This is an important day in balding history, as this excerpt from David Stern’s masterpiece (“The Balding Handbook: 5 Stages of Grieving for your Hair Loss“) reveals…
The official origins of the combover can be traced back to May 10, 1977. Frank Smith, an Orlando police officer, was issued United States Patent #4,022,227 for the creation recommended by his son Donald. Donald advised his father to grow his hair longer on one side, and comb it over his gigantic bald spot. Frank agreed, and became the first one to proudly put his name to the “Combover.”
Needless to say, he wasn’t the last.
Are you one of Frank’s followers? If so, you need to know something very important. All Stage One balding men in the midst of Denial face ridicule, but it’s hard to find one that is ridiculed more than you are.
“But Dave,” you might say, “I definitely do not have a combover.”
Are you 100% sure about that? Combovers come in all shapes and sizes. Here are just a few different types, and it’s not even an all-inclusive list.
The original combover trademarked by Frank Smith is commonly referred to as The Flip at our balding conventions. (It’s also quite commonly used at another convention held every four years.) If you’re spending an hour after every shower flipping your hair from one side to the other, you may not be a Republican, but you’re most definitely sporting the Republican Party’s combover of choice ever since former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani “flipped” his way into the hearts of voters nationwide after 9/11.
The Frontal Tuft Fluff Up is probably the most sophisticated combover. A FTFU wearer takes the few remaining hairs on his frontal scalp, and teases them, or “fluffs them up” above the forehead to disguise the vast wasteland behind the tuft. The Frontal Tuft Fluff Up became the Democratic Party’s combover of choice when former Vice President Gore used a tiny little tuft of frontal hair to create the magical illusion of a full head of hair. Unlike most FTFUers, Gore managed to pull it off by never allowing photographs to be taken from behind, and employing round-the-clock hair magicians to make his trees look like a forest. Unless you’ve got the Secret Service protecting you from rogue photographers (which you don’t), invented the internet (which you didn’t), you’ve got millions to waste on hair magicians (which you don’t), or you’re planning on participating in thousands of police line ups, the only thing your FTFU will create is a maximum amount of snickering behind your back. After all, anyone looking at you from that angle can see how ridiculous you look.
The Taliban, also known as The Swirl and The Soft Serve Ice Cream, is one of the more creative combovers. The hair is grown especially long on one side, just like The Flip, but instead of simply flipping the hair, the Talibaner swirls his hair into a hair mat on top of his head. Former University of Illinois and New Mexico State basketball coach Lou Henson was probably the most famous devotee of this technique. He was also widely mocked. On the other hand, the Taliban has been around for hundreds of years in the Middle East. Some historians believe it was the original inspiration for the turban.
The Trump is probably the most recent combover innovation. Trumpers grow their hair really long in the back, flip it toward the front, and keep it in place with ozone-layer-killing industrial strength hairspray. There’s no need to see the certificate of the bozo that “birthed” this movement, but suffice it to say that baldologists everywhere get a certain glee when they tell their clients that this ridiculous combover must be told: “You’re fired.”