I really need male advice on how to nicely tell my husband he’s going bald and that he needs an overall image revamp. He has a job in which he’s in front of clients, and he’s young – mid-40s – but dresses much older and won’t buy any new clothes. Ever. He also has gone bald on top but grows his hair longish at the sides and it just looks really terrible.
I love him and am conscious he’s probably sensitive about it and the last thing I want to do is hurt his feelings, so how do I tell him? Or help him? If you were going bald, would you want your wife to tell you and if so, what’s the best way to approach it? Thanks so much. Marina
Reality Chick says… Personally, I wouldn’t make it about the baldness. I think you make it about the clothes and I think you let someone else do your dirty work – he may listen to a neutral party who ‘styles’ people all the time and can not only zshush up his wardrobe but as an aside, tackle the hair thing too, in a direct and matter-of-fact way that many blokes tend to appreciate.
Book it, pay for it and give it to him as a present when he lands his next big client, or for a milestone or special occasion. Act enthused, say you’re super proud of how well he’s doing at work and you heard of these style sessions for high flyers and thought he might get a kick out of it. One great stylist I’ve met who styles guys is Jade Sardon, so it might be worth giving her a call and seeing if she’s tackled this kind of situation before (I bet she has!) Let’s see what the Manswers Men suggest, too.
Manswers Man Dr Phil says… There is nothing worse seeing a an old rocker or hippy with long hair at the sides and balding on the top. It’s not a good look. It’s a forlorn double whammy of perception: trying to regain youth and look like you’re not going bald. Unfortunately the result is an often a vulture-like appearance with pedophiliac overtones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that your husband looks like that – I’m exaggerating to emphasise the point and and empathise with you.
Bald is in at the moment, and while your husband doesn’t necessarily have to take the shaven route overnight, it is an option to consider. Maybe a way of broaching the subject obliquely is to comment on a guy on TV who is balding but has a certain sex appeal? Clothes are also a major part of your overall image – both for how you feel yourself, and professionally in front of clients. It sends a message, portrays who you are – and can help win business. When regarded in this light, buying new clothes becomes more than just a functional exercise in renewing your wardrobe. Again (without making your husband jealous), you could bring the subject up by mentioning how great a certain look is on someone in the street or TV and how it might look good on your husband? The upshot of all this is, as I’m sure you know, is that if he does do a revamp he will look great, feel rejuvenated and you’ll have a cool hubby to show off.
Manswers Man Joe Kennedy says… First of all you need to be sensitive as this is a very confronting issue for blokes. They’re hit with a reality that they’re entering stage two of their life. I’m in the exact the same situation right now myself, and I’m doing something proactive about it with my barber and placing extra emphasis on my wardrobe. I think that you should chat with him, tell him that you love him dearly but honestly, you’ve noticed the hair thing and that it’s time to work on a plan.
Maybe point out a couple of online shops that you can both peruse. Also you should try and focus on getting fit together. Slim men look better bald. My hairdresser told me bald men have a higher sex drive so maybe offer cheekily to explore that little perk with him! Above all, my advice is tread carefully – maybe broach the subject gently on the way to an activity he likes, like the football or a action movie.
Manswers Man BB says… There are certain things that men won’t take advice on, like driving, how to cook a BBQ, or the fact they may be wrong about something – but fashion is a completely different ballgame. For most blokes, it’s something they have no interest in and therefore no idea about. So my advice is, forget the subtle approach. Take charge. Plan a shopping day together where you play stylist and help him select a new wardrobe to replace his horribly outdated current look. Once he can see his new potential, just make a visit to the barber – and insist it’s the finishing touch to his new look.
RC readers… over to you! Been here with your partner? How did you handle the situation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.