I’ve been chewing on a dilemma for a while now, so I was thinking maybe I’d ask for your opinion.
A number of people over the years have suggested to me that I should shave my head.
For most of my life, I’ve dismissed the idea immediately. I grew up in an era where the longer your hair was, the cooler you were. I always wanted long hair, which during my junior high and high school years, created ongoing conflict between my dad and me.
He got the last laugh though, as genetics proved to be the ultimate arbiter, from which I had little recourse.
I’ve never really liked the look of a white guy with a shaved head. Without the right facial hair, it just looks like a thumb with a face on it. I also think I resist because it IS becoming a more frequent look. I resisted shaving my beard into a goatee for the same reason… because everyone was doing it.
Of course, I did eventually cave on the goatee, and now here I am considering this too.
Aesthetics aside, I have a number of practical concerns.
- You know I rarely go anywhere without a ball cap on. Hair provides a handy sweat buffer. If I had no hair, the whole hat would be more likely to get ruined by sweat and salt stains. I like my hats to look crisp and clean. And there would likely be a hat-ring left on my skull every time I took it off. Also, anything I’d touch my head against would end up with a greasy coconut mark on it.
- I worry about missing spots shaving it. It’s not like I can see back there. Nor would I notice all the little cuts and nicks I’d inevitably leave. Hell, I could have blood smeared all over the back of my head, and I’d never know it. (At least until the police start questioning me about my whereabouts…)
- If five o’clock shadow looks bad on my face, it has to look worse on my head. My bare-headed buddies, Rik and John, both have light hair. If they shadow up, it’s much harder to notice. With my dark hair, you’d easily see the line where shaving stopped and nature took over.
- What the hell do I use to wash it, soap or shampoo? Wouldn’t soap dry out the scalp and produce dandruff? Ew. Maybe the “one quarter cleansing cream” the Dove soap I use would suffice.
But it’s not like there aren’t any benefits.
· No more buying shampoo or haircuts.
· No more bed-head. (Of course, there will be more surface area for pillow marks.)
· Less hair on the floor to sweep up. (I say “less” because the idea of shaving anything else is a non-starter. I refuse to walk around looking like a boy band member gone to seed.)
· The gray hair disappears.
OK, so there are some partial benefits. So let’s say I’m going to do this… I’m not one to go plunging in. I’d probably do it in stages.
For example, when I get a haircut, I usually have them use a “3-guard” on the clippers. Maybe I’ll go for a 2-guard next time. The last time I had them use a 2-guard, Pinky thought it was too short. So then, the time after that, (but before it gets long again, do a 1-guard, which won’t leave much more than fuzz. That would leave me with a pretty good idea of what I’d look like if it were all gone.
I know… it’s so much fuss about a small strip of hair around the back of my head. I should just get over it and pull the trigger. It’s not like it won’t grow back. And this is the season to do it… if I wait much longer, I’ll start to get tan on my face and head. And then if I shave the rest, it won’t match. My head would look like butterscotch on a vanilla cone.
I’d also have to decide what to do about facial hair. I could shave the chin and go with a big handlebar ‘stache, like my buddies do. The plus side is that my chin is where most of the gray hairs reside. The down side is that when we get together, it will look like we’re in some kind of club.
Or I could grow out a full beard and go full Russian. Or I could just leave it as is. I wouldn’t consider shaving all that off too. I think facial hair is needed to break up the monotony of my face. I can’t do anything too outlandish though, because I still work in a fairly conservative industry.
I’m not the one who has to look at me. Believe me; I spend a miniscule time in front of a mirror. Factor out attending to my contact lenses and shaving, and it’s pretty much zero. My point is; it’s the rest of the world that has to look at me. So what does the rest of the world, as represented by you, think I should do?
I’ve always wanted to try the “survey” gadget on Blogger, so this appears to be my chance. Please click a response on the survey in the right-side margin, and feel free to add any additional explanation in Comments. My head is in your hands…