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Combing for the Truth Among Follicle Fables

October 20, 1994|WENDY MILLER | Wendy Miller is editor of Ventura County Life

The latest weapon of choice in the battle of the sexes seems to be the whimper, with both sets of combatantes--reeling from slights genuine and imagined--lobbying volleys of self-pitying laments:

"My job is harder than your job."

"Well, I have to do more errands than you do."

"Your insensitive."

"You're self-centered."

"You are uncommunicative."

"You're a nag."

It's as though both sides are competing for the title of Most Beleaguered at the annual Gender Games.

And nowhere do people get more touchy and self-involved than when the Treacherous Trio--time, gravity and the aging process--conspire to rob them of their youth and good looks.

That's when her smooth, solid thighs start to partition, his flat, hard stomach begins looking helium filled and everyone seems to grow extra skin. And all hell breaks loose.

She heads for the makeup counter for thigh-sculpting and face-smoothing creams. He orders the super-deluxe, multi-exercise, home-fitness unit. Both make appointments with the plastic surgeon for sucking, tucking and stapling.

But, in general, only he will be faced with one humiliating task: to shore up, beef up, augment, or just try to hang on to those last remaining hairs on his once pileous dome.

Staff writer Jeff Meyers, who insists he's merely thinning, not balding (the guy's in serious denial), is too kind to wish baldness on any woman, particularly his editor, and he personally hopes for "a miracle cure" before he's "too old to care."

Meyers has been looking for a miracle cure ever since 11th grade, when he first noticed that his hairdo "lacked bounce not even a good shampoo could bring back."

Over the years, Meyers rubbed on ointments and elixirs and the prescription drug Rogaine. He went to charlatans who promised to regrow his hair by passing a spark-inducing electric wand over his head. But nothing stopped the relentless northern march of his scalp, making him the perfect candidate--actually, he was the only candidate on our otherwise hirsute Life staff--to write this week's centerpiece celebrating last week's Be Bald and Be Free Day.

"Some of the great men in history were bald," Meyers said. "And there were some sexy bald men, too--thank God for Yul Brynner."

After doing the story, Meyers wasn't tempted to get a hairpiece.

"If it ain't broke, don't affix anything to it, that's my motto," Meyers said.

And plugs were out of the question.

"What do you if it doesn't come out so good? Go for the baseball cap look?"

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