I’m a third year who’s had no hair for half a decade

People think he’s 36

noad

Looking in the mirror every morning, you run your fingers through your locks. Imagine waking up, and stroking what feels like a well polished stone.

Rob Hooper, who turns 21 in a few weeks, started losing his hair roughly five years ago.

The Coventry finalist blames his dad. He said: “It’s definitely a hereditary thing. I used to have loads of hair. But at 16 it started slowly disappearing.

“By 18 I had a big bald patch.

“Sunburn is the bane of my life. The most degrading thing ever is putting sun cream on your head. Normally a factor 30 or 50. I’ve had it where I’ve forgotten too apply it and I’ve ended up with a pink head.”

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Now, the International Relations student opts for the bald look. Whatever hair grows back he tends to shave off, but faces daily abuse comparing him to an egg or Friar Tuck.

“Being self deprecating is one of the things you have to get used to. Often I make the jokes first. I’ve heard them all before and they’re never normally that good.

“I shave once every three months with an electric razor. Occasionally I’ll shave a word into my head for a night out with Snowsports.”

When Rob came to uni, he embraced the baldness and used it to his advantage.

He said: “I’m not that jealous as I have to take way less time in the shower. I buy two cheap bottles of shower gel for the month. I opt for the bald look and I don’t spend as much on shampoo and conditioner and haircuts.

“Its like a blank canvas for face paint. At bestival I had so much glitter in my head.”

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The lack of hair isn’t always such an advantage for Rob.

He added: “A lot of people accidentally describe me as bold, which annoys me. They don’t know how to use the English language.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve used being bald it to my advantage but it’s not been a disadvantage. I’ve had a couple of people say they don’t like it but I had no chance with them anyway.”

The Snowsports secretary says people mistake him for a mature student. Some have even said he looks as old as 36.

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Dejected, he added: “The biggest thing is that people think i’m older, and people would say ‘who’s this old guy in the corner?’

“My mates play the game ‘guess how old he is’ on nights out. One girl said I was 36, that was the worst. I was shocked and amused, but also a bit angry. Anything past 26 I start to get offended.

“In the library people have mistaken me for staff.”

Hair loss has not phased brave Rob, who encourages others to embrace their baldness.

He said: “I’ve got mates who are struggling with it. There are blokes who have spent thousands trying to get their hair back.

“I advise being the first to make the jokes and get used to it. There’s nothing you can do about it.”