I shaved my head today oboy.
Actually I started shaving it last week. I’ve just decided to finally discuss it.
Why? A few reasons. I’m over 50 with male pattern baldness. One of the funnier ones, actually, as I’ve got a ‘tuft’ in the front center of my head. Now, this tuft disguised my baldness a bit from the front for a while, but bring in the second issue: I’m greying. No, let’s be more honest. I’m greyed. And the tuft is getting thinner and thinner. So I’m obviously bald to observers from any direction.
Bald and grey – I look older than I am. I’ve always looked older than I am; I was getting into bars well before I was ‘legal’. Amusingly, I hated alcohol. I’d get a non-alcoholic drink. But I wasn’t getting carded. When I was younger this was cool and in some situations – like being in charge of people several of whom were older than me – worked to my advantage. At this end of the spectrum, however, looking older is not an advantage. I got told sub rosa that my age and my apparent age were part of why I’m having trouble getting jobs. Not all, but part.
Now one of my options was to just buzz the pate – which due to the thinness and color of the hair would give me an apparently bald pate and leave a fairly dense ring around the head. A little dye or Grecian formula to take care of the color would reduce the apparent age as well. Enter the most important person in my life. She says, “Thou shalt not look like thy father, not if you intend to sleep in the same bed I’m in.” Thus: a shave.
It has taken a bit to get used to. It’s also been interesting in that things I expected didn’t happen, and things nobody mentioned are the things that get me. I’ve not had any problem with the actual shaving, for example. It takes some time, but not a lot, because I was already shaving in the shower. A good hot wash, shave, rinse, and I’m good to go. But…
My mental picture of a shaved head was a smooth head. Instead there’s an almost invisible but definite stubble. When I take off my motorcycle helmet, for example, the lining wants to stay put. I’ve got a couple of hats (I dislike ball caps, I’m talking fedoras) that had gradually adjusted to my head and were a great fit. Now? Just a (if you’ll excuse the term) hair loose. And yet when the wind tried to yank it off the other day, well, remember the stubble? Yeah.
I’ve also got a heavy beard. No, not an actual beard. One of those wonderful sets of facial hair that when clean-shaven shows a 5 o’clock shadow by about noon. It turns out this is true of the ring around my head, too. So lo and behold the afternoon touchup now covers the whole head. Which means that the bald head is just a touch more labor intensive than keeping hair on my head.
The good? I do look a bit younger. Or at least I no longer look 60ish. I no longer have a bad habit (one of my ‘working on a puzzle’ tics was to tug on that tuft, leaving me a spike on my head.) A regular mild dandruff problem has disappeared – making me suspect that even with two shampoo applications I wasn’t getting the skin defoliated enough.
I’m going to keep this for a few months at least. After a year or so I’ll evaluate whether it’s been worth the effort overall or if I’m tired of the habit of staying full-bald. But for now, there’s one more hairless head out there. Mine.