Having shitty hair at some point in your life is a cherished rite of passage. Almost everyone has been the victim of a bad haircut (Smaktakula’s freshman-year experience with the butchers at SuperCuts earned him the delightful nicknames ‘Baby Huey’ and Q-Tip for a time), and just as many have intentionally made themselves the laughingstock of the next generation all for the sake of passing fashion. We understand–sometimes it seems as if your fauxhawk will remain forever timeless.
There are also much less forgivable examples of follicle faux pas, like the mullet, dreads for blond dudes or straight hair on black men. It becomes far more difficult to regard these fashion sins as harmless affectations when–unlike the hightop, beehive or perms for white ladies, which have thankfully gone the way of the dodo–these hair-don’ts cling tenaciously to life despite the transient nature of fashion. Although we have heretofore not highlighted this cancer of men’s fashion, the comb-over remains every bit as insidious as any other scissor-inspired abortion.
The hairstyle’s complete unsuitability to the modern age is no less glaring than the glossy skull ‘hidden’ beneath a stringy swatch of greasy strands. We remind bald men that if they truly want to look like assholes, there are many ways to do it that don’t also involve looking like a twitchy child molester. It will take just one good gust of wind to rip that wispy growth from your oily pate, the lank locks left flapping in the wind like the tail of a kite, revealing not only the wearer’s unpleasantly asymmetrical baldness but also his dishonesty.
Happily, as men rediscover the knack of pretending to embrace their receding hairlines and hairless spots by shaving themselves bald,¹ the comb-over seems to be gradually fading away. New scientific innovations in transplant procedures as well as topical hair-growth ointments have joined forces with a rising acceptance of baldness to edge the comb-over toward oblivion. But like polio, this icky, deceptive hairstyle is still with us, and until it is nothing but a bad memory, the danger of looking like a complete asshole is still very real.