separate whites and colors and
actually interrupt ourselves to add fabric softener, or as we flip our
caps back forward because it makes more sense to keep the sun &
rain out of our faces, or as we pay the kid next door to cut the grass,
Testy One is hard at work converting itself into
dihydrotestosterone, hereinafter known as Testy Two.

Now, it is the increasing and final silent majority of Testy Two
that ultimately, for most of us, accomplishes the slow but sure
balding and/or baldheaded snatch. And, as we all become more
efficient and sensible launderers, outdoorsmen and landscapers in
the process, we dont miss Testy One so much, anyway.

I dont make the rules, fellas. This is just how Ma Nature works
as we chase her with a snake into our new and newer, old and older

I dont know when it all began. Perhaps when Delilah snatched
Samson baldheaded and he brought down the house. But,
somewhere in history, we started to at least partially define our
manhood by our crop of cranial integumenti.

I say bull hair, my fellow headers.

This is why millions of us spend billions every year waxing our
waning noggins with Rogaine compost and bogus cure-alls, and no
doubt are now chomping at the bit to shell out billions more as
Propecia The Snake Charmer comes to town.

In Reflections Of A Bachelor Girl, Helen Rowland wrote in
1903: The tenderest spot in a mans make-up is sometimes the
bald spot on top of his head. Oh, wise & witty earth mother.

But, listen guys, if our resplendent male pride wont allow us to
be cut to the quip by a mere female onlooker, try Mr. Melvilles
great leveler in Moby Dick, Chapter Twenty-Five:

In truth, a mature man who uses hair-oil, unless medicinally,
has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere. As a general
rule, he cant amount to much in his totality.

I dont believe theres a woman who really wouldnt prefer a
bald, sensitive, fun and funny man over the narcissistic, dimwitted
Fabio genre. And, any woman who does is probably over-endowed
with quoggy spots herself.

Before Propecia hits the shelves and we head into yet another
new era of redefining machismo, I have two testimonials for our
medicine cabinets:

1. When Merck tested the effects of Propecia in a double-blind
study, an amazing result emerged:

After using the drug as prescribed for one year, almost half the
men answered that the treatment was effective in slowing down
hair loss.

One problem. For those twelve months, those men had
unknowingly taken placebos, the pharmaceutical equivalent of M &
Ms. This proves, boys, that the true meaning and our real
perceptions of whats on top of our heads, lies inside our heads.
Its either that or M & Ms melt in our brains, not in our hands.

Lets not forget the country witticism: There may be snow on
the roof, but theres still fire in the furnace.

2. This pill is not for women. Fact is, because of the high risk
of birth defects, its recommended that pregnant women not even
HANDLE the drug. Egad.

Im siding with Dr. Michael F. Holick, the gland honcho at
Boston Medical Center. He said that no one yet knows the
long-term effect of shutting down Testy Two, adding:
Theoretically, if you lose the active substance that helps maintain
bones, you could sustain bone loss.

Holy guise & dolls...is there a generation of bald human jellyfish
on the horizon? Hair today, gone tomorrow?

Youll pardon me, but I must head down to the basement.

Time to stoke the furnace...and add the fabric softener to the

You know how Testy they can get.

Copyright 1998 B. Elwin Sherman. www.toolkitinparadise.com All rights reserved.