September 21, 2007

First Person


By Al Carlos Hernandez

Was channel surfing a few months ago and I saw a guy younger than me going through this painful hair transplant procedure whereby they pluck hair from the back of the neck and transplant it like a bamboo clump in the front where the hairline is receding.

The fella getting his crop rotated was rich, he had everything material in life but a good head of hair, I had an epiphany, I was his exact opposite.

Back in the day, I was one of the first Latinos to have long hair, and looked like one of the old timers on a cigar box or a British Judge, Yo, it was a biker Santana at Woodstock thing…

My wife usually cuts my hair, but last year I began checking out Barber shops because she is too tired to clip me after a tough day and it’s worth 20 bucks to hang out at a Barber shop and listen to what the Homies are talking about.

The Barber shop tour ended for me when I went to a Chinese hair cutter at the strip mall by the house.

Have you ever noticed that no matter what you tell the Asian Barber, he cuts your hair with that bowl look like Moe from the Three Stooges? When I sat in his chair I stated emphatically, No Moe, For Show…

Cut felt good as I left and really didn’t take a good look at it. He buzzed the sides with a number 2 Clipper, Scissor work on top, 15 buck routine mans cut what could go wrong?

Heard the garage door open went down to greet Miss Alba, she was laughing so hard she couldn’t get out of the car, I had Chairman Mao hair. That night after she recovered, it took her an hour to fix it, which is when I decided to grow it out long.

I notice dudes my age getting that Horseshoe head type pattern baldness, or the receding hairline.

Some have resorted to combing it forward, the Trump side whack comb over, or the hipper cats just shave it off.

Because of my genes I still have a whole head of hair albeit mostly white and if pruned correctly I could have old school 70s long hair past my shoulders eventually in a ponytail and would be the envy of all the paid pelon cats in my demographic.

Hair grows out in stages, you go from it drooping a little over the ears, and a tight curl up in the back, and when it is wet falls into the eyes. You go from raggedy locks to, that Dutch Boy type roll under, to the June Cleaver, Betty White Flip up, to the Nick Nolte mug shot.

Forgot that longer hair requires conditioning, vented brushes and even a high Tech hot comp hair flattener thingy. It would not be practical for me to grow the locks if I didn’t work at home, one thing men esteem over a full head of hair is to wake up at the last possible minute to go to work.

Been getting mixed responses; one of the four wheeler dudes next door told Alba, “Hey, why don’t you get Fabio to help you with that?” I went to pick up my car from the tire place after working on an outdoor project, and the service advisor gave me a free hat because he said I needed it because it looked like I was having a bad hair day. Did I mention he was heck-a-bald?

The best response has come from women and girls. One said I look like Richard Gere, another Michael McDonald, and a Movie Star. Mi Vida mentioned that I looked like Moses.

I like the look, the feeling the fierceness that lots of hair inspires, I feel somehow hip again, rebelliously non conventional, artistic almost iconoclastic. It is finger combed straight back and throughout the day is falls into curls covering my ears resting on the top of my shoulders.

My plan is to let it grow out and see what happens, this may be my last chance before the crop circles set in.

I’m learning that if there is something that you really want to do, do it now because you may never have the chance again, do not let life pass you by, because once its gone, there are no transplants.

Al Carlos Hernandez writes from Hollywood.

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