Daniel, can you describe who you are, where you are from, and a bit about your background and your early years? Hi! I’m Daniel Reese. I'm a cyber security consultant and Navy Veteran living in Chicago IL. After college, I joined the intelligence program in the U.S. Navy and was able to grow my love for people and culture while keeping people of all walks of life safe. I was homeschooled the majority of my early education, so I had the opportunity to travel for field trips and really start my love for people and the cultures that we all share. The Navy really grew that love and gave me a worldview few people have. Last year I was blessed to be on a show for Amazon studios with my dog traveling the world competing for charity. I now consult clients on how to safely navigate the web and run a small clothier house with my childhood best friend called OLĪV Collection.
When did you first realize you were losing your hair? I never had the straightest “lining” but the jokes and comments really started at the end of highschool and the beginning of college.
What was your first reaction when you found out? What did you do? At first it was pure denial. Saying silly things to myself like “it’ll grow back” or the classic “it’s just stress” were things I truly tried to believe at first.
Where are you currently in your balding journey? Have you researched different solutions? Well, I’m currently smack dab in the middle of it. I’m 25 years old with no sign of a hair line. I keep my hair buzzed for a cleaner look (and because if I grow it out, the thinning hair on top is more noticable). I’ve researched it all — from surgery, to tattoos that make your hair look permanently buzzed, to even hair glued to the top. There's no shortage of options to “fix” what's going on with my head. But I haven't done any of them yet, something tells me there's nothing wrong with my hair.
What are some coping mechanisms, mental health tips, or tricks that you are currently practicing during this journey? How do you cope with the days you feel particularly down about your hair loss? I know for me personally it helps seeing others going through the same thing as me. So lately I’ve been in touch with some of my friends that are going through the same thing. We kind of just spend the call pumping positivity at each other. Positive affirmation especially among guys is in short supply. We try to really tell each other good things when we talk.
Was there anyone in your journey that is helping you cope with hair loss? My social circle is extremely small, and it seems like I've chosen right because they are constantly keeping me afloat with positive affirmation and wisdom. From business decisions to my ever-balding head, they are there with something nice (or funny) to say.
Looking at your bald journey, what does empowerment and living authentically mean to you currently?
Honestly, there are a lot of fights we have to fight in life: struggling to find out where we fit, finding the right friends, the right job, the right place to live. I’m choosing to not let my hair be another fight.
Truthfully, where do you see your hair loss journey culminating? Still working through to find a solution to keep your hair? Or taking the plunge and shaving it? Being in the middle of my journey, I feel as though I'm in a unique position to showcase how this goes. Because honestly, no matter what age or ethnicity you are the journey is similar. So I'm going to do the journey in front of the world. I'm going to do the research, find the experts, talk to the people who do the procedures, and most importantly talk to people just like me who are going through this same thing or have gone through it in the past. I'm going to find it all out. And at the end I’ll make my decision. I have a feeling I’ll be taking a plunge sometime after that though.
Is there anything you would like to share with the MANTL audience about you, your journey, and any advice? Your body is the vessel that you get to experience this amazing world and all the amazing people in it. No matter what shape you're in or what your head looks like, you're here! Live in that. Don't waste time stressing about what's going on the top of your head.
How can people follow you or connect with you, if you are open to that? You can actually follow my dog Allister on instagram @lifeofallister.
Check out me and my best friend's clothier house, Olīv Collection at Olivcollection.com.
And of course, keep an eye out for my bald journey partnered with MANTL!