Alarms going off in seniorhood | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Yes, tell me about it, Matthew. But if you mean I’m accountable for everything God-given, then I only hope I’m not too late in taking up this mission of retrieving, regrowing and preserving what I can.


I text my life’s consultant, Tita Techie, who happens to be a living case of a hair-recovery program such as I’ve never seen work before. She texts back a prayerful wish, and I forthwith make an appointment for my first consultation with the clinic.


But first, as a show of resolve, I empty my cup, so to speak, of old lotions, drops, sprays, ready to refill it with the new. Mainly I give up on aminexil, the ingredient common to the expensive brands of promised hair savers endorsed at beauty salons. I’ve also tried all herbal and organic stuff, stopping short only of rubbing the juice of squashed fly on my pate.


Now I’m desperately ready for the Faustian deal: minoxydil. I’ve kept putting it off, deterred by the idea of a life-long commitment that, once neglected, means that all hair promised and delivered in time fall off, along with some that I have kept before the treatment, that has tenaciously hung on to save me from being a carnival curiosity.




When it comes to hair loss, total would seem kinder than partial: kalbo can still be chic; panot is the hell that awaits a quitter on this new treatment. But having observed it work beautifully on Tita Techie and others, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for the journey with no return.


After filling out forms, pictures are taken of my head from several angles, and I’m given a kit of vitamins and zinc tablets, a shampoo, and a set of lotion with corresponding droppers. The kit is to be consumed in a month, and a new one is delivered. After three months, I am seen again, and pictures are taken to show me the difference. That’s how confident they are.


The Asian lady from Australia demonstrates how to fill the dropper, how to trickle even measures onto partings on my crown, and how to rub the drops into my scalp.


After consuming two droppers full of the lotion, I am to massage the top of my scalp for two minutes, gently. The process is done in the morning and repeated at night. With instructions just as specific, I shampoo every two days.


It all sounds so easy until I get home and do it on my own. I place a series of 911 calls to Tita Techie:

“I’m so clumsy; I’m having a hard time with the dropper.”


Ever so sympathetic, she says, “That’s how I was myself in the beginning. But with practice, you’ll wonder soon enough why you ever thought it so difficult at all.”


“It’s so time-consuming, Tita, like it’s all I can do for the day.”


“I know, but in time it’ll just be part of your daily routine.”


“How come my hair feels so coarse and somewhat sticky and yours doesn’t?”


“But that’s exactly what I like about it. It makes my hair look thicker, it acts like a setting lotion.”


Volume and body


She is right: It gives the limp baby hair on my crown its much-needed volume and body!

“It’ll get even better, you’ll see,” she says with such a tone of cool certitude.


Looking at Tita Techie, now on the verge of 90, I realize I might need a trust fund to cover her 15-year headstart on me. She started only a year ago and looks great.


But then she’s always looked great, and is also very conscientious about everything. I feel lucky to have someone like her as a trailblazer and co-traveler on this journey to forever.


This morning, after my monthly fasting blood sugar test and a breakfast out, I’m able to squeeze some time to color my hair before doing my morning treatment. I seem to be doing better time, and have never felt so justifiably self-absorbed and responsible for my well-being.


Later I accompany Vergel to his unscheduled, rare haircut and sit beside him sipping brewed coffee, my second and last cup for the day, and munching on two delicious homemade cookies, freebies at the parlor. A few attendants come over to compliment me for my hair, not only about how well-self-dyed it is, but also how thick-looking.


I didn’t have the heart to tell them it wasn’t for their branded stuff, which I’m not buying again. In fact, they will be seeing less of me, since my hair needs a rest from parlor shampoo and blow-dry. And I can certainly use every bit of savings for my treatment.


Nothing really comes cheap at this age—my age, I mean—despite the 30-percent senior and 12-percent VAT discounts. The mere maintenance of minor body parts costs, and I seem to require it more and more. I try to hop to it whenever an alarm sounds. Today it’s my hair, yesterday my teeth, tomorrow my eyes and the cycle goes on, becoming in itself a

preoccupation, my own kind of “selfie.”


I’m still okay for as long as the alarms remain minor and go off one at a time. As dad warned me: “When your body parts gang up on you, kiddo, and all the alarms go off at the same time, that’s when you’re in big trouble!”


Well, daddy-o, I’m doing my best to not get there!




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