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Picture it. Sicily. 2013:

You’re out at a romantic restaurant on a date with a beautiful, dark stranger. He is a friend of a friend, who thought you two would hit it off. So far, that friend is right. You two are having a wonderful time. He is charming, funny and you both have so much in common. Everything is just so perfect and you really feel like you hit the jackpot with this one. And then you drop your fork on the ground. You’re embarrassed at your clumsiness but your date, being a perfect gentlemen, pays it no mind. He even does the gentlemanly thing and retrieves the lost flatware for you. But as he bends over, you become suddenly aware that your dream man may not be all that he seems. No, it can’t be? Can it? You know it is rude to ask but admittedly the curiosity is killing you. So you buck up and ask, “Um…I don’t know how to say this…is that a weave…”

That’s right your perfect man is William Shatner. He explains he has been wearing it off and on for several years and that he actually loves his man-weave. You’ve got to give him props for braving the scrutiny of hair extensions however, you just don’t know if you are comfortable enough in your own hangups to be cool with such a thing. But he is such a nice guy though and perfect in just about every other respect. So could you live with the charade?

If you are wondering why I’m thinking about crazy hypothetical scenarios, blame Facebook or more recently Bossip, which has compiled a list of men, purporting to be rocking the man-weave. No, these are not your father’s toupees. I’m talking about man-weaves in various lengths and styles from dreadlock-weaves; to the high top fade-weaves; to the Caesar with the deep waves all the way down to the sideburn-weaves. Among Bossip’s list of unbe-weave-able men, are celebrities like Jamie Fox and Ray Lewis, who both have suspicious hairlines, and Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer, who’s better known for spray painting his head black and perpetrating it as real hair, than his actual jump shot. While I’m sure that some of the celebrity men listed are just the gossip blog stirring the pot, I will say that there is an unusually high percentage of male celebrities with “naturally” healthy heads of hair compared to the rest of the male population.

And  it’s not like there isn’t precedent. Former tennis Pro Andre Agassi revealed a few years ago that his signature mullet was actually a hairpiece meant to hide his personal shame over losing his hair. According to the UK Daily Mail, Agassi’s obsession over wearing his weave grew so intense that he actually blew the 1990 French Open (and his first chance at a Grand Slam final) focusing on his wig, which had started shedding heavily in the shower prior to the Open and had to be held together with 20 hair clips. He was concerned that it would fall out on the tennis court. The Daily Mail quotes Agassi as saying, “My wig was like a chain and the ridiculously long strands in three colours like an iron ball which hung on it.”

As pathetic as it sounds, male pattern baldness is a very scary thing for many men, even as statistics show that 40 percent of them will likely lose their hair by the time they turn 35 years old. With no cure to deal with the receding and thinning, men have very few options to address their conditions. No guy believes he has the head for a baldy. The natural receding hairline look, while distinguished is just too mature for some dudes. And comb-overs are just too offensive to most folks’ sensibilities. So it may be possible that for some dudes, the only real option they feel they have in feeling whole is having some hair on their heads – even if it is not their own.

Of course as women, who have been blessed with the privilege of hair-diversity, wearing a weave is not such a big deal and is regularly regarded as a matter of style rather than self-esteem. But if a woman chooses to wear a wig to help her feel aesthetically appealing to herself and others, the grand majority of us might be sympathetic to that too. I don’t think I can say the same for men.

Even as I ponder my own hypothetical situation, the righteously progressive and gender inclusive part of me wants to say, what’s the big deal? And to my credit, I have evolved on my feelings about the man-weave from my position of “yo that’s wack” to my new position of “I’m not going to hate, instead I’m going to admire the skill.” Also I would like to think that I would happily accept any dude, who treats me well and is overall a decent human being – regardless of his follicle situation. But that’s what I would like to think.

So what say you? Yea or Nay to the man-weave?

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