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Help, my husband's balding! What are his options?

The question

Is there a stylish strategy for thinning hair and a receding hairline? My husband, a professional in a creative field, is loath to adopt the faux-hawk of his younger co-workers, but his head shape and heavier build make shaving it all off undesirable. He'd look like a mob enforcer!

The answer

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I had never thought of the faux-hawk as a means of dealing with thinning hair, but I suppose it's a possibility, as it is cropped on the sides and the little hair you have on top could be stiffened like a little coxcomb. But see, the second I start describing it, it sounds ridiculous.

Any hairstyles that are designed to disguise a lack of hair end up being obvious in their intent and the obvious cover-up is always a little sad, just because it is so lacking in confidence. I'm sorry to say that you really have no options here but baldness and, in order to make the most of baldness, you must own it, you must embrace it with great pride and without compromise.

I understand your nervousness about the look of a giant guy with a shaved head – it's certainly intimidating – but it's a whole lot better than a giant guy with a wispy comb-over or a frantically gelled brush cut (the look you might call the Mange). Be a big, happy bald guy and everyone will love you for it – just avoid the New Jersey accent and no one will imagine you as a bouncer.

Russell Smith's latest novel is Girl Crazy. Have a fashion question? E-mail

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