A shaved head can work as well for older men as it does for bouncers in bars and hunks on Harleys. I shaved my head about three months ago and I like my look. I’ll tell you how that all went for me, right after I tell you of a peculiar phenomenon I experienced in the early days of my baldness.
For a few days I got the urge now and then to run a brush through my “hair”. I would be brushing my teeth, or washing my hands, when a tickly sensation somewhere on my scalp would say to me, “Grab that stiff-bristle hair brush and give me a good going-over.” I’d open the top drawer of the vanity and grasp my hair brush, and then think, “Hey, you don’t have any hair, you don’t need a brush, just rub it good with your hand. Rub against the grain, like you would if the whiskers on your throat were itching you.” After just a few occurrences the sensation went away, and I’m used to my slick scalp now and no longer have any thought of brushing it.
My decision to go bald came after several years of the opposite extreme, wearing my gray hair in a long pony tail. I enjoyed my pony tail, but thinning hair on the back of my head was allowing my scalp to show through, and I feared that my pony tail might look as sad as an elaborate comb-over. I got tired of always wearing a ball cap, which, with its cutout in the back, did a poor job of hiding my thin spot, anyway. So I let a friend cut it all off.
Out on her back deck she sat me down and went about rubber-banding my hair into five small pony tails while her husband capered around with a camera, laughing and capturing my deranged-freak look. She harvested my long hair in five “sheaves” so I could donate it to “Locks of Love” and help a child somewhere who has suffered hair loss for medical reasons. (The Locks of Love website says they can’t accept loose hair, and they don’t make hair-pieces from gray hair, but they can sell gray hair to help offset manufacturing costs.) With harvest time over and the sheaves secure in a plastic baggie, my accommodating volunteer barber took great glee in mowing away the remaining stubble and stalks. She let her young son in on the merrymaking by permitting him to mow a strip, an un-Mohawk, from the top of my forehead to the nape of my neck, after which she made quick work of what remained.
In their bathroom I lathered my scalp and went carefully about shaving it with a disposable safety razor. I wiped my scalp clean with a damp cloth and then toweled it dry and wasted no time in testing how it felt. I would never have suspected that anywhere on my body was there skin so smooth to the touch, so smooth that my open palm seemed to adhere to my slick dome. I loved it.
That first shaving effort went slow and felt awkward to me, but I later solved that problem with the online purchase of a HeadBlade, a compact little razor that has a finger-loop in place of a straight handle. I place the loop on my middle finger and situate it between the first and second knuckles, and the shaving stroke is like smoothing my open hand across my scalp.
As for cost comparisons between “hair” and “no hair”, I no longer have to buy shampoo or conditioner, but I’ll need to buy more shaving lather than previously, so that is a fairly even trade-off. I do save some time by being bald, since my shaved head doesn’t require as much attention and care as my hair did.
The tangible benefits in my particular case are as nothing, though, compared to the intangible. I had a healthy level of self-confidence when I had hair, but if I had needed a boost; my new baldness was the ticket. All my family, my friends, and my acquaintances, both male and female, especially female, say they love the bald look on me and that it takes years off my appearance.
I am happy and pleased to be slick-headed, but I know it isn’t for every man. It works best for men whose faces are like mine, which is generally oval.
I did it for vanity’s sake, and I won’t deny it, but my aim was to be rid of something I’d come to dislike about my appearance, and it was not in the hope of some age-defying cosmetic miracle.
Men, is your hair serving mainly to hide a handsome dome? I’m not suggesting that you ought to shave your head or that you’d necessarily be as pleased with your result as I’ve been with mine; but why not consider it? Do you have a woman in your life? A wife? A female friend? Ask her if she likes bald heads, and if the answer is “Yes”, or even “Hmm?” ask her to picture how you’d look with a shiny pate. If “less is more”, as is so often the case, then mightn’t “nothing at all” be even more?
A small confession before closing. Part of my motive for shaving my head was so I wouldn’t feel the need to wear a cap all the time, especially indoors. I’m glad there have been other benefits, because the going-hatless one has not yet accrued. It was summer when I first thought of going bald, and it was late fall when I got the nerve, and now it’s doggone chilly where I live. Who knew that human hair was such a fine insulator? I didn’t. I’d never thought much about it, not until I learned how sensitive my naked scalp was to the cold. Now I wear a cap every time I leave the house, and if a chill wind is whipping around, I swap the bill cap for my new Peruvian knit cap that has ear flaps. It keeps my head toasty warm, and to tell the truth, I like the geeky look of it. I’ll try to keep my head warm this winter as I await the warm sunshine, which I trust will give my scalp the same approximate tint as my face but without, I hope and trust, those deceitful, tattle-tale age spots.