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The Laser Experiment by Ken
There was an on-line ad looking for people to have some hair removed with a new laser process. They paid money, depending on the individual would depend on how much it was. The location was only a hour from my home so I gave them a call and made an appointment.
It was a clinic that had a new laser process for permanent hair removal. It was a very nice place and everyone was so professional. A young lady came and got me for the consultation.
"We offer varying amounts of money, depending on the hair you allow us to remove. You'll have to come back every two months so we can check for regrowth. It's a new laser process that is faster and we hope, more lasting. Are you interested?"
"Sure, what hair would you remove?"
"Well, we're looking for people where we can try it on the coarsest hair possible. And you'd be an excellent candidate."
"What hair are you talking about?"
She paused for a few seconds. "The hair on your head. We'd also do you beard as well, and that would be a bonus, a rather healthy bonus I might add."
"You want to make me bald? Permanently bald?"
She smiled. "It's only hair. Bald is the look today, so it's really not that big of a deal. Plus," she slid a piece of paper toward me, "this is how much we would pay you. The larger number would be if we also remove your beard."
My eye's must have popped open some because she smiled.
"You're thinking about it, aren't you?"
"That's a tidy sum, I must admit."
"We'd pay you half up front, then the other half in one year. Even if you hair grows back, we'd still pay you."
"This is still experimental then?"
"Approved by the FDA as safe, we just need to find out how it works on really course hair."
"It's a big step, to be sure," I said.
"We realize that. So, we'll give you this form that includes all the information about the process. Call us back in a week if you decide to go ahead with it and we'll schedule an appointment for you."
"How long would it take?"
"The full head and beard would take about 90 minutes. It's painless and a lot of people fall asleep during the process."
"Okay." I took the papers and told her I'd call back within a week to let her know.
On the ride home, it's all I could think about. The money was significant, really significant. I'd be debt free and then some. And she was right, bald was becoming a very common look. Nobody gave it second glance. So I thought about what it would be like to be bald, maybe forever. But then it was experimental so they didn't know if it would last forever. It could start growing back within a short time. That's probably why they were doing these trials.
After 4 days, I called them back. They told me to fill out the forms and they scheduled me for an appointment in 5 days. They asked me to let my beard grow until then. I did all that and my beard filled in okay in those 5 days.
The same lady met me at the front desk. I gave her my forms and she checked them over. I then signed a document and she notarized it. We went back to a room with a couch with a head rest on it.
"Do I have to do anything special?" I asked.
She smiled. "No. No gowns, nothing special. Just lay back, slide up so your neck and shoulders rest on the rest and we'll take care of the rest."
I did and settled in. It was probably the most comfortable couch I'd ever sat on. It had rests on both sides for my arms.
"The couch has a warmer attachment, so I'll just turn it up a bit. Most people like the warmth. Feel free to take a nap. Most people do."
"I am a bit tired from the ride. But we'll see."
Then a technician came in and sat in a chair by my head. "Okay, sir," he said, "relax, you won't feel a thing."
"Nothing?" I asked.
"Just a little continuous combing, is all."
"It's why most people fall asleep during the process," the lady said.
He then started working, starting at my forehead. All I could feel was him combing and combing. Between that and the warm couch it wasn't long and I'd fallen fast asleep.
Then I felt the young lady touching my shoulder to get me awake. "Sorry, I was pretty tired. The drive here and I didn't sleep very well last night, so I was pretty out of it."
"I'll say, you were really out of it."
"How much longer," I asked.
"We're done. You can get up."
I sat up slowly and rubbed my eyes. I looked at her. "It's all gone?"
"All gone. You're now bald, here, look in the mirror."
She held up a mirror and I looked at myself. I was bald. I felt my head and it was as smooth as could be. I rubbed my hands over my head and couldn't fee anything. My face was smooth as well. No hair, no shadow, no nothing. "Wow, that's smooth."
"Get used to it, it's going be that way forever now."
"Well, they're not sure, are they? It still might grow back, right?"
"No one's ever had it grow back yet. I was one of the first to have it done, and it hasn't grown back yet." She took off her wig, which I didn't realize was a wig. She was as bald as me. "I got mine done almost 18 months ago, and there's no sign of growth. The roots are gone and I'll be bald forever. Just like you."
I was stunned. "I thought there was still a chance."
"Maybe. You could be the first. But we'll still have to check every two months for the next year."
I left with my check and my head gleaming. I figured I could always get a wig before anyone found out I was bald. Which I did. It was a nice wig and cost almost 400 dollars. I wore it for almost 6 months, but when summer came around again, it felt like I was wearing a fur hat, so I got rid of it. They checked my scalp for the entire year and there was no sign of growth. I was going to be bald for the rest of my life.
I'd gotten used to it. Never having to shave, either my face or head. I didn't have to buy razor blades or shaving cream, so that was a nice savings over the years. And people really seemed to like the look on me. Though I've kept the wig, because sometimes I just want to go out with hair. I was thinking, would I do it again? With or without the financial incentive, knowing what I know now, I would in a heart beat.