The blog has been a bit marriage-and-family heavy these days, so maybe it’s time for a breath of fresh air from Prudence. Remember, no issue is too small or strange to require the services of a professional advice columnist!
A few months before my husband and I got married, I found out by accident that he wears a toupee. As we lay in bed one night, I noticed what looked like hairspray or gel buildup on his hairline. He was fast asleep, so I went to scratch it off, and what I thought was gel turned out to be the tape of his toupee! Here he had been wearing a toupee all this time, and I never had the faintest idea. I’m sure he’s painfully embarrassed about it, as he’s very particular about his appearance, but I’m his wife and hate knowing he’s keeping this from me. Do I somehow gently confront him about this? I’m nervous to do so, because I think he would be extremely embarrassed. In the end, I want him to know that I love him no matter what he looks like, and he shouldn’t feel like he has to wear a hairpiece.
—Bald Is Beautiful
There’s better, there’s worse, then there’s Hair Club for Men—which may be worse than worse. If you scroll around the Web for Hair Club counter-testimonials, you’ll find the most astounding thing about your story is that when your courtship began, you didn’t immediately suspect that your future husband had a muskrat pelt attached to his scalp. A standard toupee is supposed to be removed nightly, but customers of the Hair Club, or an equivalent, have the wig taped and glued on for weeks at a time. (Though your husband’s hair follicles appear to be dead, let’s not think about the life forms that must be breeding under the rug.) When he disappears without explanation, he isn’t cheating on you; he’s at the club getting his muskrat adjusted. We live in a glorious time for male pattern baldness, a time when even men who still have hair flaunt fully shaved heads. What a service it would be if you could release your husband from the tyranny of the toupee so that his scalp can breathe free. But he sounds like a delicate vessel, so handle him gingerly. Tell him the truth—that one night as he slept you noticed a buildup of glue on his scalp and realized he was wearing a toupee. Say you know that he takes great pride in his appearance, but you’re sure he would look just as handsome—probably more so—if he went natural. It will probably take time for this advice to gel, but maybe one day he will be willing to flip his wig.
In this day and age, I can hardly imagine a guy even wearing a hairpiece. Like Prudence, I find it even harder to believe that this woman never got close enough to notice until her husband was asleep. In the time they’ve been together, she’s never touched his hair? Or at least wondered why he recoils and pushes her away when she tries to?
I hope this guy comes around and decides to ditch the hairpiece, but since his wife apparently couldn’t tell that his hair was fake, well, why should he? She seems to hope he’ll realize that she loves him enough that he doesn’t have to wear fake hair. (But not enough to notice that he is, in fact, doing so??). Yeah, I think she should try to bring it up with him, and for the rest of the world it would be great if he went free. But I suspect that the fact that the woman who shares her life and bed with this guy couldn’t tell his hair was false will only serve to support his belief that the thing is working.