April 19, 2012

"Shaving your balding head is like breaking up with someone before he or she can break up with you."

"Or like marching into your boss’s office and saying: 'You can’t fire me. I quit.'"
After all, nothing screams “gradual decline” like thinning or retreating hair. It’s a constant voice of anxiety whining, “It’s only going to get worse!” But with a shaved head, it can’t get any worse. There’s no voice of anxiety. You’ve already gone ahead and chosen the nuclear option.

38 comments:

Triangle Man said...

Unless hats come back in vogue for men.

ricpic said...

But what about the twentysomethings with a full mane who shave it off? What's up wit dat?

madAsHell said...

My wife suggested that I color my hair, and I agreed.

Color it GONE, Honey!!

Original Mike said...

...thinning or retreating hair. It’s a constant voice of anxiety whining, “It’s only going to get worse!”

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. I have real things to worry about.

X said...

balding is not a personal failing like being a fat pig. it's more like your skin color, which means if you hold it against someone, you're no different than a racist.

Michael Haz said...

Shaving your balding head is like breaking up with someone before he or she can break up with you.

Getting hair plugs is is like wearing a tee shirt, every day, that says "Hey you! Yes you! Look at my fakey-looking hair growing in perfect rows of clumps!!"

I'd much rather be bald.

PCMankey said...

No, shaving your balding head is nothing like any of these--do you have any idea what it's like to have some hair covering part of your head where the skin is showing through? It looks like hell--why do you think cancer patients shave their heads? How about the combover. I challenge anyone with a full head of hear to purposely have it cut in some funky male-pattern baldness hair style. Why is there not one person on the planet that has walked into a barber or salon with a picture of Rudy Guiliani (when he had his combover) saying I want to look like this, or anything resembling male-pattern baldness? Surely, someone must like the style--NOT.

Curious George said...

I don't shave my head, but it's all down to a number 1 clip. It actually accentuates my hair loss. I don't care...it's zero maintenance, and much cooler in the summer, and looks good. Eliminates having to go get a haircut too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have a good female friend who was going to begin chemotherapy and then radiation for breast cancer after having a mastectomy.

She just went ahead and shaved off her hair before starting.

Her philosophy was that she couldn't control a lot of things that were happening to her BUT she could control when and how she lost her hair.

Speaking for myself. I don't find bald men or balding men unattractive at all. Actually, depending on the man and the attitude it can be very attractive.

What is unattractive is a pathetic stringy greasy comb-over or a muskrat perched on top of your head.

Be bald. Be proud. Face it. Embrace it.

rehajm said...

My father-in-law has always had some quality moss. The day before he started chemotherapy he walked into the barber and shaved it all. It was the first time I had ever heard him say 'Fuck you!'

wyo sis said...

As the wife of a former comb over I can say with complete conviction: It's batter to shave it off even if people suspect your reasons.

Fen said...

I don't shave my head, but it's all down to a number 1 clip. It actually accentuates my hair loss. I don't care...it's zero maintenance, and much cooler in the summer, and looks good. Eliminates having to go get a haircut too.

Echo.

Also, when whats left of my hair gets about an inch long, it just looks ridiculous.

Christopher in MA said...

I'm with you, Curious and Fen. I think this is going to be the last summer with the #1 clip. It's lush and full on the sides, but very thin up top. Might as well do the full Kojak.

On the plus side, I can always dress up as Rameses the Great for Halloween.

So let it be written - so let it be done!

Amartel said...

Look upon my [magnificent gleaming dome] ye mighty, and
shave your hair!

Brennan said...

I miss hair just for the barber shop trips. You always get a good story out of one trip to the barber.

A shave just isn't the same.

John said...

I, too, agree that shaving your balding head is nothing like the pre-emptive breakup or the pre-emptive quit. For one thing, balding is a gradual, and often never-complete, process... there are many intermediate stages along the way where one can simply no longer style his hair as before. Problem is, there are also no good in-the-midst-of-balding hairstyles. The only ones that work are the buzz cut (I, too, use a #1), or else shaving.

steve said...

I guess the female equivalent to this is "letting yourself go" weight-wise.

EDH said...

"There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it."

Strelnikov said...

Stratham's head isn't shaved in the photo. If you leave the Young Frankenstein fringe you just have male pattern baldness, final stages.

Amartel said...

"I guess the female equivalent to this is "letting yourself go" weight-wise."

Anyone can let themselves get fat. I think the female equivalent of this is botox or facelifts. Wrinkles and facial fat-drift for women are like hair loss for men-age signifiers. Boobjobs or other plastic enhancements would be the female equivalent of hair transplants.

edutcher said...

Didn't Telly Savalas say that first?

Mitchell said...

I wonder if the author, Daniel Jones, has noticed that his erections aren't what they used to be.

And it's only going to get worse.

Alex said...

Tell me that Billy Zane isn't hot.

Rocketeer said...

I basically shave my head. I could go with the #1, but seriously, it's just easier to be done with it all.

In my mind, I look like Michael Jordan, even though I know in reality I look more like Michael Stipe.

MadisonMan said...

I had beautiful beautiful hair when I was young. Thick. Lustrous. Curly.

Now it's quite thin up top (I have a High Forehead :) ) and it looks ridiculous if I grow it long enough to curl. To add to the insult, my brother with the blah straight hair (BORING!) still has most of it, and he's older. God is cruel :)

Some people can rock the shaved head look (Daughtry can, IMO). I haven't tried it. I don't want my head to burn in the summer, and my head is too fat for most hats.

Unknown said...

My thoughts were more along the lines of "this guy needs to grow a pair".
He's really that sensitive about his looks? Did he used to use "product" in his hair? Does he pay someone else to cut his fingernails?
Seriously, what a pansy.

Here's the deal, going bald is genetic. It isn't going to take you by surprise. You have better than 20 years to get used to the idea and accept it before the process even starts.

paminwi said...

Married a man with great hair. 25 years in he got cancer and he lost all his hair. We're 5 years out from the chemo baldness and he's got hair again but it's totally different than before the chemo.

3 totally different looks - love him still! Hope to see him bald again after another 25 for all the right reasons!

~N. said...

I don't think there is a female version of this. Botox and plastic surgery are more like hair plugs than they are shaving an already-balding head. The analogy would have to be women throwing their hands up in the air and foregoing sunscreen the second they saw their first wrinkles.

My husband is nearly bald and just keeps what's left very, very short.

Be careful though, guys, because he's already had two skin cancers removed from the top of his head. Hats and/or a good broad-spectrum sunscreen are a must once you go down this road (voluntarily or otherwise).

~N. said...

Oh, and no one has mentioned the Donald's glorious comb-over yet?

Wally Kalbacken said...

I always looked to the example of financier Michael Miken as proof of the non-existence of an adequate substitute for having significant, real hair. See:


before




after


Mind you, when he was wearing the toupee, he was worth in excess of $500M, so let's presume he could afford the best toupee in existence then. And that 's
what it looked like!

In the 1990's I had a boss who was by 1 year, my senior. He was losing his hair and he used lots of mousses and styling gels, and various other ploys, but it was pretty obvious he was losing it. I would sit in his office across the
desk from him and in the afternoons the sun would be coming in from the west-facing windows behind him. I can't recall a substantive disscussion on a
particular business topic from those days, but I can recall more than once thinking, thank God I'm not losing my hair like that.

Roll forward 15 years and I am driving in south Florida and I decide to open the sunroof to let
the sun shine in, and I am instantly aware of a low level burning sensation on the top of my scalp. I look in the rear view mirror and can see the same
lustrous shine emanating from the top of my head that was there on my boss 15 years ago.

You can also see it when you walk into Walgreen's and they have that front facing security monitor above the entry way to let you know someone is watching.
by the time you are close enough to recognize yourself in the monitor you are well beyond the camera and the back and top of your head are prominent. Most of
the security cameras have lousy dynamic range - so the light part on the top, where you do not have that much hair, is thus a bright white bleed-out patch on the screen as you go by.

I dunno, the shaved head thing might be an alternative someday. Perhaps not great, but better then the known alternatives.

Peter said...

I'm not going to say what I was planning to say because you all know exactly what it would be.

ed said...

Funny enough I started shaving my head when I started balding. Frankly it's a cleaner style, less overall maintenance but the downside is that you either need a second person, good mirrors or a careful feel of the back of your head to find the spots you've missed.

ed said...

"Oh, and no one has mentioned the Donald's glorious comb-over yet?" - ~N

In a good wind that thing looks like a Tribble frightened by a Klingon.

Dan from Madison said...

sort of late to this party as I am to most Althouse threads, but hey...I started shaving my head about five or six years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. My hair was looking ridiculous as I had the "monk" going on in back and the receding hairling in front. I got my wife's blessing and I never looked back. Not that I look for this sort of thing, but women (at least the ones I have talked to in bars, etc.) absolutely love LOVE it. And my wife loves it. And Ann Althouse loves it. And that is good enough for me. Well, maybe not so much on the Althouse part.

walter said...

BTW, how's Ted Danzen doing?

More importantly, Mitt may be "short", but he appears to have mahvellous hair. I hear he stole it from someone during those vicious Bain Cap days.

jeff said...

I go the number 1 route. I used to shave it, but that required a daily shave. So now I just clip it back every week or so. I remember the day I walked into the barber shop in Dublin Ohio 13 or 14 years ago and the guy asked me if I combed it forward. Told him yes. He told me, "you can probably still get away with it". Told him to just cut back until he found hair. Haven't looked back since.

Peter said...

My wife retired as soon as she could from her job with the USPS. She hated the job, not because of the work but because her coworkers pitched a fit if someone worked too hard.

anyhow right after that the Donks took Congress in '06 and prices started to skyrocket. Obiously George W. Bush' fault. anyhow it got to where I couldn't afford a haircut and I'm too durned old for the ponytail. So we cut it as short as we could with scissers and then I shaved it. My sweetie loves it and everyone else? Don't care.

Mike tyson said...

Great blog you people have maintained there, I totally appreciate the work.best electric shavers