There was a time when folks across social media platforms were claiming beards are the new six-pack. I for one did not, but I did start growing one in early 2015. One of the reasons I decided to pledge my allegiance to the illustrious beard gang was that it provided a visible and unique accessory to compliment my bald head. A fate I inherited from my family genetics that was hopelessly inescapable. I wanted something that could I change up and allow myself to stand out from my brothers in the hair struggle who like myself, adapted the smooth and shiny crown with confidence and sex appeal.
Before I give my thoughts on one of the fastest growing trends in men’s grooming, Let me first preface my opinion by stating that had the existence of man weaves or male units as it’s called in some circles, existed back in my mid-twenties or early thirties, I probably would have lept at the chance to relive the joys of a full head of hair or at least the illusion of one.
As luck would have it, my early days of adulthood were inundated with now iconic pop male references of style. When my hair began thinning, Michael Jordan had already accomplished his second three-peat, Tyson Beckford was deemed a supermodel and working for Ralph Lauren, and the hyper-masculine bravado of hip hop legends Onyx had dominated the airwaves. All of these notable men sported baldies and influenced a generation of men, particularly of color, to opt for the shaved head look not just out of necessity, but as a fashionable hair (less) style of choice.
Today, men now have the option to look a myriad of ways and join their female counterparts in drastically changing their look with ease. If you can part with a few hundred dollars, you too can experience unbelievable magic at the hands of a talented stylist within a few spins of a salon chair.
I first saw amazing transformations of men while viewing the Instagram account of celebrity stylist John Cotton of New York City. Cotton, has groomed the domes of such personalities (none of them wear male units) as SNL’s Jay Pharaoh, Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh, and Empire’s Jussie Smollett. When he isn’t styling Hollywood’s elite, he’s changing the lives of every day men (and even some women), one male unit at a time.
Now let me be clear here, I’m always an advocate for the entrepreneurial warriors of the world so I’m elated that not only is John solidifying a reputation for his masterful work, so are many others in this small but growing talent pool of barbers / stylists. Personally, I’m very happy and content with my bald head. It’s served me well and I now can’t imagine looking any other way. That’s just me though. I applaud however, the men who may be in their early twenties who like I was at that time, not ready to deal with the realities of maturing, or heredity. I get it!
Any man deciding to inject a little variety and spice into their lives with a new do, should! As I’ve stated earlier, this is now available and the process is executed so brilliantly that it is virtually impossible to detect when someone is wearing a man weave. I’m not kidding! Some of the work I’ve seen is not only mind blowing, but life altering.
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Whether you’re looking to reclaim your hair or you’re content with rocking a baldie with a sick hat collection, the beauty of it all is that you have options. The reasons to opt for a male unit can range from suffering from hair loss due to genetics or illness, to just trying something different. The choice is yours and you can feel confident that you’ll look convincingly natural.
That leaves men like myself who are going to carry on the legacy and be like Mike and accept what is, and use what momma gave us with as much style and swagger as possible. Let’s all tip our hats to burgeoning careers in the male grooming industry and the lives they’re impacting. If man weaves aren’t for you, then rock your flyest fitted, fedora, or painter’s cap and don’t forget your sunscreen for your head while at the beach. There is enough shine for us all despite what’s on top of our heads and we now get to co-exist in a culture where that’s possible.