You’ve been told that being bald is a big ol’ bummer.
Your hair goes, and with it, your looks, your confidence, your masculinity, even your identity. Just look at commercials for Rogaine throughout the years. Before: I was afraid to talk to anybody. I always felt like people were staring at me. I couldn’t even go out in public. After: My confidence is back. I’m dating a supermodel. I can even go in the pool! (Because if there’s one aspect of your life that really determines your quality of life, it’s whether or not you can go in the pool without feeling icky.)
It strikes a lot of us guys. Some more than others. Some of us get a wicked thrashing with the bald stick, leaving our heads resembling fleshy bowling balls, while others just get a perfunctory tapping, leaving our hairlines resembling the coastlines of Mediterranean countries. Some get smacked early in life and have to spend their entire adulthood follicularly challenged, some can stave off the beating until their twilight years.
But like all things in genetics, there is no escaping it if it comes for you. And, like a squirrel getting swept down the river, you can either fight the current or relax and see where it takes you.
Me, I leaned into the current and took my hair off at age thirty; I recognized that the troops were slowly losing ground, and after a few years going back and forth with growing it back and pretending things were going to be okay, I’ve been buzzing it weekly.
And I love it. Here’s why:
There is no such thing as a bad hair day. For the pessimist, that’s because they’re all bad hair days, and maybe I’ll grant that. But I have suffered from cowlicks and ratty-looking bedhead for my entire life. It is glorious to have that weight lifted off my soul.
It’s distinctive. Maybe not the way it used to be — the bald thing has caught on, even for white guys, in the last decade (thanks Bruce Willis and Jason Statham) — but it’s not a common look. Much more common are the guys suffering from hairline creep and pretending they’re not, with combovers or short haircuts. Forget that. Go big or go home.
Hats in the winter. I used to hate wearing hats, no matter how cold it got outside. Why? You already know: hat hair. Problem solved!
Cool in the summer. If you live in the South like I do, you’ll do anything to survive the pressure cooker waiting outside your door. Having no hair and letting your scalp breathe is so refreshing.
The feel. There’s nothing like feeling the wind across your dome. Or your kids or your wife giving it a rub. Or rubbing it yourself. No shame in that. Just don’t go crazy with it in public, you sicko.
All of which is nice, don’t get me wrong. But it all pales next to the real reason that being bald — bald-by-choice, as my fellow head-shavers call it — is the best style choice I’ve ever made. (Temper that with the fact that I still wear Star Wars t-shirts and walk around in my universally hideous Vibram shoes.)
The real reason I love shaving my head? Taking a razor and cutting short the desperate strugglers who might otherwise have hung on at least well into my late thirties?
The give-a-fargo factor. (Which is zero.)
It’s well documented that we only have so many fargoes to give in any given day. Anything you expend effort on — mental, physical, emotional — that carries a cost. Some things are small — deciding whether to make a smoothie for breakfast, or whether to snag a sweet, sweet Chick-Fil-A biscuit — while others carry a bit more weight — whether you buckle down and get some work done or turn in your productivity card and consign yourself to an afternoon watching cat videos on YouTube and reading articles that get you good and angry about politics. Either way, big or small, the fargoes pile up and take their toll — and once you use up your daily limit, well, you end up pretty much worthless.
The best thing about shaving your head is that it costs just a couple of fargoes a week, tops.
When I had hair, it cost me a lot of fargoes. It took time to clean it in the shower. It took time to style it. It took time (and money!) to go to the barber every couple of weeks to get it cut. It stressed me out when I’d get to work and see that it was sticking up or not sitting right, or if I had to try to re-style it after putting on a hat. Are these huge expenditures? No — but like grains of sand in your crotch after a day at the beach, they add up fast and are impossible to ignore.
So I shave my head. It takes about ten minutes once a week (I’m not particularly arsed about keeping it super-short, as you can see in the above photo), and I don’t have to spend an ounce of mental or physical energy on it outside of that. No shampoo (and, by extension, I’ll never get shampoo in my eyes again!). No combs, brushes, blow-dryers. No hat anxiety. No styling. Just streamlined simplicity. Plus the benefits listed above. And a net increase in my daily fargoes, to spend on whatever I want.
Probably videos of people falling off hoverboards.
If you’re like me — losing the fight with genetics and the will to fight it — get off the fence and reach for the razor. You won’t be sorry.
And if you are, well, you know … it grows back.
(Some of it.)