Fri 4 May, 2012 11:20 am
Confronting Your Crown: Male Pattern Baldness
by NPR Staff - Talk of the Nation
May 3, 2012
Men dealing with male pattern baldness have decisions to make — go with a comb over, take medication, get hair plugs or a toupee, or do nothing at all.
When New York Times contributing editor Daniel Jones started losing his hair, he chose what he considers a "cooler alternative" — head shaving.
"Losing your hair," he tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is a little bit like a girlfriend who's sort of drifting away, and you're clinging to her as she goes off and sees other people. ... It gets worse and worse. So it's better to take some sort of pre-emptive move."
In a recent piece for The New York Times, he argues that since actors like Vin Diesel and athletes like Michael Jordan popularized the look, the downsides are almost nonexistent.
Jones, who shaved his head more than eight years ago, explains the difficulties of confronting a receding hairline or thinning crown.
On shaving his head for the first time
"It's mostly a difference of feel ... when you're shaving in the shower and feeling the track that's left and suddenly there's nothing there. ... In comments after the piece ran, people described that moment — of sort of feeling it be smooth — as being more remarkable than anything that they actually saw."
On things to consider before shaving your head
"Head shape has a lot to do with whether this is a possibility for you or not, and if your ears stick out and that sort of thing. By the time I got to it, I had a pretty good idea what my head shape was. ... My hair was short enough at that point where I didn't worry too much about it. It's just taking it one last step."
On the shaved head as a sign of the macho man
"Bruce Willis was the idol back in the day. ... Maybe it's sort of the military practice of doing this, but it's also associated with ... the sort of sweating he-man ... in battle. ... The other component of this is people who shave their heads often then work out a lot more and feel like ... they have to, you know, buck up or at least get in shape. ... It's OK to be the in-shape bald guy. So I'd argue that shaving your head is also better for your long-term health."
On the one downside of head shaving
"I learned that the hard way. ... Wearing a bicycle helmet and having the air vents across the top and not thinking to put sunscreen on the top of your head ... you wind up with what I called a sort of geometrically pleasing — if sort of disturbing-looking — sunburn."
Shaving one's head is a surprisingly high-maintenance 'do.
a) You have to shave every day, or you have "5-o'clock shadow" all over your head.
b) A head full of stubble does not slide smoothly across a pillow. It makes a horrible scratching sound, and the pillow tries to move along with one's head.
c) Bumping your head hurts like hell. Even a little bit of hair will cushion a blow, or prevent a cut.
I just use clippers once a week, and mow everything down to about 1/8".
I have a full head of wooly hair . . . nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah . . .
'Cept that my hair hasn't turned gray yet . . .
Count your blessings Wooly one.....
My beard is gray . . . in fact, it's starting to turn white . . .
All you gotta do is take a look at my avatar to ascertain that I am not getting bald. And the all-white mane (no salt-and-pepper for me, thank you) is rather distinguished looking if I do say so my own self.
Yeah you kinda have that Bill Bailey look going on.....
and Set I picture you as a Rory McGrath type...
Both comedians ...
Hey, I do have a high forehead but not that
Only kidding you handsome hunk .... bit o' Dorian Gray going on here??
Have you a painting in the attic?
Your avatar photo is a keeper, so you. I'm always glad to see it.
It reminds me in a way of a photo Dys took of JLNobody, good photo, good man. We met once for something less than a half hour at Phoenix airport, are friends now for years and years, also with his wife via him.
Back if I find a link to that photo.
That avatar photo of moi
was taken by cicerone impostor or by Francis at our San Francisco meeting a couple of years back. I've now forgotten who actually took it; probably c.i. since he's an inveterate shutterbug. I haven't changed all that much in a couple of years.
I wanted to be there - liked our a2k experience in 2004 and love the city.
CI also walks fast.
Sometimes in the wrong direction.
waves to CI.
Wish I'd met Francis. Diane raves..
besides that, I like his mind.
Male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia) affects all men to some degree as they grow older. Progressive thinning of the hair on the head eventually leads to baldness. The hair loss usually begins at the temples, with the hairline gradually receding.