Thursday, December 30, 2004

Headshave auction

From a press release on
Step-mom to 8 year old boy in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida helps raise funds and awareness by auctioning off the shaving of her hair on eBay

Not many people would go to such lengths to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause, but a devoted step-mom is doing just that. In this case, the price of beauty is $2,500 to shave her head. That’s the minimum Valerie DeRoy is seeking to raise for Franklin’s Fan Club.
Franklin, the little boy, has T-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, and his step-mom is hoping to defray some of the expenses of treatment through this auction.

At this writing, there's still 4 days left on the auction on eBay (it ends on January 3rd), so if you're interested, head on over.

The article includes other ways to help out, if bidding on the auction doesn't appeal to you.

Monday, December 27, 2004

A Barber's Life

The Columbian has an interesting article about a day in the life of a barber.
The sign outside of his door reads "Baldy's," so most people around here just call him by that name. Baldy's specialty: shaving heads, $7 a scalp.
The barbering business sounds tough. From this, and a previous article, it sounds like a difficult way to scrape out a living.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Charity headshave for the homeless

From the Register-Pajaronian, an article about another successful charity headshave. This one fits in nicely with the article I posted yesterday.

I'm not sure exactly why charity headshaves are so popular. I suppose it's because even though the bald-by-choice thing is more popular than ever, it's still the kind of thing that most people are still a little nervous about doing. Doing it for charity makes it easier, though, and people seem to be willing to pony up some dough to see how others will look when shaved.
Coast Commercial Bank president Rick Hofstetter was skeptical when his staff came up with the idea of shaving his head to raise money for the Family Shelter, but he went along and shaved his head on Nov. 16 - and the Homeless Services Center's new Family Shelter is $35,112 richer as a result.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Xmas

From, a holiday story.
Will Wold, his nearly-bald pate covered with a Santa hat, said shaving his head was his way of giving to his community.

"I've done a lot crazy things for absolutely no reason at all - why not do something crazy for a great reason?" said the Rockwell-Swaledale High School instructor.

Wold on Tuesday joined about a dozen students and faculty in shaving their heads for charity, anteing up $25 for the cut.
Charity headshaves often end up raising a good amount of money for a good cause. Happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Showing support

Two stories of people shaving their heads to support someone else.

From the Bay City Times, we get the first one. When Joshua Jasman wanted to shave his head rather than lose his hair to chemotherapy, his friend Jacob Rytlewski decided to join him.
"When I found out Joshua was shaving his head, I decided to do it with him. I wanted some way to show my support," said Rytlewski, who joined Jasman for the haircut at Jasman's home last week.


"He didn't want to lose his hair in clumps," said Joshua's mother, Michelle Jasman, on his decision to shave his head. "It was a great surprise, that Jacob would do it too."
And from KSL TV, the story of Police and Firefighters standing together.
South Jordan Police Officer Ryan Meng recently underwent a risky 12-hour procedure to fix lingering problems caused by an aneurysm he suffered 16 months ago. It was his second brain surgery in six months.

To show their support for the 27-year-old Meng, about 30 male members of the city's police and fire departments shaved their heads.

Meng says the head-shaving gesture symbolized how all the officers in the department are there for one another.
Way to support each other, guys.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Get Some

The HeadBlade S4 got listed on's 'Get Some' Guide To The Hottest New Products for 2005. It's down on the bottom quarter of the page.

Congratulations, guys, that's quite an accomplishment.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The end of shaving?

One of the complaints I often hear about headshaving is the whole shaving thing. People often really like the look and feel of being bald, but shaving regularly is a bit of a hassle.

So I often get asked questions like, "Have you tried Ultra Hair Away?" or "How about Epil-Stop?". There's a class of products known as Hair Inhibitors that claim to slow hair growth so that you don't have to shave as often, and some promise that your hair will eventually stop growing.

I've never tried any of these products. But a bit of searching turns up some interesting info. For instance, there's an Epil-Stop Survivors message board for people who were injured by the Epil-Stop product. carries warnings about Ultra Hair Away and other hair growth inhibitors.

What's even more interesting about the searching is what I can't turn up. If these products worked as claimed, I would expect to find people talking about them on message boards or Usenet. Instead, what I generally found was people asking if anyone else had tried them, but no useful responses.

There are a lot of people who would really like a product like this, so if one existed and was as widely advertised as the hair growth inhibitors are, I would expect some buzz to exist on the Internet. Yet I can't find it.

People send me email all the time telling me about great products that they've used, or ones that they hated. Nobody emails me about hair growth inhibitors, except to ask if they work.

All of this makes me suspicious of hair growth inhibitors as a class of products, and makes me reluctant to try one. I can't say with absolute certainty that they are a scam, but the signs point that way.

Shaving may be a hassle sometimes, but it's proven reliable and effective, so I'll stick with it.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Athletes and hair

Hamman is among a growing number of athletes using their hair as self-expression and to develop a unique and marketable persona. In a curious reversal of roles, it's the super macho men of sports who are primping and preening far more than the lady jocks.
That's from an interesting article in USA Today about professional athletes and hairstyles. The bald-by-choice look doesn't get as much play as the long-haired look, but it's still a great read for anyone interested in the role hairstyles play in self-expression.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cash crop

The hair removal market (excluding shaving) represented an estimated $8.3 billion global market in 2001, with $3.8 billion in the United States. The world market is expected to grow to an estimated $11.1 billion by 2005, with commensurate increases in the U.S.
That quote's from a press release by a company that thinks it's found a better way to remove hair permanently. Human trials on its product (which targets a certain gene to "permanently disrupt hair follicle integrity") won't likely be starting until 2006, so it's too soon to talk seriously about it.

I'm just amazed that there's that much money to be made by removing hair.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The plight of the traditional barber

Barber poleThis Associated Press article in the Grand Forks Herald talks a bit about the decline in the number of barbers in the US in recent years, and how they're losing ground to hair stylists, even among male customers.

One question I've been asked numerous times is if I know of a barber that will give straight razor shaves. It's a dying art. For the record, I've never been to a barber, and don't know of any off-hand that shave with a straight razor. However, the article mentions one, in case you're somewhere near Bismarck, North Dakota.
Twenty-three-year-old Travis Zenker is the first new barber in Bismarck in more than 20 years, Schock said. [...] He is one of the few barbers, including old-timers, who still uses a straight razor for shaving and trimming.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Errol Brown

Errol BrownThe Liverpool Daily Press recently had an article about 1970s pop singer Errol Brown. Brown was the lead singer for Hot Chocolate, and is probably best remembered for the song You Sexy Thing. He still tours occasionally, and will be touring the UK soon.
The 55-year-old bald-headed singer who has to shave his head regularly began shaving it early in his career. "My hair was beginning to recede," he admits. "I thought I would be very cool and become the first pop star to shave his head. My girlfriend at the time was encouraging and told me it looked good."
I'd have to agree with Errol's girlfriend: the look definitely suits him.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Bald women blogging

Bald Ladies' Journal is a LiveJournal blog community for women who shave their heads. I found the following notice on their front page interesting:
Community membership is closed in an attempt to keep those here solely for fetish purposes out.
I know from personal experience that there is a large hair fetishist community out there. When I added a Women's section to my site a while back, traffic jumped dramatically. Alas, it wasn't from women who wanted information about how to shave their heads (which is what the section on my site was intended for), instead it was a bunch of guys who wanted to see pictures of bald women.

I don't personally care what other people are into: it's a wide-open world, after all. But pretty soon, comments to a log entry I had made on the subject consisted primarily of guys trying to meet bald women, giving out phone numbers, trying to arrange meets, and other stuff that goes well beyond what I had intended for my site.

So good luck to the Bald Ladies' Journal. I hope everything goes well for the community.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Shaving as protest (and support)

Saw this story from WANE-TV:
The assistant to Notre Dame's president has shaved her head to protest Tyrone Willingham's firing as football coach.

Chandra Johnson says she'll remain bald until the Irish win a national championship, something that hasn't happened since 1988.
Shaving one's head has often been used as a form of protest. Now that more people shave their head regularly, it doesn't stand out as much as it used to, but since this was a woman shaving her head, I think people will notice and ask her about it.

Johnson's protest is in support of a colleague. Shaving heads is often used as a show of solidarity too. I've read a lot of stories lately about people shaving their heads to support someone with cancer. Like this story:
After chemotherapy treatments, the 7th-grader at Stillwater Junior High School noticed his hair falling out in clumps. Within a day Jake’s good friends, Cody Jansen and Jesse George, came over to shave their heads with him.

Luke Buerkley, a traveling basketball teammate, suggested that all the players shave their heads to show support.

More than 70 people gathered at the Martells’ house Oct. 8 for a Friday night barbecue and impromptu head shaving party, Jake’s dad, Larry Martell said. [...]
About 24 people, adults and kids alike, shaved their heads that night.
People can support organizations this way too.
Jill Saward, 39, who was brutally raped at her Ealing Vicarage home in 1986, will be raising much needed funds for Abused People's Help In Sexual Trauma (APHIST) based in Wolverhampton, by shaving off all her hair at their Christmas fair on Friday, December 10.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

King of Shaves wins award

FHM, a men's magazine, recently gave out awards for men's grooming products. As described in this press release, King of Shaves won in the wet shaving category.

King of Shaves AlphaGel DDS Natural Unmentholated Shaving Gel was voted Winner in the hotly contested 'Best Wet Shaving Product' category.

King of Shaves beat out strong competition from Gillette, Wilkinson Sword, Nivea for Men and Clinique for Men to scoop the top awards.
I've never tried any King of Shaves products myself, but I have gotten emails about them. All of the comments I've gotten so far have been positive, so the award confirms the general impression I've been getting about their products.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

More holiday gift suggestions

To add to my previous gift-giving advice:

Actress and "It Girl" Mischa Barton and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch created a 2004 Holiday "It list" at the behest of the Gillette company. As fortune would have it, Gillette's M3Power razor is at the top of the list. It's always convenient when the sponsor's product is number one in their hearts, isn't it?

HeadBlade S4If you're looking at fancy razors for the holidays, there's also the new HeadBlade S4. It's a limited-release item at the moment, so if you're interested, order soon.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Quattro legal, after all

According to this press release, Schick-Wilkinson Sword just won a victory in court against Gillette. A while back, Gillette had claimed in court that the Schick Quattro razor infringed on Gillette's patents.
"We are very pleased with the court's ruling that QUATTRO does not infringe Gillette's patent," said Joe Lynch, President, Schick-Wilkinson Sword. "Gillette has been very aggressive at attempting to impede the launch and sale of QUATTRO around the globe.
Gillette was also required to repay Schick-Wilkinson Sword's legal costs by the court.

Schick-Wilkinson Sword recently shot back at Gillette with their own court case.

Friday, December 03, 2004

M3Power vs. Quattro, yet again

Given their recent legal battles, I thought I'd post a different type of conflict between these two razors. put the Schick Quattro and the Gillette M3Power "head to head", so to speak. Their conclusion? They liked the M3Power. I didn't find any serious difference between the two, myself, so I tend to go for the cheaper one.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

High tech and razors

In an article titled When we really don't need new technologies, Andrew Kantor writes:
The fact is, razors aren't computers. You can't introduce a faster or more powerful model. Once your face (or legs) are smooth, they're smooth. Period. That M3Power razor is not going to cut my face any closer; the hairs just can't get shorter than zero. It's technology for technology's sake and nothing more.
Has he got a point?

It's an interesting question. With Gillette being taken to court due to some claims about their latest razor, it's worth asking, certainly.

Of course, there is something he left out. Shaving isn't just about getting the closest possible shave, though that's what tends to be advertised. Shaving products can improve by making the experience more comfortable, and if technology contributes to that, then it's not just technology for technology's sake.

But that still leaves us with the question, does adding this kind of technology to razors really benefit the consumer, or is it simply a ploy to make more money from gizmo-obsessed consumers?

At least one person who emailed me about the M3Power suggested that it's not about the closeness for him. He finds the M3Power's vibration feature to be soothing and feels less irritation as a result. He considered it worth the price.

For me, I think there's more flash than substance ot the M3Power. I still prefer the regular Mach 3 for my shaving needs.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

To protect and shave

Is Your Scalp a Constitution-Free Zone?

Here's a curious item: in the United States, it's apparently legal for the authorities to remove your hair. That's right, the cops could shave your head, and there's nothing you can do about it.
And make no mistake. Under the Third Circuit's approach, the police can shave the hair of anyone who appears in public at any time. They do not need to have any reason whatsoever for suspecting the unwitting shavee of a crime.
Of course, I don't object to shaving one's head, but I figure it should be a choice left up to the individual, not something forced upon them by the authorities.

Granted, this isn't the type of thing that's too likely to happen to most people, but it's scary to think that it can happen.