Duane Sherrill

It happens like clockwork: every six weeks I “go clown” and have to walk around with the condition until I can get an appointment to get it taken care of by a professional.

“You mean you turn into one of those creepy clowns like that thing in ‘It?’” I can hear you ask with your mouth full of Frosted Flakes as you read my column over breakfast. “Do you put on the whacky suit and lurk in the sewers and dine on (gulp) human flesh?”

No, I don’t turn into an actual clown, although I’ve met some very nice clowns – they get a bad rap thanks to Stephen King’s imagination. Actually, it’s my hair, or what’s left of it, that goes all clown. Frankly, I didn’t used to have that big of an issue with my hair going all wild when I actually had a head-full of it. However, over the past decade my hair has become an endangered species on my head, and I’m afraid it’s rapidly racing toward extinction.

Back in the day, when I did have a lot of hair, it was all unruly and would never cooperate. I had cowlicks everywhere, and the barber would view me with a sense of dread every time I got into the chair to have my ears lowered. Hey, back in college I had nicely permed hair cascading over my shoulders like a Kentucky waterfall and a mullet on top, the front cemented into place with a quart of mousse. Yep, I was that guy. However, once I got out of college and into the real world, I had to cut it back to banker length. That’s when the control issues really began. Back during my rock star days, I could have wild-looking hair, but in the business world they don’t want Billy Idol handing their account.

So thus began the follicle fight that continues today. Cowlicks on top of my head and in front of my hair made it nearly impossible to wear a normal hair style. I tried side part, middle part, no part, spike top and grease down. None of them really worked. It was a fight for 25 years.

“I hate my hair,” I said one day as I tried to get it to lay down.

Watch what you say. I think my pronouncement began the march toward baldness, as my hairline began receding in all directions. It didn’t just fall out. I mean, I still have hair, and this process has bene going on for well over a decade. However, despite having less hair, what I have retained continues to mock me once it starts growing back out after a haircut.

First, it’s that little dab of hair I have in the front that begins to stick up like Alfalfa on the Little Rascals, and then I get this Bad Bunny protrusion on the top of my head a few days later. This all happens in a matter of a couple of days and, before you know it, I wake up with clown head.

Since I’m not a big hat guy, I usually endure it until I can get to my barber.

“I’ve gone clown,” I’ll simply text her, letting her know it’s that time.

However, getting in for a haircut isn’t that easy when I work in Tullahoma and my hairdresser is in McMinnville. Sure, I could get another barber to cut my hair, but it’d be like I was cheating on my long-time hair stylist. She’d know the next time she cut my hair that I’d been cavorting with another barber. I don’t want that guilt on my conscience, so I deal with clown head until I get in for a trim.

Sure, I’ve thought about going one of those hair club things. I have a friend who is just a bit younger than me who has a great head of hair thanks to implants. However, I think I’ll just go with nature’s flow and go bald gracefully, except for those few days I’m a clown.

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