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December 4th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

In Praise of the Chrome Dome

Dr. Phil makeup2I was thinking yesterday: I may actually be getting balder, if that’s possible. During the 10 seconds or so that I looked at myself in the mirror (I really don’t have the patience to look at this mug any longer than that), I thought to myself, “There are fewer hairs up there. ”

I don’t know, maybe my ears are just getting bigger, but it seems like I’m missing a few! Understand, when you have as few hairs as I do, you have a personal relationship with each one. I think Bob and Jeff have gone missing. 

I have no idea why I’m telling you all of this. Just thinking with my keyboard, I guess!

Fortunately, I’ve never really been a hair worshipper, which is a good thing since I grew up in the 60s when long hair was the cool thing. It seems like I’ve been bald since I was 12.   

When it started to fall, I calmly bowed to the inevitable forces of nature and began telling my own jokes about saving money on shampoo. I always told Robin that I was bald because grass won’t grow on a busy street. Not to be outdone, she replied, “Yeah right, and it won’t come up through concrete either!” Oh well, she got me there. Maybe I’m just taller than my hair! 

I don’t mind when people in my immediate vicinity complain that they are suffering from the equivalent of “snow blindness” due to the intense glare my bald head radiates. And I’ve never once thought about turning to baldness camouflage. Some toupees look like a cat on top of the guy’s head, and I would just feel creepy walking around like that. I mean, you eventually have to take it off, and that would be a little hard to explain. I might as well tape a sign to my forehead that reads: Bait and switch! Object is shinier than it appears!

And some of the permanent solutions just seem like they have got to hurt! I am convinced that hair plugs, which probably involves yanking divots out of your armpits and putting them on top of your head, would be the surgical equivalent of water-boarding. Plus, I’m so used to being bald, I think if I suddenly started growing hair, I would probably look like one of those Chia pets.

People have said to me, “Come on, Dr. Phil, You’re just in denial. Don’t you wish you could, just once, run your hands through your hair?” The answer is, I never think about it. If I had always had hair, I might miss it, but I wouldn’t really change it now if I could. A wise man once said, find a way to embrace what most people might consider to be one of your weaknesses, and you are ahead of the game. Well, I embraced baldness. I decided a long time ago that there is a certain nobility in a great expanse of scalp, and that’s all there is to it.

And now, my baldness has become a trademark. I remember when I wrote my first book and Oprah was talking about it on her show. She said, “It’s easy to find it at the bookstore. It’s got Phil’s big old bald head on the cover.” I grinned and thought, “Well, there you go!”

What physical or emotional “flaw” have you learned to embrace? I’d love to hear from you.

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79 Responses to “In Praise of the Chrome Dome”

  1. kelli nelson says:

    I have stretch marks, a scar from a c section, bingo arms, and saggy boobs. Somehow non e of this bothers me. The reason for that is because my husbands love me no matter what.
    If my husband still thinks I am perfect that that is good enough for me.
    Now don’y get me wrong, I still care how I look and I do try to take care of myself, but my husband love me just the way I am.

  2. Robert says:

    I have been going bald since I was 14, I am now 47. It doesn’t bother me in the least, I don’t even think about. I have had friends, and a few ladies I have met tell me I should get it checked to see if I can get treatment to grow hair. I’d rather just shave off what I have left.

  3. Heidi says:

    I have heavy eyelids, And im only 24! Imagine when im 50, i will have to superglue them to my forehead to be able to see… maby i`ll make it a fashion statement:D

  4. Andrea Guerra says:

    i was born with nail patella syndrome which has caused me to be born with a right dislocated kneecap and nail deformation. Both of my thumbs only have half a nail. I used to be so self concious about it when i was younger. particularly considering the fact that children are curious and cruel and eagured to know what happened to my fingers. I remember for most of my Junior High school yrs I wore those fake nails on only my thumbs.. lol when i got to hs I was really in no position to be vain about my looks. I realized that no one cared about my hands so I began not caring too. Now, at age 25, I really just don’t even think of it.

  5. Linda R. says:

    Dr. Phil, I think you look great!! And your attitude is even greater! Actually, that sounds like you should have an attitude if you’re bald. No, you shouldn’t. Sounds like more people are thinking about your bald head than you are. I guess that’s what makes you the unique and successful guy that you are.

    As for my flaws…. I think I’ve inherited my mother’s chipmunk cheeks…ha! But I won’t be doing anything to change them either. That’s the way I am and when I’m my mother’s age I’ll look at myself and remember my mother and how beautiful she was.

    Love your show!

  6. Toni Wright says:

    I’m like the late Minnie Pearl….”I’m just so proud to be here!” I’ve embraced many
    many physical changes since I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in 1991. Along with a milder personality, I began to gain weight, my hair got thinner and thinner, my face became more rounded, my tummy pooched out, and the attractive person I was didn’t seem to turn heads anymore. I thought, “what’s happened to me?” As time rolled along, I remained so grateful that God chose to leave me on this earth awhile longer, but I still had the big question mark in my mind. My doctors didn’t seem inclined to investigate the changes since I was a miracle anyway, but being the curious person I am, after about 17 years I decided to pursue it with abandon. I researched and found an outstanding Endocrinologist in Dallas, who teaches at Baylor Medical Center. I consistently see him every three months now. At the onset, he did all of the necessary tests to determine the root cause of my changes. His findings: during the craniotomy, the pituatary gland was disturbed, and I have a partially empty sella, the little cradle which holds the gland. Through my study of this, I am now content that I know why I’m not the same looking person I once was. So….as my hair continues to get thinner, and I’m fatter than I’d like to be, my round face smiles at the fact that
    I am alive and well. My blessings are great!!

  7. Excellent article Dr Phil. I particularly liked the bit about making your weaknesses a strength.

    Perhaps you still need to convince your web designer though loking at the way that your main picture at the top is cropped :) .

  8. Antonette says:

    I have learned to embrace the scars that I have incurred over the span of my 28 years on this planet. I have had close to 30 brain surgeries, I am doing well now and even better since I have learned to not get down on myself about the scars. They are battle scars and I wouldnt be alive if I didnt have the scars. Yea for the scars!

  9. Sharon Casey says:

    Hey Dr.Phil – you wouldn’t be Dr Phil would you if you were anything other than ‘bald’. We know you the way you are & we love you the way you are so what does it matter if you’re bald or not.

  10. Korenna says:

    I mean this in the kindest way……….. you are funny. Always found you clever but I just read your little piece about hair or lack of and you were funny…. did you write that or did Robin help?

  11. In my 32nd year I finally reached the age I always was. Then one day after some “tall” friends had helped me move and I couldn’t reach any of my everyday china from the highest kitchen cupboard, I heard myself say out loud: “Boy I am soooo sick of needing a stool to reach everything!” Well some beloved ancestor must have been looking down then because I seemed to hear the reply “Well, girl, get used to it, ‘cos you are gonna be a LONG time short!”
    So I guess I was right to celebrate that last quarter inch from 4′ 11 3/4″ in my 19th year and now many years later I continue to strive to keep the aging/shrinking process at bay with good nutrition and exercise. I’m keen on keeping all I got!

  12. Jim Murrey says:

    I doubt that anybody will read this. I am nearly bald but still maintain a ponytail. I’ll probably cut it when I’m 50. I really couldn’t care less about it. I’ve got bigger problems. My wife was recently released from the hospital. A week ago she had gone into a diabetic shock and then suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. She survived, but now she’s weaker than ever. My mother-in-law’s health is getting worse. Our house is falling apart, I’ve been unemployed for over a year, and my wife’s grandfather died earlier this year. Not long after that we had an accident that totaled our truck. Our world is falling apart around us. Vanity is hardly a concern. Yet more people care more for their looks than the problems of other people.

  13. Kate Melcher says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I love people who put themselves out there….flaws, and all….whether they are actually flaws, sometimes I think they can be a personal trademark. You are so amazing, baldness, included. You would not be the same with a head full of hair.
    I have facial scars from teenage acne. I have spent my whole life, trying to diminish, cover, lessen their impact. I used to feel so ashamed, I wouldn’t leave my house for the mail, without 10 layers of makeup on my face.
    When I hit age 30, I began to feel differently…..
    These were my battle scars, in a way, and like it or not….I am stuck with their existence. I could befriend them, or keep fighting myself. I decided to treat myself like I would a friend, and STOP hating myself. It took a year, of positive self talk, but I now can look at myself in the mirror with NO makeup, and realize I am fine, and dandy the way I am.

  14. Dr. Phil

    On numerous occasions I have heard you bring forth a chuckle from the audience when you bring up being bald. That is a good thing to do. But, I really doubt that anyone would even notice or be aware of it if you didn’t bring it up. I think that most people are too busy trying to hear what you have to say to notice or to pay any attention to your hair. If it has, to some degree, helped to drive you to success; simply look at it that way. I once heard you say you are shy. It certainly doesn’t show. But, let it be something in your repertoire of things to say to bring forth a chuckle occasionally like you already do. That is a plus. It is not a minus.

  15. Leonie says:

    Hey Dr Phil,
    nothing wrong with bald men. Think Patrick Stewart & Yul Brynner :-)
    I was born with webbed toes & a third nipple. I don’t remenber it every really bothering me as a kid, but other people were freaked by it. I met another girl ashamed of her web toes when I was in my teens & when I showed her mine & talked to her she started wearing open toe shoes for the first time. As I’ve got older I’ve also developed chronic auto-immune illnesses that have been passed down through the family & I’ve had 28 years of problems with back injuries from my teens. I figure we have these happen happen for a reason, they are a part of what makes us the person we are now. Would I be as patient or tolerant if these things hadn’t been in my life? Maybe not.
    Just wanted to add a shout out to Jim Murrey further up these posts, hang in there Jim, you’re not alone. I know when you’re going through a really rough patch like this it can feel like things will never get better. There is always hope. I’ll be thinking of you & your family over Xmas, I hope things start to turn around for you all.

  16. Hadis says:

    Well, breath deep! i always had quite some pimples there on my shoulders, some stretch marks on my legs, and a big nose I’ve never think of having a cosmetic surgery on. everyday they seem to fade even more in my eyes, and everyday i love myself more than yesterday. I’m also a very sensitive person and a bit stubborn sometimes, people complained of me being too sensitive since i practically remember! but one thing none of them may know was that i absolutely loved it! i have a special character, I’m studying literature, i write poems and so on and so. this being sensitive makes me able to see the beauty in every thing, even a pile of garbage. and the next time someone tells me “OMG! you’re too sensitive!” and stares at me with their eyes jumping out of their sockets, I’ll say “well, you’re so deadly right” ;) !

  17. Mike Robinson says:

    I always thought that it was strange that I had gray hair when I was in high school. I’m 51 now and it’s almost all white. My grandparents on my mothers side also had the white hair and my mother had a beautiful full head of white hair before she passed. I’m proud to have the white hair and where it came from. Baldness is just another part of life and life goes on. Hang in there Doc it looks good on you.

  18. Michael says:

    Great reading this blog. I too am balding on top and it doesn’t bother me now that I am older. I see some men who now shave their heads and look even better than they did with hair! The only thing that still gets to me about male baldness, is the TV or Magazine Ads that try to convince potential buyers of their products that you will “look better” or “appear more intelligent” with hair. (Of course because you buy their product) This is insulting and I feel a discriminating statement by these people. Looks and Intelligence is not in the “counts of hairs” on one’s head.

  19. Amanda says:

    The flaw that I’ve learned to grow and love is a double scar on my upper lip from a cleft lip birth defect. I was born in 1979 with the birth defect and after 11 surgeries at the age of 16, I decided I got tired of seeing my face change so I embraced the scar. People have told me “No one will ever love you” or “You’ll never be able to get a job”. Well, after 6 years in the military, I married my husband and have two beautiful children. And that job thing, yeah, I have one of those too :) .

  20. barbara says:

    u will save lots of money by being bald

  21. barbara says:

    love your show dr.phil bald is ok for men

  22. Jill says:

    My dad wants to know how to get his bald head stay shiny. Do you know, Dr. Phil? Or somebody else here, please?

  23. Jill says:

    My dad would like to know how to get his bald head to stay shiny. Can anybody help me?

  24. David Blankenship says:

    Hey Dr Phil you were being funny here so I thought I might give you a laugh ….today I found out that McGraw is your last name to my surprise…. For quite some time I thought it was “Said” I bet you wonder how I got that.. Well see ,everytime I’m around my wife , mom or any other person who watches your show. It alway comes up….” Well you know DrPhil (Said) blah blah blah.” Ha ha just thought you would like to know that..see ya on twitter. David. @BigDSmokeRowdy.

  25. Hal says:

    Hey Dr. Phil,
    I always admired that you had an independent point of view, and that applies to being bald. Please don’t mess that up!! As you are always saying, we live in a society that often has the wrong priorities — like putting baldness at the top of the Maslow scale lol. Don’t let the 24/7 infomercials for fake hair get to you.

  26. Celia says:

    Dr. Phil

    You look good the way you are. I think you may not be as attractive with hair. In your case it is working for you.

    Take Care Smartie Pants

  27. patti says:

    Dr. Phil, I think you are beautiful just the way you are (inside and out) when I watch your show and I see the love and concern that you have for virtual strangers it does something to me inside. I know you and Robin joke around alot but when she looks up at you the love in her eyes says it all. My grandfather was bald since before I was born. That man raised me and my two sisters and brother as my father was killed at the age of 28. My fathers parents wanted nothing to do with us but my “Pappa” did. I think that is why I am so partial to bald people. He like you just gave and gave without being asked. As I tried to say, its whats inside that counts and you’e got it. Just look at your wives eyes. I too love a bald man. He was my high school sweetheart that I gave up and I have paid for it everyday. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to speak with you. You don’t need a wig – you’ve got it all. LOL, Patti

  28. Lee says:

    Dr. Phil- Loved your story ‘In Praise of the Chrome Dome”. Saw it one day on your site when my wife (who is an avid viewer) was discussing one of your stories and wanted me to read it online.

    Like you, I’ve been saying those same bald things for years. My dad was bald, his dad was bald, and I imagine its been that way for generations. I’ve embraced baldness- it too has become who I am. As a school psychologist (I’m known as “that bald one”) and I have found myself assisting others in navigating their world with hair loss. For some, it is the usual male pattern baldness. However, for others, it is co-wprkers or friends losing their hair to chemotherapy or other medical-related hair loss issues. I eventually started a website to help others. I was hoping that one day I could use the site to generate funds to donate for pancreatic cancer research- which my father succumbed to a few years ago at 59….

  29. David says:

    Hi Dr. Phil! I’m 5′5″, burly, bearded and bald. I’m very comfortable with my “little sturdy Irishman” looks. I’ve been bald since my early 20s and I’ve never been uncomfortable with it. I have more fun with it than displeasure and it’s amazing how many attractive ladies like to rub a bald head! To paraphrase Dr. Bernie Segal, “My daughters say a bald head makes me easier to find in a dark movie theatre!” Nope, I’m not gluing that dead cat rug onto my pretty scalp! I prefer to shine. By the way Dr. Phil, have you ever thought about going the Yul Brynner route and doing a clean shave? Every bald man needs to try it at least once. It would make a great segment for one of your shows! Best wishes always, David

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