Men generally don’t like saying they’re “going bald,” preferring to say they’re “losing their hair,” as if, like misplaced car keys, the missing item will eventually turn up.

Male vanity being what it is, I was not happy about losing my own thatch. I was born with my mother’s ash-blond hair and my father’s dark-brown eyes – a genetic oddity. As a sun-bronzed teenage pool boy at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, I cut a striking figure when perched like a peacock on the lifeguard stand.

By my mid-40s, however, my glorious plumage was mostly gone, a few comb-over strands clinging for dear life to my exposed pate. And then, adding injury to insult, what hair I had left began to turn gray. I was no longer a middle-aged guy struggling to look good with what remained of his best physical attributes, but a geezer in the making. The dark-blond beard I had grown several years before was also turning gray. This unflattering vision of myself became even worse in winter, when my skin turned pasty white from lack of sun. When I looked in the mirror, I saw an albino yeti with mange.

What to do? I wasn’t going the toupee route. Hair transplant surgery was expensive and looked painful. And wearing a hat all the time seemed dorky. If I couldn’t have my hair back, I decided, at least I could add some color to it. At the grocery store I scanned the hair-coloring products, but I couldn’t bring myself to commit to a box of Clairol. And the Just for Men products came in all the wrong shades. I looked on the internet for possible natural solutions.

The first thing I tried was lemon juice, which lightened my hair and gave it some extra body. But I wasn’t satisfied. Next, I tried dying my hair with henna. I mixed the natural colorant with yogurt and tea and wrapped my head in cellophane to contain this mucilaginous goo. Not only did I look ridiculous, I worried my hair would turn some bizarre color. If my hair turned orange, I would have to either go into hiding or run for president of the United States. The result, an hour later, was disappointing.

Of course, I could completely shave my head, like a lot of guys these days. But to look good as a cue ball, you need a big, round head, like Michael Smerconish. I didn’t qualify. The other alternative was to grow what hair I had long and sport the bald-guy-with-ponytail look. You see a lot of those types at Bike Week in Laconia, New Hampshire, where the ticket-taker asks you politely if you’re carrying any knives, guns or nunchucks on your person. Not really my tribe.

Most Caucasian men will lose their hair sometime in their lives, and Maine, having the country’s oldest per-capita population, is just loaded with balding old white guys. So, what to do? My suggestion: Embrace the carapace.

Yeah, baby, bald and beautiful!