September 21, 2008

Why men shave their heads.

Christina Reihill writes:
While the idea of the modern man as a hairless metrosexual more interested in manicures than motors challenges my notions of a heterosexual man, I'm more interested in the state of play between the sexes in our hyper-sexualised, pornified culture.

As young girls are told that it's empowering to pursue men aggressively and young men are learning to lie back and take it, I wonder how these acts of aggressive connection affects the psyche....

On Freud's map, this redefining of male sexuality could be seen as men searching for the mother in them and/or acting out their sexual envy towards woman.

Just as women express penis envy, is this men saying we're not lying back and taking it?

What are we watching and possibly not seeing in the bald head, bullet-proof imagery in today's "anything goes" culture? What is the symbolism in men shaving their heads?

Staying with Freud and his symbolic grammar -- the head represents the penis, while head hair is recognised as semen.

Extending the logic of these associations, long hair expresses unrestrained sexuality, while hair removal makes a statement around sexual restraint, as in celibacy or castration.
What is restrained about exposing the penis? You had to do that hair=semen move to make this theory work.

98 comments:

Simon said...

Like most things I've read that were written by or based on Freud, the word that springs to mind is overanalyzed. I would venture that there are two reasons that men shave their heads: either they're losing their hair anyway and figure they might as well might the bullet, or (in the vast majority of cases) they did it because they think it looks cool. This projection of deeper, subterranean motivations onto the superficial is a silly business.

Fred4Pres said...

A lot of men shave their heads because they have male pattern baldness and decide being half bald looks worse than being completely bald. Plus a close cropped head is easier to maintain (provided you wear a hat in the sun). A degree of vanity, perhaps, but metrosexual? Not necessarily.

Who is more masculine? Yul Brenner chrome dome or Donald Trump with his crazy combover?

Simon said...

Sorry, "bite the bullet" not "might the bullet." Just a typo - nothing to get all freudian about.

Fred4Pres said...

Yeah Simon, you just slipped! Keep it up and you will give some psychology graduate student a thesis project.

David said...

"Extending the logic of these associations, long hair expresses unrestrained sexuality, while hair removal makes a statement around sexual restraint, as in celibacy or castration."

Uh, no. The head shaving mania began with the balding young Michael Jordan.

Any chance that he was seen as making a statement of sexual restraint, celibacy or castration?

Methadras said...

fredpres got it right. Every man I know that shaves his head is due to their MPB and they've decided that they would rather take it all off instead of look like balding old men. It's completely tied to vanity and ego and if baldness could be solved or cured they would be the first in line.

Ron said...

Shaving your head when your losing your hair already is a French (metrosexual?) form of surrender to biology. Might as well pick out your casket while you're at it! No, the best way to go Chrome Dome is to grow the FuManchu while working on your Martial Arts skills, and wearing Hai Karate aftershave. I can hear the wacka-wacka-wacka guitar sound in the background, can't you?

I once told a bald friend his "pate was a Rosetta stone to hominids as yet undiscovered."

William said...

Marvin Hagler, the boxer, was the first jock to sport a shaven head. There's a racial, not Freudian, subtext here. The shaved head was popular first among black jocks. White guys wished to emulate them, not Yul Brynner. There's an idea out there in the culture that black jocks are more masculine than white actors.

Oligonicella said...

Gods, what psycho crap. The two men I know who shave(d) their heads were my brother and friend Dave. My brother did it because of the chemo and Dave does because his hair will not in any way behave. Deep psychological issues there. Jeez.

Beth said...

A younger colleague shaved his head this year, and grew a bushy beard. After a few beers at the department welcome back party this week, he told me it was to intimidate other males, to look scary. I hadn't the heart to tell him he comes across as a cuddly little hipster bear. I did tell him it would be more effective with some tattoos on his neck.

-Peder said...

My shaved head is due to MPB. If anything it was done to combat celibacy and become more pursued. And I always thought that longer hair on a man represented free-spiritedness, not semen.

joewxman said...

Hair is vastly over-rated. i don't shave down to the dome but i do get it buzzed down every couple of weeks. Less shampoo..no dryer required. So less hair is helping to curb global warming. Imagine if all those blow driers are turned off! You could lower global temperatures enough to start the next ice age.

Dan Johnston said...

I might look funny now, but you should have seen me with hair. I had three choices: 1. Comb-over; 2. Grow it out, dye it orange, buy some floppy shoes and work children's parties; or 3. Buy a razor, spend 5 minutes a week clipping and never have to pay for a barber, shampoo or a comb ever again.

BTW: I can cook with truffles, shoot a gun, clean dishes and rebuild a car.

rhhardin said...

Just keep sharp hair scissors handy and trim whatever feels long, is my policy.

There's no need for professional haircuts at all.

You don't even need a mirror. Just work by feel and it looks okay.

David said...

I still have all my hair at retirement age, with more or less the original color. Not a chance I will shave it, no matter what the pop psychology take.

Bissage said...

In college, I took a course in cultural anthropology taught by a strict Freudian.

I learned that men in many cultures shave their heads to cut down on the smegma.

Zeb Quinn said...

There's a much bigger problem going on and it goes way beyond hair. I don't know if you've ever looked into or discussed the observations and theories of Leonard Sax, but I suggest you do.

chuck b. said...

Shaving one's head is a strong repudiation of vanity, imo.

(No, I've never done it.)

TexasPatrick said...

Why isn't the opposite true: It's hypermasculine? Bald headed bikers? Metrosexual? All the bad Vatos in my junior high and high school? How about take me or leave me without some producty foo foo on my head? Isn't it the opposite of vanity? And metrosexual-ish-ness seems to reeeeeek of vanity.

Darin said...

A few reason why I shave my head (I don't use a razor, just the clippers once a week):

1. MPB. I started losing my hair in my early 20s. I fought it for a few years, but by 25 I was shaving.

2. It's actually a bit liberating. instead of trying to cover & conceal, I'm the bald and the beautiful! Turned out that I have a nicely shaped head :)

3. I haven't had to pay for a haircut in 8-9 years now. Quick calculation, I've saved at least $2500.

4. It takes ten mins a week, don't have to dry it, don't have to comb it, no gel, no hair spray. I get to sleep in later.

5. No bedhead, ever.

Alright, the biggest downside to it is the sunburn thing, but the hair was gone anyways (though it's easier to put on sunscreen there now).

And a bonus, my wife loves it (she's never known me with hair).

XWL said...

In the past, I've had hair past my shoulders, and I've had my head completely shaved. With long hair I looked a bit too hippie-ish, and more than a few times random people asked me if I had any drugs for sale (and this is in the 90s, not the 60s or 70s). With a shaved head, I looked a bit too cholo-ish. Now I'm Mr. In-Between.

It's funny how people will use Freud when they think his work will support their suppositions.

If most his work regarding the feminine psyche is worth repudiating (which I bet Reihill would agree with), why would you reference him with regards to male sexuality?

Men who shave ALL their body hair, now that's a different story . . .

Kurt said...

I'd second most of what fred4pres says about the matter. But I'd also add that for some guys, it can be part of a very butch, athletic look. There are numerous bodybuilders with shaved heads, for instance, and it can make them look more strikingly masculine.

I always had nice hair, but now that I'm developing a bald spot in back, I'm debating when I'm going to have to buzz the rest really short to keep from looking ridiculous. If I were a larger, more muscular fellow, I wouldn't mind shaving it all off, but being on the thin side, I'm thinking I should put on some more muscle before that would be an appealing option.

Pundit Joe said...

I shaved mine because it looked like crap due to male pattern baldness. Additionally, I was tired of paying someone to cut it and have it still look bad.

Hmmm. Perhaps cheap, stingy and or lazy should be listed as possible reasons for shaving the head. It certainly costs me lot less and requires much less effort. :)

zeek said...

Vin Diesel admitted on the Letterman show that he was losing his hair and had to make a decision. Even Paul Schaffer has adopted the look. It's a sign of insecurity and an attempt to look more masculine and intimidating as opposed to aging and withering. Sadly, it just makes them look like they are trying too hard. Patrick Stewart, who genuinely lost his hair and keeps a ring of the remainder around his head, looks more confident than any of the dickheads.

Domes

EDH said...

Never mind recent trends, what did the success of the Mr. Clean brand tell us about female sexual fanatasy?

How many husbands were cuckolded over the years by this strong, silent, left earing-wearing male of uncertain ethnicity who would come to the rescue of their work at home wives with his lemon-scented prestidigitation?

Pundit Joe said...

heh heh - I wonder if zeek has a oddly shaped head, not suitable for shaving, and wears a toupee? Jealously is a mean motivator.

;)

zeek said...

Pundit Joe, I still have my hair though it has receded a bit in front. If it starts to give me a bald spot I too will have to make a decision but I harbor no delusions it won't be because I fear looking like Frank Drucker.

Pundit Joe said...

Great links zeek! :)

Shaving is no more vain than any other hair style. After all, folks with a shaved head spend 5 minutes a week as where folks with a full head of hair spend far more time than that every single morning to style their hair.

Hmmm, I have thought about getting some tattoos (temporary) on me head. I like to think of them as racing stripes! Picture a real life Charlie Brown with a tribal tattoo plastered on his head. Yup, I would be both feared and admired. ROFL Well, at least I may amuse.

Kurt said...

Yes, EDH, that is a good point about Mr. Clean, though I should add that few recall that Mr. Clean's earring moved from the right to the left side in the early 1980s.

After I posted my earlier comment, though, I remembered something that I'd forgotten to mention or suggest, and that is that it's only a matter of shaving a little further to go from a crew cut down to bald. I suspect that if one were to write a history of the look, part of it could be traced to the culture of the military, or at least to the culture of (excuse me for invoking this ridiculous pun) seamen.

After all, to bring this comment back to Mr. Clean, wasn't he supposed to look exotic and vaguely like a sailor or even a pirate? That's why he wore the earring in the first place. It was only when the right earring became associated with gay men that his original image became an issue, and hence, the ear switch I mentioned above.

Zokar said...

As a man suffering from the terrible malady of male pattern baldness, I've resisted the temptations of:

1) Comb-over,

2) "Natural comb-over," e.g., trying condition one's hair so that it naturally (or un-naturally) covers to bald areas,

3) Pony-tail or otherwise keeping remaining hair long, i.e., over-compensation,

and lastly:

4) Shaving one's head, which is a way of announcing to the world "See, I CHOSE to be completely bald as a fashion statement."

So I just brush back my few remaining hairs, and deal with it.

And I expect to be honored for my courage.

Kurt said...

It looks like I was mistaken about Mr. Clean's earring moving from the right to the left. That must have been an urban legend. As you can see from this 1950s Mr. Clean commercial, the earring was definitely on the left side then.

Going back to what I said earlier, though, someone claims in Wikipedia that the original model for Mr. Clean was a Navy sailor.

Seneca the Younger said...

I shave my head in the summer because it's more comfortable than sweaty hair. I let my hair grow out in the winter because it's more comfortable than have icy wind whistling across my bare scalp.

Michael McNeil said...

Then again, some may have grown up on Andre Norton's Time Agent SF series, where the “Baldies” were the (past) Lords of the Universe!

Trooper York said...

David is absolutely correct when he states that the current shaving of the head bald craze began with the fashion set by Michael Jordan. Likewise the oversize basketball shorts that are now in vogue began with Jordan in North Carolina.

However in my mind the more important question is why do so many women shave their cootch? Ladies any theories?

zeek said...

If this were merely a fashion choice wouldn't women be doing it too?

Trooper York said...

It is agreed by most scholars that the first woman to have a shaved cootch was the ancient Babylonian Goddess Inanna who was the goddess of love, fertility and shaving. She was also known as Ninsianna which means hairless pussy in Sumerian.

Larry said...

Ya' know, sex is not really all that complicated. doesn't that a lot of theorizing.

Certainly doesn't that 23 years of schooling with appropriate degrees.

Actually, really and truly it is more fun without all of that.

Peter Blogdanovich said...

All I know is, my 30 year old co-worker shaves his head to a nice even stubble, face identical to crown. He says he's trying to look like a prisoner in a science fiction movie. It's working, he does, and babes love this guy.

Trooper York said...

The cult of the shaven pubes moved from the fertile yet bald crescents of Mesopotamia and flourished in Ancient Egypt where the wives and concubines of the pharaohs were known for their hairless pudenda’s. It became a status symbol at court to have a slave who would pluck the pubic hairs of aristocratic vaginas. To signal that they were devotees of this cult, most of the nobles of the empire had a hairless cat called the Sphynx in their household. This devotion led to the massive artifact of the same name which financed by the sale of the aristocratic pubic hair to make ceremonial wigs for members of the cult.

Beth said...

Trooper, have you read Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash"?

jdeeripper said...

William said...Marvin Hagler, the boxer, was the first jock to sport a shaven head.

No. Boxer/murderer Hurricane Carter and football player Otis Sistrunk had shaved heads in the 1960s.

There's a racial, not Freudian, subtext here. The shaved head was popular first among black jocks. White guys wished to emulate them, not Yul Brynner.

White athletes like middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik shave their heads because of male pattern baldness.

It's that simple. Totally bald might look bad but male pattern baldness esp in an athlete or younger guy looks worse.

Trooper York said...

The cult of Inanna along with the cult of Isis was one of the fads that swept through ancient Rome with the advent of Cleopatra who had mesmerized the great Roman Julius Caesar. Unlike the way she is depicted in movies and television, the historical Cleopatra was a small and thin woman with a huge nose who was totally lacking the lush physical charms of such beauties as Elizabeth Taylor. The only explanation for the reason that such a nondescript woman could so enrapture such heroes as Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony is that her hairless cootch gave one advantage. A superior grip.

john said...

You all got it wrong. Ann posted this article for one reason: to induce Titus (the real one) back. Ann figured that, Trooper's comments notwithstanding, Titus could not resist the subject matter.

vbspurs said...

Speaking as a woman, I prefer the combover to the dome, any day

Sorry Troop.

Cheers,
Victoria

Steven said...

"However in my mind the more important question is why do so many women shave their cootch? Ladies any theories?"

There are several factors that combined:

1) To keep hair from sticking out from under a bikini. A landing strip or the like could be retained, but why?

2) The skin of the pubic mound is pleasurably sensitive to touch, and much easier to rub and lick without hair in the way.

3) In porn, hair got in the way of the visuals. Thus, men who consumed pornography developed a preference for shaved women.

4) As an extension of the idea that women don't have body hair (see leg-shaving and armpit-shaving).

Trooper York said...

The cult of Inanna reached its apex when one of the most fanatical devotees of the cult was briefly the wife of the Emperor Trajan. Know as Cunni Agrippa Major she is almost forgotten today. The cult had progressed to point that temples had sprung up all over Rome where women could go to have their private parts plucked and where they learned devotions in the form of exercise that strengthened the muscles of their hairless vaginas. The Emperor loved his wife but the unbelievable strength of her plucked cootch led him to invent the condom. This protective sheath of lambskin was not original meant as a birth control device but rather as protection for the Emperors penis from his wife’s overly muscled snatch. The birth control aspect was merely a happy side effect. This method of condom making has continued to this very day in the Trojan brand which is a slight corruption of the Emperor’s famous name.

john said...

Victoria,

Once a Brit, always a Brit. It's not just the bad teeth, it's the hair too. You limeys.

Cedarford said...

Just another cycle of humanity doing things different than past generations until they circle back.

Bald heads instead of hats. Porn star chic spreading to mainstream as 13-year olds to 40-ish women wanting to feel young go in for the "full Brazilian" and a waxed smooth pudenda. Male metrosexuals and homos following suit for shaved pubes.
Tattoos galore.
I saw a young doctor in her late 20s from a famous family on the beach sporting her new "ass antlers".

Leaving a question of what the next generation will consider absolutely ridiculous things Gen X, Y and the yuppies did.

50 years later....

"Hey Juan! Check out the body medal on this old Gen Y corpse you're going to be embalming! Praise Allah!"

"You're right Panjumbi! Hope it doesn't leak through all the holes!"

vbspurs said...

John, LOL!

Great head of hair, but I see the teeth need some whitening. Now yellow teeth, THAT'S a turn off.

Trooper York said...

With the triumph of Christianity the practice of shaving the pubic area had fallen into disfavor. The Church strictly forbid the practice and inspecting virgins for the appropriate degree of pubic hairiness was one of the main benefits of the priesthood when unlike the present day most of the members of the clergy where in fact heterosexuals. This practice followed the precedents and procedures began by the twin Saints Cosmas and Damian who are the patron saints of hairdressers. In Medieval Italy young girls were often named Cosmina which means hairy twat in the dialect of Umbria in the hope that she would grow up to be chaste and hairy.

jdeeripper said...

vbspurs said...Speaking as a woman, I prefer the combover to the dome, any day.

OK, take your pick:

1.

2.

3. Another reason why Mitt should be president.

4.

5.

vbspurs said...Now yellow teeth, THAT'S a turn off.

Typical self hating Brit. Ever eager to throw away British traditions for this faddish Cool Britannia.

You can't stand snooker either, right?

john said...

Cederford said: I saw a young doctor in her late 20s from a famous family on the beach sporting her new "ass antlers".

I thought it was just another Sarah Palin joke, so I looked it up. It was true.

goesh said...

style and more style, the trend mostly I think aside from MPD and the ease of care it affords

vbspurs said...

You can't stand snooker either, right?

It's boring. I also cannot Tiddlywinks, but I always love a pub quiz.

Oh wait! The Ryder Cup is on. How are we doing? USA USA!

(See?)

vbspurs said...

I thought it was just another Sarah Palin joke, so I looked it up. It was true.

Ass antlers = lower back tat?

Nothing says "easy slut" like a lower back tat.

Trooper York said...

As is always the case, the fashions of the rich and famous end up having an undue influence on how the rest of society behaves. Since hairiness of the pubic area was the mark of a chaste and virginal woman, it posed a severe problem for the young Queen Victoria. The Queen was in fact naturally hairless and was very much afraid that her husband Prince Albert would scorn her when he encountered her naturally hairless snatch. She was beside herself and did not know what to do. Finally she confided in her
Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne about the abysmal lack of pubic hair. His solution was of course, a wig. Various items were experimented with to provide a pubic prosthetic. Horsehair, rabbit fur and badger skin were all shaped into sheaths for the royal crotch but were all rejected for one reason or another. Finally the perfect substance was found in the fur of the North American Beaver. This led to the fashion of beaver hair pubic wigs that became the fad in all of Europe and to great expansion of the fur trade. The “Beaver Hat” was the one fashion accessory that no woman could do without if she wanted to be in style.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I shave my head because the ladies like it that way.

vbspurs said...

Queen Victoria was secretly pro-Merkin. She showed her hand during the Civil War, when she paraded in her stars and bars crinolines.

peter hoh said...

I have a full head of hair. If I could sell it to a bald guy, I'd do it in a flash.

I've gone to a very short buzz cut. Cooler in the summer, a breeze to wash and dry, and in the winter, no hat hair.

One of these days, I'm going to shave it all off. Not sure what would get me off the fence, but I'm pretty sure it won't be a Freudian thing.

ricpic said...

A lot of men shave their heads because they have male pattern baldness and decide being half bald looks worse than being completely bald.

Bingo!

Sy said...

I shave my head to save money on shampoo and hair gel.

Methadras said...

TexasPatrick said...

And metrosexual-ish-ness seems to reeeeeek of vanity.


Metrosexualism is all about ego and vanity or as I call it, Manity.

Methadras said...

Trooper York said...

The only explanation for the reason that such a nondescript woman could so enrapture such heroes as Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony is that her hairless cootch gave one advantage. A superior grip.


Just like a good quad of treadless slicks.

Jeff Gee said...

When I started losing my hair-- well, when I admitted it-- I wore a baseball cap. Eventually it dawned on me that not one person looking at me had ever thought, "Man, I bet he's got a lot of hair under that baseball cap." I started buzzing my hair after that. I'm grateful to be living in an age when you can walk around with a buzzed or shaved head and not be mistaken for an escaped mental patient.

Trooper York said...

The fashion of wearing pubic wigs had fallen out of favor by the turn of the century. The only remaining vestigial effect was the use of the nickname of “beaver” for pubic hair. The fashion of the plucked pudenda did not return until the Roaring Twenties. This did not come from a change of fashion or through historical scholarship but rather from the misadventure of a Hollywood Star. In 1927 Clara Bow had sex with the entire USC football team in a legendary gang bang which resulted in all of her pubic hair being rubbed off by the attentions of the energetic gridiron heroes. So enamored of the effect and how it made her vagina feel, Miss Bow told her colleagues in the cinema and the fashion spread to the rest of society. In fact the term “Flapper” was coined because of the sound made by the flapping of the hairless lips of young women dancing the Charleston. Thus hairlessness came back in fashion.

zeek said...

Hair represents semen? I thought it was for catching semen.

ricpic said...

Plucked pudendas flapping in the wind,
Airing it out after a Big Ten spin.

john said...

Excuse me?

That's a PAC Ten spin.

Gabe said...

I recently shaved my head. As other comments stated, I found my hair was getting thin and adopted the primary reasoning of looking cool and also not sporting a combover or a combforward or any Donald Trump-esque swirly. I find this idea of repressed sexuality highly amusing, though. If anything, I think my wife likes it better than when I had shaggy locks.

If my head is supposed to be a penis, wouldn't, as Ann so correctly stated, revealing it be a badge, a challenge if you will, to gaze upon my sexuality?

Trooper York said...

The current fashion for shaving the pubic region was revived by the Indian Actress Persis Khambatta in Star Trek the motion picture. A devotee of the cult of Inanna, the actress who played Lt. Ilia in the movie had shaved both her head and her Punjabi pudenda. She was of course forced to bang the producers of the movie to get the part, and the feel of the naked vagina was exquisite that other young starlets began to shave as well to attempt to be part of the storied franchise. This fashion has endured to this very day where the cult is only rivaled by that of Scientology. The symbol of this cult is of course now the small hairless Mexican dogs carried by initiates such as Paris Hilton and Tara Reid. That is why they delight is flashing their hairless cootchs as they get in out of limo’s. They are always looking for converts.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

Oh for God's sake! Is everything written by lefties utter trash?

I'm a 44 year old male. I shave my head.

Why?

Because it's more hygenic. My scalp feels much cleaner. I don't have to deal with hair issues.

What the hell.

vnjagvet said...

The Trooper is on one of his best rolls ever. I suggest he aggregate his comments and turn them into a Wiki entry on ---- well let's get some suggestions on the label.

Ann Althouse said...

1. I completely support the practice of head-shaving by guys who are dealing with baldness. It's obviously the right way to go, especially if you have an attractive head. I also support the Andy Warhol approach of wearing a wig hat on your head! I am still waiting for that to be a normal, happy approach. Hats are good too.

2. Titus went off in a huff after I came to the conclusion that one of his pseudonyms was an impostor and deleted a bunch of posts that I genuinely believed to be fake. We had an email exchange, and he didn't appreciate that I was trying to protect a commenter I cared about. In the course of that exchange, he made it clear that he was actually pretty hostile to me, and that made me realize that the Titus I once loved never really existed. Currently, he believes I should apologize to him, but I think he should apologize to me. I cared about him and protected him, and he wrote to me in an ugly, hostile way. He never loved me, so I don't love him anymore.

Michael_H said...

I buzz such hair as remains on my noggin with a #2 clipper each week. Easy and inexpensive.

Wash, dry and done. No expensive hair goo. I can wear a motorcycle helmet without adverse sartorial consequences upon arriving at the office.

As to the other part of the topic, smooth is best and has been the standard in the H. household for quite a number of years.

How about "Trooper visits Madam Tussaud" as a story line?

vnjagvet said...

For the past four years, I have been a number one buzzer, but not a shaver. Shaving is too messy and I take coumadin because of pesky heart arrhythmias. That means that nicks and cuts are difficult to correct.

I had MPB since my teenage years, and a ever increasing balding patch
in the back since about age 40. For 25 years, I had the thatches groomed, but never hid anything with a combover. The barber trips generally cost 20-40 bucks every three to four weeks.

After semi-retirement, it wasn't worth it any more. I can do the #1job myself, or spring for a 15 buck trim job from a pro when I am appearing in public.

Sex (or the lack thereof) has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Reliance on Freud for analysis of shaved heads is futile.

EDH said...

Ass antlers = lower back tat?
Nothing says "easy slut" like a lower back tat.


A reason why it's also called a "tramp stamp."

Synova said...

I think that the problem, as it were, is in thinking there is anything at all symbolic about a man shaving his head... or having long hair.

Long hair in a pony-tail (and optional goatee) is something that happened for men when a whole lot of them moved from "either laborer or suit" to working *in* an office and the suit environment but essentially doing labor except without the need for steel toed boots or hardhats. These men worked with technology and wrote code. They were the princes of creation and realized that without them there was nothing. For a while employers tried to make them dress... but eventually realized that if the code monkeys bathed they should call it all good and get out of their faces.

Men who'd been wearing the pinchy shoes and had a regular dry cleaner and who's routine included regular trims and hair product for that side part and who were now looking at the social horror of hair plugs stood in line at the bank with these new barbarians and realized... that SOB makes more money than I do... and he went to work looking like that!

The pony-tail wasn't symbolic of anything at all other than not wanting to bother keeping it cut. They weren't a choice, they happened by accident. And the birkenstocks and vender-loot t-shirts went right along with it.

Head shaving is similar, if slightly different. There's the "suits" who are in rebellion. A bald head isn't metro-sexual but hyper-masculine (which is why is sucks soooo badly for a woman who gets pattern baldness) it brings to mind super short military cuts...

And it's easy. It requires less bother than the pony-tail and feels a hundred times lighter and cleaner. And if you shave your head to some degree of stubble on purpose, you don't look old.

And really... do I have to say Barbie Doll Hair Plugs? Really?

Stinger Assassin said...

Men who are naturally bald are bald because their bodies produce an excess of testosterone.

Men who shave their heads are trying to deceive potential mates into thinking that they also possess excess testosterone, meaning that they will be alpha superduper lovers and toasty baby makers.

Anyway, I'm going for a hair cut tomorrow. I'll ask my barber J.R. for the low down. He shaves his head...

(Also, a high class hooker on tonight's repeat of Mad Men said she thought her portly bald john was sexy because he was bald...)

Jeff Gee said...

Honest, it's not about trying to look cool or more masculine. It about trying to look less like Larry Fine.

john said...

That's unfortunate, Ann. I'm sorry that it went that way. Sometimes we think we're just jousting when we're really impaling.

Ralph said...

Teenage boys seem to be reverting to girlish '70's hair. Is it because their elders are shorn?

My hairline is so far back on my head (and so short), that I can't see the gray hairs. But the supermarket computer spit out coupons for hair coloring, twice.

That's too bad about Titus. Trooper will have to take over the Adventures of Hog.

jdeeripper said...

Jeff Gee said...Honest, it's not about trying to look cool or more masculine. It about trying to look less like Larry Fine.

You can update the Larry Fine reference.

Now you want to avoid the curse of Mickey Kaus.

vbspurs said...

Jdeeripper, that Number 4 photo -- mercy.

Rudy for Attorney General, though!

Blue Moon said...

I shave my head in the shower 3 days a week or so with a Mach 3. I was starting to get thin up there and though "I have a nicely shaped head and I keep my hair short anyway, so..." I do have a goatee (or should I say Van Dyke?) There is nothing Freudian about my decision (although would I know if there was something in my unconscience?)

Stinger Assassin said...

My loquacious barber, J.R., who shaves his head, tells me that there is indeed a fad afoot.

He says men are taking matters into their own hands and not letting Mother Nature take its course.

In other words, all the suddenly bald men you are seeing were going bald and decided to do the job themselves.

Nothing penis-related about it.

Sigivald said...

Short form: "Freud is bunk".

Jeremy said...

Blame male pattern baldness. As someone who is suffering from it in the early stages, I'm contemplating shaving it all off. Why? Because women hate balding guys, but don't mind completely bald ones. I don't think I have the head for it, but I don't have much choice (rograine being out of my price range)

jamesotis said...

I personally shave my head and at times body hair due to psychological stress. One good example is the conflicting emotions I encountered after saving a child's life. Shaving also helps with the 90 deg. F heat and high humidity at my workplace.
Other reasons include ease of maintainence/hygiene and not caring enough about collective and individual approval.

Rawgal said...

White guys shaving their heads began with Kojak, Yul Brynner and other bald head tough guy images like bouncers, certain he-man movie types, wrestlers, military men, etc, way before Michael Jordan adopted the look. If anything Michael Jordan adopted the look to avoid having a half grown afro since he was balding. black men shave their heads to avoid having afros which went out of style in the 70's. Back to the white guys. I rarely see a white guy with a shaved head who looks bad. It really works for most of them and makes a very sexy statement whether they intend to do so or not. But I don't know of one white guy who shaves his head to look like a black jock. LOL. Who invents these ridiculous stories?

jeff B said...

For awhile we have been living in a culture (american) where men get their heads shaved or close to it. So now just about everyone looks the same. Hair is power. You take away the hair, alot more goes with it. This has coincided with a time where more people are fake on the inside, are self centered, materialistic, superficial, and just plain without common sense. Coincidence huh? Not hardly. A lot of collective work has gone into the huge conspiracy that has and is taking place against the common man. The corporatized government might as well be called Delilah because all Samsons in the world are losing their power and worth. For over 12 years I kept my hair 1/2 inch long. But as soon as I grew it back out, my life changed and I got more friends and attention. Coicidence huh? Not a chance.

woofman said...

Baldy beaned males with tatoos look like crims in prison. Perhaps this fad--and I truly hope it is just a fad--stems from these guys' inner desires to look "tough", and prisoners can be tough! Personally I find overly tattooed bods and bald heads rather unattractive and think tats and baldtops make a guy look ignorant. If you're worried about the cost of haircuts perhaps your girl[or boy in this day and age] friend could take up home barbering. Most males I see with baldy beans do not have MPB, in fact they are in their 20s! I do not think baldness or tattoos have any inner psychological meaning, perhaps it's just another instance of copycats due to lack of self-esteem and identity, who knows.

ecsa0014 said...

I shave my head not because of MPB, I have a full head of hair, or to look cool or tough. I do it because I absolutely hate getting haircuts and it is much more comfortable for me, especially in the summer. It's not my problem if I look like a wannabe hipster or ignorant to some people, It's their's. Get to know me then make your assumptions about me. You'll see that I'm definitely neither, I'm just me.

Chris Lay said...

Sometimes someone shaves their head for no deeper reason other than to shave their head, or cause their lazy and don't want to maintain it...

When people discuss things such as this particular topic/concept it has to do in terms of majority. Not on an absolute basis as if All men who shave their heads are sexually restrained.

TO think this way is logical, logic being the way an arrogant close minded person may think as if there is no way other than A = B and to Not consider other conditional variables ..

or maybe im crazy

Mike tyson said...

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Guitar Fetish said...

Im not shaving my head,were my head looks like someones nuts,Im keeping my mullet.

DENNIS said...

a horsehoe pattern of hair looks ridiculous and unbecoming so shave my head..any moron who claims it's vanity is an idiot..a head of hair that only grows along the scalp and forms a hoseshoe shape looks horrible..so if shaving one's head in that case is vanity,so is cutting one's hair at all in any fashion or form for ANY reason..a bad look is a bad look and a horse shoe look is bad imo..some people just choose to hate bald people period!!anyone who chooses to blame it on vanity just has a problem with bald people..period!

DENNIS said...

people who have a dislike or hate for guys who shave their heads,merely because they shave their heads are psychologically messed up..I'm retired and hang out in a local diner here in town.i'm a real nice guy and never bother anyone.But there's a guy.a regular customer, that comes in to the diner every night that hates me totally because I shave my head.He was telling someone in the diner recently,"there's only 2 reasons why a guy who can grow hair would shave his head"..unfortunately I didn't hear the rest of his statement..but whatever his conclusion is ,he despises me for it.i find that bizarre.

George Chijioke said...

Why I shave mine:

1. Hairline started receding in my early teens, begin thinning badly in my late teens. So I decided to shave it right before my twentieth birthday.

2. Makes me look more mature, different, intimidating, and confident.

3. Very easy to maintain, no more brushing and combing. Cuts a lot out of my daily grooming routine.