Thursday, June 30, 2005

Making choices

The Pittsburgh Valley News Dispatch has an article about headshaver Ric DeTorres and headshaving in general. Ric is 47, and shaves his head because he was losing his hair.
He made up his mind early that he would not become a member of the Hair Club for Men.

"No to hair plugs, no to over-the-counter hair-growth treatments," DeTorres says emphatically.

But if hair plugs and over-the-counter tonics were not the answer, what about a toupee?

"No way!" he exclaims. "I would not be that vain to wear a toupee that looks like something out of the back of a comic book."
The article also offers some general impressions of the bald-by-choice and why we do what we do.
During the past several years, more men who are losing their hair have fancied themselves in the image of stars such as Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Lex Luthor on "Smallville," basketball star Michael Jordan or Proctor & Gamble's rugged 6-foot-3-inch, earring-wearing sailor, Mr. Clean. The strong, confident images those men portray provide assurance that bald men can be sexy.
Personally, I've never thought of myself in the image of any particular celebrity, but the idea that bald-by-choice men look confident and self-assured is one that I've heard many times from a variety of sources.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Shaving records

headshaveBack in May, I mentioned the Geneva, New York Relay for Life and their record-setting headshave. A little while ago, I ran across an article about their desire to break that record at this year's event.
Arlene Eddington was satisfied last year when 135 people had their heads shaved as part of the local Relay for Life. In fact, it was good enough for the "Guinness Book of World Records."

But this year, she and Jen Harris, chairwoman of this year’s head-shaving event, are aiming for 200.
Apparently, they ended up with poor weather at this year's event, but still managed to get a good number of people shorn.
Harris stressed, however, that about 161 area residents still voluntarily had their heads shorn at the second annual shave-a-thon.
I hadn't run across any references to whether or not all of those were officially counted (last year's event had 185 shavees, but many were disqualified from the Guinness total for various reasons, including not having enough hair to start with).

While searching, I came across this page describing the 2004 event, which includes a big picture of some people getting shaved.

With any luck, they succeeded in their record-setting goals. Whether or not they did, though, they also managed to raise $65,000 for cancer research, which is substantially more important than any world records they might set for other things.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Shaving the slump

Here's a general principle for you: if you're stuck in a rut, make a sudden change to something in your life and shake things up. It seems to work for athletes (via Newsday):
If David Wright knew that shaving his head would end a 13-game homerless drought, he probably would have done the deed weeks ago.

Wright stunned his teammates yesterday when he showed up with his new military-style 'do. A few hours later, he opened the second inning with a home run off Yankees starter Sean Henn.

"I'm trying as much as I can to look like Cliff [Floyd]," Wright said, "so some of that power will rub off on me."
I like to periodically make some sudden changes to my life, to keep things from getting too dull. For some people, this can be accomplished with a shave. Whatever you do, though, the important part is to keep your mind and body active.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bald is still beautiful

Barber buzzedThe North Adams Transcript has a nice article titled For Many, Bald Is Beautiful available for your reading pleasure. It's another "headshaving is mainstreaming" story, featuring quotes from barbers and the shaved.
How many heads does he shave?

"I'd say every day there's a couple," St. Pierre said, pointing out that many men shave their heads themselves.

These days, Shannon Klose of Contemporary Hair in North Adams is doing multiple head shavings.

"With this heat, a lot of guys are coming in and having their heads shaved," she said. "I've been outright busy with my clippers. They're constantly recharging. A lot of guys have been coming in to have their heads buzzed."

Klose believes the trend is mostly heat-related, rising during the summer months. Last Saturday, she shaved four heads.
They also have comments from a 16-year-old boy who first shaved his head when he was 12, mainly to feel comfortable while playing sports.

I was surprised to hear about the number of guys getting shaved in a barbershop, to be honest. I would have figured most guys would do it at home, as it's cheap and easy. Then again, I have often heard that a barbershop shave is something of a treat, so perhaps that explains the numbers.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Razor Gator

razor gatorTired of getting lots of 'gunk' in your multi-blade razor? Reaching for toothpicks or Q-tips to clean out the razor cartridge?

Now there's a tool created especially to clean out the gunk from modern cartridge razors: the Razor Gator. Their website has some info on the Razor Gator, and on shaving in general. There's even a Gunk Gallery, in case you haven't seen enough gunk in your own razors.

Is it a shaving essential? No. But it's relatively cheap, and it does come in handy sometimes, so some people may appreciate it. There's a full review of the Razor Gator here, if you're interested.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What's hair between friends?

shavedFrom Prince Edward Island comes the story of Terri Anderson, who decided to shave her head to support a friend and raise some money for the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life at the same time.
But, says Anderson, shaving her head is only a small sacrifice compared to what her friend, Jane (she did not wish to have her last name used) has gone through in recent years.

Jane is currently fighting her second battle with breast cancer. She is in Halifax, undergoing chemo, as Anderson has her locks clipped.

"When she (Jane) told me that she had cancer again about a month and a half ago I thought I don't want her to be bald alone," says Anderson. "I thought if I am going to shave my hair off I'm going to get money for it."
Anderson managed to raise over $5000 through family, friends, and co-workers for the cause. She said that even if she hadn't reached her goal, she would have shaved her head for her friend.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The many ways to remove hair has an article from Men's Fitness about various ways to remove hair from the body. It covers each method fairly briefly, but well enough that one could get the general idea.

Though I recommend shaving for people going bald-by-choice, there are always the adventurous sort who want something more permanent.

Their comments on topical hair inhibitors:
After the success of the topical hair-inhibitor Vaniqa (which has yet to be tested and approved for use by men), many new nonprescription topical hair inhibitors entered the market. Yet whereas Vaniqa is a prescription drug that has been sanctioned by the Federal Drug Administration, most other topical inhibitors have not been clinically proven to work.
All of the methods feature a pro/con and estimated cost. If you're thinking of trying something besides a razor up top, feel free to have a look.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Shaving improvements

Ashish Jagtiani of Mid-Day Mumbai in India wonders about the improvements in shaving technology.
I remember when the Mach 3 was launched, that’s all it was called. Then they added Turbo and now Champion. I’m sure there is some technological advancement involved with each name extension, I’m just not sure what it is. All I know is that I’m paying almost twice as much for my blades with no perceptible change in my daily shave.

At this rate I’m expecting to soon see the Gillette Mach 3 Turbo Champion King of the World Master of the Universe shaving blade. I miss the days when I could say the word razor and everybody knew what I was talking about.
Just wait until Gillette unveils the M3Power in India. The name hasn't gotten longer, but the price certainly has gone up again.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Quick product shots

This week, I picked up some new shaving lubricants, just to give them a whirl, and figured I'd post my initial impressions.

First up is Neutrogena Razor Defense shaving gel. I've only given it one go so far; I'll try it more thoroughly later. It reminded me of Edge gel, which was, once upon a time, my shaving lubricant of choice. Since then, though, I've encountered better shaving lubricants, so I don't particularly favour this type of gel any more. Lubrication was fine, but I ended up with a fair bit of irritation, more than I'm comfortable with.

Second on the list is Kiss My Face Moisture Shave (vanilla earth). I've used this one twice now, and my initial impressions are great. It has a very pleasant scent, it applies nicely, great lubrication, and low irritation. It cleans out of the blade pretty easily too, which is always good. I look forward to using this one more.

In the same product-review theme, I got an email from Thomas, who kindly shared a product experience.
Just wanted to let you know about a new aftershave I tried that works really well. Old Spice High Endurance SOOTHING AFTER SHAVE BALM. This stuff doesnt burn, smells nice for the ladies and keep your header soft. I've been shaving my head for about 2 months and was still getting some irritation after I shaved, saw this stuff and thought I would give it a try. Works really well. Give it a trial run. They also have something that reduces 5 O'clock shadow, may try that as well in a couple of months.
Thanks for the input, Thomas.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Toupee or not toupee

The Sacramento Bee has an article (registration required) about Neal Young, a toupee stylist. Neal's been in business for a long time, and he's good at his job, according to him and his customers. Because he's good, of course, it isn't cheap.
Young has been trying to look young since he was young. He went bald at 22 and got his first hairpiece that same year, shelling out $400. Wall-to-wall carpet was selling for less in those days.


An entire new hairpiece from Neal's is $588 installed. They last one to two years before they wear out, Young says.
I hardly need to point out that two years worth of razor cartridges and shaving lubricant are significantly cheaper, of course. Mr. Young has an opinion about headshaving as an alternative to getting a rug.
"Right now, there is this fad out there of shaving heads - and it is a fad," says Young. "It doesn't look good on everyone. You see odd-shaped heads - dimples, bumps, flat spots."
I'm sure Mr. Young desperately hopes it's a fad, lest it cut further into his business.

Personally, I'm amazed that people spend the time and effort that a hairpiece requires. Different strokes for different folks, though.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Smooth in Tucson

baldThe Tuscon Citizen has a story about the bald-by-choice look and its popularity.
A lot of guys have taken razors to their scalps as a way to essentially thumb their noses at hair loss. The bare look has been growing in popularity, cutting across various ethnic and economic boundary lines. According to a spring study by Roper Public Affairs, 86 percent of respondents say they see more men with shaved heads now than they did 10 years ago.
The Roper study also suggests that up to 10 percent of men have shaved their heads at one time or another. They also have their own head-shaving FAQ to handle some common questions about going smooth.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gillette re-packaging could be costly

Further fall-out from the recent court case in which a judge ruled that Gillette's advertising for the M3Power razor was deceptive and misleading. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Gillette Co. could spend up to $1.6 million to change 6.5 million razor packages that claim its battery-powered Mach3 razor can lift hair up and away from the skin, the Boston-based company said Thursday in court papers.
After they lost the case, Gillette updated its website and commercials so they no longer featured the visuals that the court had ruled misleading. Gillette's competitor, Schick, which had brought the case against Gillette originally, says that Gillette has to change the packaging on it's razors, too.
Gillette said it would cost about $400,000 to resticker, or cover, the back panel of 3.3 million razor packages coming off its production lines or those stored in its regional distribution centers. And it would cost another $1.2 million to resticker about 3.2 million M3 Power packages already in the hands of retailers, Gillette said in a motion asking the court to clarify its injunction.

Gillette said razor package advertising that says, "Gentle micro-pulses stimulate hair up and away from the skin," isn't covered by the ruling.
Hmmm... I just can't seem to get enough of this legal stuff, can I?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Baldness leads to scholarships

Eleven-year-old Warren Woods is the head of Education Means Something To Us Crew (or EMSTU) at Barstow Intermediate School in California. This group, started by Grade 5 students at the school, raises money for college scholarships. One person he approached had a challenge for him:
"If you truly believe in this cause; shave your head, and I will give you $50," Eason said. "I saw his long raggedy hair; I had just shaved my head, and I thought he needs to look like me."
Though initially reluctant, Woods agreed. He got other offers of $50 as well, raising the total to $200.
His decision became more profitable when Olguin, Police Detective Tim Heiden and a business, Marshall Pools, each offered Woods an additional $50 to shave his head.

"It is a great cause and we want to encourage students to pursue further education," Mary McClure, president of Kiwanis, said. "Children excited about education is amazing."

Heiden organized a police truck to be at the school. A chair was put on the back and Woods sat on the chair at lunchtime on Wednesday awaiting his fate, with about 50 students cheering him on.
Though the group was only started 2 months ago, they've raised $1000 for scholarships, and recently handed out a $500 scholarship to a Barstow High School student.

I find it quite impressive that a group of Grade 5 students is raising money to support education. It's great to see this kind of enthusiasm for learning and school.

Father's Day bonuses

If you tell Modern Gent why your Dad deserves a treat, you have a shot at getting a free "Dad Bag" from them. Contest closes tomorrow (so that there's time to ship the Dad Bag out for Father's Day), so enter now. Just for entering, you get 10% off any purchase.

Also, we've got a discount code that's good until June 19th:
Use it for 10% off of your purchases at Modern Gent until Father's Day.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Batting bald

LeClercHeadshaving in sports is fairly common, and there are a lot of reasons for an athlete to shave their head. Mark Messier shaved his head to intimidate his opponents. Michael Jordan shaved because he was losing his hair anyway and didn't like it. Brian LeClerc shaved his head because his coach told him to. Well, sort of.
Spring baseball practice was set to begin in January, and Brian LeClerc's hair was out of control. Clumps of blonde locks covered his ears and began to stretch toward his shoulders.


LeClerc's hair became so unruly that head coach Pat McMahon, who enforces a strict team grooming policy, finally had to intervene. McMahon sat with his sophomore right fielder prior to the start of the season and asked for a simple favor.

Brian, cut your hair.
The entire team started bugging him about his hair. And instead of opting for the type of haircut his team and his coach were expecting, he decided to go all the way.
And that he did. LeClerc put the finishing touches on his new 'do by shaving his head bald with a straight razor. That has now become a pre-game ritual for LeClerc.
I'm impressed that he went with a straight razor. I still haven't tried shaving with one of those, but I know it's a lot simpler opting for a cartridge razor. Anyway, Brian, keep it bald. It looks good.

Friday, June 10, 2005

ShavingStuff blog

This being the Internet, it would be highly unlikely that I would have the only blog devoted to shaving, right? Right. I recently found Shaving Stuff, a blog devoted to anything shaving-related, as they've linked to my review of Cromwell & Cruthers (from here). That provides a wider range of topics than my own headshaving-related blog, of course.

If you're not getting enough shaving-related news in your life, check it out. Aside from linking to shaving news, they post reviews of products as well.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Gillette gets a class-action suit

Hot on the heels of the reports that a US court has ruled that Gillette's M3Power ads were deceptive, the Boston Herald reports that a class action suit is being brought against Gillette by consumers in New York and Florida.
In a class-action suit filed yesterday, Mark Dearman of Florida and Anthony DeBiseglia of New York allege the company intentionally misrepresented its product.

They're looking for a refund of at least part of what they paid for the razors, according to their lawyer, Samuel H. Rudman of New York.

The class action includes all consumers in Florida and New York who bought the Gillette razor. Other suits will likely be filed on behalf of people in other states, Rudman said.
I don't know what burden of proof exists for cases like this, but it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Shaving ads

The Australian has an interesting commentary in the wake of a recent court decision about Gillette's M3Power advertising campaign (mentioned previously here).
As a company executive explained last year: "Gillette and its competitors are developing more premium, expensive razors and blades. This is where the market is headed - both men and women are trading up. They want better products and will pay a premium price for them."

That's why it was hard not to feel satisfaction last week when a federal judge in Connecticut ruled that advertising by Gillette about the scientific advances associated with its M3Power shaving system was a load of rubbish.
The article takes a certain delight in slamming Gillette, and then noted:
At issue now is whether Gillette Australia - which is not bound by the decisions of US courts - will voluntarily abide by Judge Hall's decision or persist with making claims about the M3Power that have been judged fictional.
It's interesting, I've noticed a lot of resentment towards companies like Gillette. It seems a common sentiment that razor blade sales are a real cash cow, and bilk the consumer. I guess that's natural; I feel the same way when I'm looking at the prices of these blades at the supermarket.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

At a loss (of hair) for words

Indiana teacher Dave Toevs figured that getting his students to read more was worth the hair on his head.
The teacher made good on a promise made to his third graders at Southeast Elementary School and let five students shave his head. It was in exchange for the students' effort in hitting new heights in reading achievement.

"I thought he was kidding when he said this," school secretary Dorinda Turner said as she watched the first student take a big chunk of Toevs' short hair.

His students took delight in seeing their teacher succumb to their little hands with an electric razor.

"I'm nervous," Toevs jokingly said as the razor whirred in his ear. "I think I'm having a panic attack."

The students read 4,261,549 words over the course of a year through the Reading Counts program at the school.
When asked what he might do to motivate them next year, he suggested he might dye his hair.

It certainly seems to have worked. The kids say that they've been inspired to keep reading through the summer. Getting kids to read is important, and it's great to see teachers going out of their way to motivate the kids.

Friday, June 03, 2005

KLTV reviews the HeadBlade

KLTV in Tyler, Texas has a story about the HeadBlade on their website which asks the question, Does it work?. They got a bald-by-choice photographer on their staff to try it out. He used HeadBlade's HeadSlick lubricant while shaving.
"It's so light," says Arthur. He said if felt like he was holding nothing in his hand. The sensation was like wiping his hand across his head. "With a regular razor, I'm used to having to apply a little pressure so you can actually feel it when drags across your head. But this here, you don't feel any pressure."


We counted two or three nicks. Arthur says he gets that with a regular razor too. But there's something he did not get this time. "Usually when I cut my hair with a razor, as soon as I finish, I'm breaking out in bumps on the top of my head," he says. "I usually have to go apply alcohol afterward. Well, with this one right here, after I finish, no bumps on top of my head and no break out." Arthur credits the fact that he didn't have to push as hard while shaving with this device.

He says it will take some time to get used to it, but he likes it. "Does It Work?" We give it a "yes."
I have a review of the Headblade on my site from a while back, as well.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Court slams Gillette

Back in April, I linked to some articles about Schick's lawsuit against Gillette, in which they said that Gillette's advertised claims about the M3Power were false and misleading (1, 2). Yahoo News has a press release about the results of the case:
Energizer Holdings, Inc. today announced that Judge Janet C. Hall of the United States District Court, District of Connecticut, granted Schick a preliminary injunction against false advertising claims by Gillette for its M3Power razor. The court found certain claims by Gillette for the M3Power to be "literally false."

Judge Hall determined that Gillette's claim that the M3Power raises hair up and away from the skin is both "unsubstantiated and inaccurate." The court found that that the product demonstrations in Gillette's advertising are "greatly exaggerated" and "literally false."
Gillette has to stop making the claims in its advertising within the next month, according to the injunction.

This is a big legal win for Schick, but they are also on the defensive in court over another matter. As mentioned earlier, Gillette is claiming that Schick's Quattro violates Gillette's patent for the Mach 3 (1). If Gillette wins that one, sales of the Quattro will be blocked in the US. That battle continues.

This all leaves me wondering, which razors do the lawyers use?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bluey Day

Autobarn Racing today announced a new partnership with the high profile children’s charity Bluey Day for the 2005 Police and Emergency Service Workers Head Shave on August 12th with regular Autobarn driver Alex Davison and fellow Autobarn supported V8 star Paul Dumbrell taking to the clippers shaving the heads of a trio of Bluey Day officers in a bid to enhance to awareness of the charity.
Bluey Day is a charity that has been raising money to help fund research, purchase equipment, and help support children with cancer and other life-threatening childhood illnesses. Police officers and members of Emergency Services all across Australia have been shaving their heads since 1995 as part of the annual event.