Follow The Apparent Parent by Email

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Should I shave my head or not? Randomness I have learned from going naked up top

It may not be perfect, but it's not bad either.
As my hair has started looking less like a shag carpet and more like a teenager's beard, I have many times wanted to shave my head. Looking at my huge, kinda funny-shaped head in the mirror usually talked me out of it. Not to mention the frequent protestations from the wife department.

But recently, when the rim of my head started resembling Bozo the Clown after dying his hair dark brown I realized I just needed to get my hair cut – fast. So I got out my shaver and set it to 3. Reasonable length, something left to keep me company, but short enough to be out of my way. I got done and it wasn't enough. I wanted low maintenance. I dialed the shaver down to 1. I put a stripe across the side of my head and realized I had accidentally committed myself to premature baldness. So without telling my wife, I buzzed my head and then shaved it with a razor. Here is what I've learned since then.

  1. Bald heads make wives cry: At least mine did. I told her she could shave her head too if she wanted. She cried harder. I backed off to letting her get her haircut, something she had wanted to do for a while. I think that made her feel a little better, but she mostly just looked sadly at my bare bonehead.
  2. I must have already been bald: Amazingly few people have commented on my new haircut. I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only one that noticed there was a little hair on my head before I shaved it off. I really expected more from people, like Nazi skinhead jokes or something. Nothing. I really was bald. Dang.
  3. Thinning hair is easier to shave than thickening hair: It was a whole lot easier to shave my head than it has been for some time to shave my beard. I thought I would probably cut myself and bleed my brain dry, but apparently the blood already left my skull ages ago. Not even a nick. I think I can attribute this to the fact that my hair has been losing weight since I was a teenager while my facial hair has gotten obese. This is probably why many of the hairs don't even fit back out their own skin holes after a razor shave and just grow in coils in pus pockets on my neck until the little blighters pop out like an inch-long jack-in-the-box. Gross, I know. Sorry I subjected you to that unnecessary bodily information.
  4. Hair is an amazing insulator: Ever had a sibling sneak into the shower and dump cold water on you while your back was turned? Well, that's about what it feels like every time I go outside in the rain now. Which has been just about every day since I shaved my head. Every cold raindrop is a little pinprick of ice which makes me shiver. And I really didn't have all that much blocking raindrops before, mind you. I've even shivered going to bed a couple times, and my temperature scale runs hot.
  5. Hair is an amazing insulator: I know. It says the same thing as the last one. But this time I'm talking about heat. I work in a gallery with lots of heat-generating lights. When I walk underneath them now, my head feels like it passed inches from the sun. I can literally feel a painful heat walking underneath lights. Go figure.
  6. Skin that has never met the sun burns easily: I think I'm really glad I never figured this one out at a nude beach. I spent three hours outside on a partly cloudy day soon after going cue ball and realized I'd changed the cue ball into a 3 ball. Totally not something I was expecting. I haven't been able to shave my head since. The pain would just be too great. Heck, laying on a pillow at night is painful. I need something softer...
  7. My kids think I look funny: The morning I shaved my head, I came down to present myself to the audience downstairs. My daughter, quick to observe, pointed and shouted in a laughing voice, “You don't has hair anymore!” For the first few days she repeated this mantra every time she saw me. I think they're getting used to it now, but having my kids laugh every time they saw me was a bit of a downer.
  8. Of course my driver's license needs renewal: Yes, I got my license renewed with the newly naked noggin. This may be a good thing if, in the future I get in trouble with the law and they're looking for someone matching my license photo, someone that looks like a peeled Mr. Potato Head with eyeballs. When they see me, a mild-mannered man with thinning hair, they'll have no idea I'm the culprit.
  9. Rubbing a bald head isn't good luck: But it is fun. I can see why the tradition caught on. There's something soothing about rubbing the squeaky flesh up there that just releases positive endorphins. No doubt about that. And it's not too bad when the hair grows back either. But...
  10. Hair growing back is like Velcro: Not the soft, squishy side – the mean, hooked side. When I throw a T-shirt on over my cerebral 5 o'clock shadow, it's like trying to drag a grape across sandpaper unscathed. Little bits of my shirt cling to my head desperately, trying their darnedest to stay inside the shirt, presumably for warmth – see 4.
  11. Short hair is lower maintenance than no hair: Shaving your head takes time. Especially with a head as gargantuan as mine. And it needs to be done at least once every few days to keep the freshly shaved look. With short hair, you can pretty much just wake up and go to work if you want to until it grows long enough to give you bedhead in the mornings.
  12. I actually kind of like the look: It took a few days to adjust, but now that my hair is growing back I'm almost disappointed. Maybe that's just because I can tell how much thicker the side hair is coming in compared to the top hair, but I really got used to seeing the smooth, shiny planetoid that is my head in the mirror every morning. But I'm sure my wife is pleased it's (mostly) growing back

Take it or leave it, this is my advice for anyone that wants to shave their head: It's a mixed bag. Though I thought I would hate it – and in some ways I do – the people that once said they would openly mock me if I shaved my head have ended up, well, liking it. It surprised me and it may surprise you too.


  1. This made me laugh SO. HARD.

    Although I'm not going to lie.... Number three was more than just a little disturbing o.O

  2. Hi
    Not sure your blog is still active but I enjoyed your post about shaving your head. I’m now in my early 50s but I tried the shaved head look back in 2000 and kept it. My wife and I took a long vacation in the mountains at a home we have there. I always had longer hair going back to college and sometimes wore a beard. As a professional I kept my hair neat but long. I got what they call a buzz cut and my wife loved it, but I got the urge to try how a shaved head would look and since I was on a long vacation I figured it could grow back anyway. I think my wife was curious too and she’s more adventurous than I (I got a pierced ear hanging around with her). Anyway, I shaved my head carefully and my wife really loved it, perhaps more than I did initially. So, I decided to let the shaved head look grow on me (a bad pun), and I shaved my head ever since. All reactions were positive except for one relative. I only wear a mustache today, but it is gray and seems to go with my features well. I do take care of my scalp with sunblock and hats in the winter or in the sun. I found shaving my head was pretty easy and so I do it every other day usually. And since my wife likes it, well it seems I made a good choice.