Shaving your head for the first time can be intimidating, to say the least. We often debate the pros and cons, worry about the overall commitment, and speculate about how we’ll look once we slide that razor across the scalp.
Fortunately, we have some inspirational figures in the follicle-challenged community to look up to. Men like Bruce Willis and Michael Jordan are just a few of the men who show us that the shaving one’s head can be a powerful choice.
Such a choice was made in 2003 by Berkley Computer Sciences professor David A. Patterson after years of what describes as “watching my skin triumph over my hair for dominance of my scalp…” He shared the reasoning behind his decision in his “President’s Letter” from when he was the president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), listing his seven reasons for shaving his head.
A pioneer in his field with a Ph.D. from UCLA, a slew of awards for his contribution to the world of computer science, and having literally written the book on computer architecture, this is one smart bald man.
Here are his seven reasons for sacrificing “all surviving strands” in favor of the shaved look:
1. Women think you’re younger.
The amount and color of hair is a primary indicator of a man’s age, and the bald cut is popular with young men. Thus, you both remove the major age clue and adopt a cool, young haircut. The average estimate from female friends is that I shaved 10 years off my apparent age (see Figure 1).
2. Men think you look tougher.
A story makes this point. A fellow player at my weekly soccer match who didn’t recognize me complained aloud “what idiot invited the hard ass.” That remark made my day.
Bald actors are often cast in macho roles, like Bruce Willis and Sean Connery. Movie tough guys are often bald. (Remember the bald German mechanic who out- boxed Indiana Jones until the propeller stopped the match?) Such virile film images shape society’s view of baldies (see Figure 2).
3. You never need to comb your hair. Ever.
It doesn’t matter if you drive a convertible, wear a motorcycle helmet, walk in the rain, or even pull a sweater over your head; there are no more bad hair days.
4. It’s the only good-looking, do-it-yourself haircut.
You save the hassle and cost of going to the barber and buying men’s hair products. Moreover, most alter- natives are less manly: hair dye, comb-overs, implants, wigs, baldness cures, and so on.
5. Shaving technology has improved.
State-of-the-art shaving tools have rapidly advanced in the last several years. Triple-, quadruple- and even quintuple-bladed razors give a close shave while making it unlikely to nick your scalp, and it appears impossible to cut yourself with a cordless electric shaver. This was important to me because I don’t want to go to work with little bits of toilet paper stuck to my head.
6. Showers are quicker, so is grooming.
It might surprise you to discover how (c) much shower time is spent on hair: washing, conditioning, drying, and combing. Without hair, showers take just a minute or two. Hence, the bald cut saves time in your daily routine. Moreover, you don’t need to shave your head every day, since the hair on your head grows more slowly than the hair on your face. Oddly enough, some experts think the hair on your head grows more slowly in some seasons than in others [1, 2].
7. Finally, no worries about hair loss.
For the first time in a man’s life, you look forward to getting balder, as it saves time!
Seven solid reasons for pick up the razor. And who are we to disagree? Did Patterson cover it or is there a reason you would add?