In or around 1994, I had taken to cutting my own hair. It was rather simple, as I had taken to wearing my hair quite short.  I simply ran a razor with a guard over my head.  After a few passes, I was done, and I had saved myself a few bucks.  I enjoyed cutting my own hair, and it soon became part of my Friday night ritual.  Another part of this ritual was the consuming of one or two 22 oz. Steinlagers.  Usually, I did the haircut first. Once I didn't.  On this particular occasion, after cleaning the guard about halfway through the job, I neglected to put it back on, and promptly shaved a two-inch wide, five inch long swath down the middle of my head.   

I stared at this little mistake for about five-minutes.  Oops.  I then decided that the only fix was to shave it all. Which I did.  Best move I ever made.  It makes cycling, and motorcycling much easier (no helmet hair). It's cool in the summer, and in the winter I can wear hats without worrying about how my hair will look.  My girlfriend digs it.  It looks REALLY cool with a henna "tattoo". And I was going bald anyway.

My advice? Shave your head, and NEVER operate anything with a blade after drinking.

 

So I shaved my head. I went from 18" to 0" in half an hour. As I consider it my personal duty to maintain my general strangeness level so as to keep the masses from being too bored with their daily lives, I made the bold decision to remove all hair from my cranium (excluding eyebrows anyway).

A simple question comes to mind: why does this change my assumed political affiliation? While the occasional "hippie!" was heard when travelling through the rural or southern areas of the country, I didn't get too much slack for having 1 1/2' black hair. But all of a sudden I get strange looks from minorities and white folks alike now that I decided to run a razor over my head. I mean it's not like I feel like I'm being victimized here--I just don't like having people assume I hate them from the start. I feel pretty awful knowing that some people feel afraid of me, rather than having the urge to beat the living crap out of my skinny, pale ass. I am a generally very friendly, reserved guy with reasonably little hatred toward anyone, especially on the basis of skin color or appearance, and yet all of a sudden I am assumed to have a big poster of Der Fuhrer on my wall.

The entire situation has come as something of a surprise to me. While I never had any doubts about the xenophobic tendencies of most people, I wouldn't have thought that there was such a McCarthyist movement to root out the hordes of racists and bigots in our society.

Of course this also means I can't be horribly politically incorrect for cheap laughs anymore. That's a shame too. Guess I'll have to find my old Dead Kennedys T and start wearing it again, just to affirm that I was at least once a rabid lefty.



In reference to the instructional section below, be sure, if you have incredibly long hair, to *trim it first*. I realized, before shaving, that this would probably be intelligent, but my decision making process tends to favor convenience over wisdom. Getting your hair nice and short first will save you a lot of cuts and scrapes.

One problem I've always had with the armed forces is the double-standard there is in the military relating to head-shaving and gender.

All men entering the military are required to shave their heads. This serves several functions. It helps control hygiene. In the close quarters communal living environment of basic training, it is important that each recruit be clean and free of lice and other parasites.

Head shaving also has a psychological impact. The change in appearance helps facilitate the change in identity that occurs during basic training. It also helps in fostering a team-spirit which carries the individuals as a team. Head-shaving is also common among sports teams for the same reason.

The problem being that female recruits are not required to shave their heads. They are required to keep hair pinned up and off of the collar, but that is hardly the same.

I've never been in the military but I grew up in a military community and I've heard this discussed among soldiers often. Most of the men feel like women should be required to keep short hair just like the men, and for the same reasons.

I believe requiring women to keep short hair would also, in the long run, aid the women in their search for equality in the military. As long as there is a separate set of rules for women, they will never truly be considered as equal.

I shaved my head yesterday. It's something that I had had in the back of my mind for a while, but I never really considered it for real. Anyway, me and a friend of mine were sitting around our really shitty high school during lunch, bored as only you can be with nothing to do in a really shitty high school. In the name of spontaneity, I suggested we shave my head. The rest, as you can imagine, is history.

I've been attached to my hair for as long as I can remember, and the sudden realization that I was sitting in my friends kitchen wearing a towel around my waist with a half head of hair hit me in much the same manner I imagine the sudden realization that your penis was missing would hit you. It hit me hard. I was almost bald. I felt like I'd lost a loved one.

So it goes.
I've been pseudo-bald for a day or so now, and I've gotten as used to it as I can imagine i will. It's much less hassle then my hair, and it feels great with a hat. Oh, and it looks really nerdcore with a hoodie and black rimmed glasses. Shaving your head is something I believe everyone should do at least once in their life- to cleanse the spirit, if nothing else.


There was at one point much more to this writeup, concerning how to go about shaving your head... however, sideways has covered that below, rendering my wu obsolete.

How to shave your head:

You will need

Method

  1. Decide whether you really want to do this. Depending on how long your hair was to start with, it can take a very long time to get yourself looking the way you used to. Keep in mind also that if you're white and male, there's a good chance you will get illogical bastards identifying you as a skinhead instead of just a white guy with no hair. This can lead to having violence perpetrated against your person.
    If you're not sure, my advice is to do it anyway. A change is as good as a holiday.
    What, do I look like your mother? If you want sensible advice you've come to the wrong place.
  2. If you've got long hair, cut it as short as you can with scissors. This makes it manageable. Some people I know have decided at this point that they like the result. Don't laugh, looking like you used a lawnmower seems to be fashionable in some bizarre way.
  3. Use clippers to cut closer still.
    I recommend doing this in stages, checking along the way to see whether you've got a weird shaped head.
    Be prepared to cut your losses if your skull has any major deformities that come to light during this process.
  4. Once you've got it down to a 'zero' (no-guard cut) you need to get your hair/scalp ready for the abuse it's about to recieve.
    First of all, have a good hot shower.
  5. Towel yourself off and let your head stay a little damp.

    Don't bother putting a shirt on, you'll only make a mess of it later.

    If your hair's never been this short before, take a moment to rub it.
    You'll like it.
    Trust me.
    If you have a S.O. handy, get them to rub it.

    Trust me.

  6. Get some shaving cream on your head, and give it a minute to soften the hair.
  7. It's time for your first pass with the razor.

    Take a deep breath, and begin.

    The first time over you should shave with the grain of the hair - that is - in the direction the hair points when it lays down. For most people this will be different directions on different parts of your head. If in doubt, rub your head, and work it out yourself.

    Be particularly careful around the tops of your ears and the back of your skull, and any weird bumps and lumps you might have. If you have any large moles or warts, be very careful. Head wounds bleed more than other parts of your body, so be careful.

    Once this is all done, you'll notice your head is still really prickly. That means it's time for the...

  8. Second Pass.Shave the whole thing again, except this time do it in the other direction. Once you've done this your head should LOOK like it's been properly shaved. It hasn't, 'cause next you have to...
  9. Get in the shower with your razor, and if there's room, sit down. Feel your head, looking for prickly patches. Shave 'em off, going against the grain.

    Don't be afraid to do a few passes over the one spot. It won't kill you unless you're beyond completely uncoordinated and manage to slice open a vein.

    The hot water from the shower will help keep the hair soft, 'cause by this stage the softening effect of the shaving cream has probably worn off.

    Rubbing your head in little circles is the easiest way to find where you've missed.
    Once you've done this, check your head.

    Check again.
    Check again.
    I'm serious.

    If you missed somewhere, and then go out, you're going to look like a tool until you get a chance to get home to your razor again. Even if it's not visible, when people rub your head (which they will want to) they'll feel it. Even if they don't, you will, which is the important bit.

    Everyone misses the lower parts of the back of their neck the first time they do this. Let my mistake be your inspiration.

  10. Get out of the shower, and dry yourself off, being gentle on your head. It'll be really sensitive, mostly because this skin hasn't seen the light of day in almost as many years as you've been alive.
    Treat it with respect.
  11. If it's your thing, use some aftershave on your head. It'll hurt much more than it does on your face, but it'll also get rid of the itch you'll feel if you don't use it.
    If you're at all sensitive to aftershave, don't use it. You'll only end up with a lumpy pink scalp or something, and look like you've got some sort of horrible disease.
  12. Finally, for the real 'cue ball' feel and to stop your head getting all 'sticky', give it a light dusting with baby powder, and give it a bit of a rub. It should feel good, and probably a tiny bit numb too.

You're done.

Maintenance

Now that you've got no hair, you're going to have to look after your lack of hair just as much (if not more) than you did when you had hair.

After about 36 hours your scalp will show signs of what looks like dandruff. This is normal. You'll just need to use a soft fingernail brush to give your head a quick scrub. This will feel good, and make your head all shiny and nice again. If you use a rough brush or scrub too hard or for too long you risk irritating your scalp. Don't.

Wash your scalp with mild soap (or even shampoo) when you shower, and this will help keep your scalp from feeling all oily.

I heartily recommend that you try the following things before you let it grow out again:

  • Stand out in the rain. This will feel and sound funny. PLAP!
  • Lie down on your bed and roll your head back and forth against the pillow. This will feel very odd, but very slinky.
  • If at all possible, 'get freaky' with your S.O. while you're bald, and get them to rub it. Sounds stupid, but don't knock it til you try it. Skin that hasn't felt human touch for decades can be very sensitive. Yum!
  • If capable, grow a beard. Beards tend to look best on people with no hair on their heads. If you're a woman, this is probably a 'less good' idea.
  • If someone pisses you off in the first 3 days or so after you shave your swede, grab their arm and rub your head against the underside. If you've got decent strength hair this can be enough to make shallow scratches and even draw blood. You have a new weapon now. Use it wisely and use it well.
  • Answer at least 20 questions about it and why you did it.
    If you can't explain it, or feel stupid trying, it might not be wise to do it again.
  • losvce sez: I used to shave my head for the military and I have a suggestion for those military boys who like all things shiny, shoes, boots, and especially heads -- baby oil! I suggest you wipe it down immediately after shaving with baby oil to prevent itchiness as well as keep the skin soft and supple, for those of us with not so great skin. On darker skin, it buffs the head to a nice shine, and on lighter skin (with light hair) it does about the same thing. For people with dark hair, it doesn't look all that great, as the roots will inevitably show...

  • CzarKhan sez: to make the process a bit quicker I suggest using an electric razor and keeping a beard trimmer or a pair of clippers on hand for those times you let it get out of control in length, like more than a week.


  • shallot sez: Don't shave your head for the first time in the middle of the winter! I did that three weeks ago, and I've had to wear a hat outside during the first ten days :) ...and he's quite right. Having no hair can be an excellent way to 'beat the heat' in summer, but it's also a great way to freeze your bits off in winter. Your head gets a lot of blood flow, and without any insulation from your hair, you'll be losing heat to your environment. Even a few millimeters of hair is enough to keep your head warm. Invest in a beanie and know when to wear it. Here endeth the lesson.

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