A Touchy Subject

Men are notoriously sensitive about their hair. According to some sources, even moreso than about penis size.

A few years ago, a big socialite in Boston swept past me at a party and said, “I’m not sure I like your hair that way.” I replied, “I’m not sure I give a shit.”

My hair has always been an embarrassment. Here’s a picture of me as an infant:

And here’s a picture of me now:

In between, there were years of trying to tame it with gel, paste, putty, and every known pomade, until the day I just gave up. This is what my hair does. I have tropical fish head. I decided to embrace it.

So for years now, I’ve worn my hair in an unruly spiky mess (admittedly aided by product of some sort). It’s kind of a trademark. The woman in the flower department at Whole Foods recognized me from a picture in the magazine I write for, The Improper Bostonian.

So today, I was wading through my mail, and I came across a card from an old friend. The card itself was pretty: a vintage New Yorker cover. Inside was a page torn out of The Boston Globe Magazine, with a photo of me wearing a hat. My friend wrote:

“Jonathan—is that you? You look so handsome—I’ve been thinking for a long time that it is time for you to change your hair. Love, X”

Well, X, I love you, too, and hats off to your honesty. But I’m deferring to Mother Nature for the time being.



  1. Nancy
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I think that pic of you as a baby is absolutely adorable. Little baby cheeks you just want to reach out and pinch. Good for you for embracing your hair. (If you like, I can dig around through the family pics and see if there is some old relative that you could blame (lol) – You do have a resemblance to the Hill side of the family. Both my sister and I were towheads too) I think you should write your friend a nice handwritten note telling her you love her and thanking her for her complement about your good looks and let her know you’ve forwarded her concerns regarding your hair on to Mother Nature.

  2. Posted July 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Of course, I am a fan of your current haircut. It is your signature, and there are limits to what you can do with your baby fine hair. I do like the idea of interesting hats. There are so many options for men now, and I think it’s a trend I might embrace myself.

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