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Deeper than Roots: Mr. McCrystal’s hair

Matthew Pavlik, Staff Contributor

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Around the fabled halls of Oratory Prep, many sights can be seen. From open classrooms of underclassmen getting eviscerated for missed work and upperclassroom not seeming to care any longer to weekly signs on the bathroom door stating “DO NOT USE, OUT OF ORDER”, one person stays more noticeable. This person or, rather, legend is Mr. McCrystal, and he is notable for his hair (or lack thereof).

Hereditary hair loss in men is no laughing matter. By the age of thirty-five, two-thirds of all men experience appreciable hair loss. Moreover, by fifty, eighty-five percent of men deal with moderate to major hair loss (if not baldness). Amongst these two-thirds and eighty-five percent, at age 32, is Mr. McCrystal. Ninety-five percent of male hair loss cases is caused by Androgenetic Alopecia (common male pattern baldness). More relative to our dear friend and teacher, twenty-five percent of men with male pattern baldness begin the process before twenty-one. To understand his problems, Androgenetic Alopecia must be better understood first.

With male pattern baldness, hair follicles are sensitive to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Those follicles affected by DHT begin to miniaturize when it is introduced, causing them to have shorter lifespans and die. DHT is a byproduct of testosterone, converting with the help of enzymes (specifically Type II 5-alpha-reductase). Ironically, this enzyme only exist in a hair follicle’s oil glands. These follicles have to be exposed for a long time, which explains why it happens after puberty with the rush of testosterone to a growing young man. However, no matter how much stat-crunching is done, this case can only be understood if Mr. McCrystal’s life is examined closer. His father was bald and now he is, too. What does it mean?

 

Q n’ A with Mr. McCrystal

 

Did you try any hair growth products?

“Who doesn’t when they’re losing their hair?”

When did you first notice your hair loss?

It started with a “slow thinning.” “Don’t believe the urban legend that wearing hats will cause it, it is not the hats.”

What made you decide to shave it all off?

“No one balds gracefully.”

Are you satisfied with your situation? Have you made amends?

He does not care at all; hair cannot stop him. He made amends by “growing out fierce beards.”

Are you jealous of your child’s hair? Be honest.

“Yes, he has full, textured, layered hair. It grows rapidly and without remorse.”

Do you worry for your child’s inevitable baldness?

“Of course! But you need to do more research for me if it comes from the father or mother’s side.” (If it comes from the mother, little McCrystal will be good)

What wouldn’t you trade for one more day of good hair?

He wouldn’t trade a thing, being bald has become his lifestyle. “I’m cool with the ‘is he a nice guy or is he a member of a motorcycle gang’ look.”

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