Monday, February 28, 2005

Principal-ly shaved

Assistant Principal Joseph Amaral gets shavedAssistant Principal Joseph Amaral knows how to provide his students with incentives. When the Student Activities club wanted to raise some money for Tsunami relief, he gave them some items for motivation.
"He promised $1,000 would get us a night off from homework and it was $2,000 for Mr. Amaral to get his head shaved," said seventh-grade student Andrew Gomes.
The students pulled through and raised $7,000 for Tsunami relief, and Mr. Amaral followed through on his promise and got his hair shaved. I'm sure you're wondering how the new look suited the Assistant Principal.
Eighth-grade student Marcus Veyera said the new style looks OK on Mr. Amaral but that he isn't crazy enough to ever let someone shave his hair off.

Fellow student Kelsea Graves disagreed. "I think it kind of looks worse," she said with a shrug.

Others simply said Mr. Amaral looked "different."

But at least the school's assistant principal has options - a hat presented by colleagues that reads: "Got Hair?"
Good work, Mr. Amaral.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bald for all?

Jennifer Banks doesn't think the bald-by-choice look is for everyone.
Let me explain. On Yul Bryner it’s beautiful. On Charles Barkley it’s super sexy. On Michael Jordan, it’s stylish. It’s a no-go on Dennis Rodman, Peabo Bryson and Hosea Saunders. The culprit is symmetry and head shape.

No harm intended, but fellows with cranial shapes like the Cone Heads on Saturday Night Live should not dare to go bare! The same holds true with guys with foreheads that enter the room before they do. Or those with features like E.T..
So how is one to know whether the bald look is for them or not? Alas, the author doesn't say.

Personally, I think that if you like it, it's good for you. But then, my opinion is that one's appearance is most important to them; you're the only person who has to be happy with your own appearance.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Shaving fruit

First, the M-3 razor, a single razor and a double-edged razor were tested on the outside of a kiwi fruit.

"The M-3 was the only one that didn't break the skin," Schumacher said.
"Problem Solver" Mark Schumacher of Local 6 in Florida decided that the way to test the quality of a razor was to use it to shave fruit. Aside from the kiwi fruit, he also tested it on an orange. He recommended the M3Power based on this rigorous and exacting test.

Unfortunately, the brief item on their website didn't tell us how long it took for the kiwi fruit's hair to grow back, or whether the orange suffered razor bumps. It also didn't specify the shaving lubricant employed by the fruits.

Personally, I'm stunned that they didn't use a melon: it would seem like a natural choice, wouldn't it?

Next up: deciding what brand of refrigerator you should buy based on how well magnets stick to the door.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Call her Kojak

On her website, Mary Ellen Foster writes about shaving her head in 1996.

With some who shave, it starts with a bad haircut. In Mary Ellen's case, it started with a dye-job that she wanted gone. After living with very short hair for a while, she decided to take the plunge and go all the way.
Actually, I did it the day before Halloween, the 30th, because it had just been an all-around bad day and I needed something to make me feel happy and in control of my life. So I went over the hairdressers and told them to shave it bald.

And once again, they did.

Not without asking me if I was absolutely certain I wanted to do this, mind you. And I did feel a bit of a twinge in my gut when the razor started going across my skull -- no turning back now, Foster...
I first shaved my head on a bad day, too. It worked; shaving brightened my day.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

St. Baldrick and the Nurse

From Portland, Oregon, the story of a nursing student who is shaving her head to raise funds for childhood cancer research:
Nursing student Christina Cameli is going bald to help conquer childhood cancer. Her head will be shaved as part of this year’s "St. Baldrick’s day" celebration on April 3rd.

[...]

"I heard about St. Baldrick’s last year and stopped cutting my hair," Cameli says. Now it reaches past the middle of her back. She says most people are shocked that she is willing to shave it all off. She encourages turning that shock into a donation for St. Baldricks. Cameli has a personal goal of raising $5000 in donations for the charity; a goal she feels can be easily reached as news of her imminent baldness spreads. "I’m asking everyone to donate $10 and tell a friend," says Cameli. "If we can reach 500 people we’ll meet that goal, and children with cancer will have a better chance."
St. Baldrick's is an annual charity event that normally takes place sometime near St. Patrick's Day (March 17th). The actual date varies depending on location. Last year, they raised $3.5 million, most of which goes to CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Shaving down under

From Australia's Bayside Bulletin:
When Dr John Golder was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia last November, raising funds for leukaemia research and support got personal for fellow doctor Karen Barry.

Dr Barry, who works with Dr Golder at the Redlands Clinic, said she had been thinking of shaving her head in support of leukaemia research for a few years but Dr Golder's diagnosis prompted her to go ahead.

"I've never done anything that drastic before. But when it touches someone who is close to you, you stop and think," she said.
Doctor Barry is shaving her head on March 11th, during the World's Greatest Shave event in which 60,000 people in Australia will pledge to shave (or colour) their hair.

It sounds like a great event. They've got a list of celebrity participants in the event on their site. If you feel like donating, they've got a secure donation form, too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Melissa Etheridge

On Sunday, February 13th, Melissa Etheridge surprised the audience at the Grammy's by coming out with a shaved bald head. It was her first public appearance since she was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year. It was the most memorable part of the awards show this year.

MSNBC has a transcript of Etheridge's interview on Dateline NBC from a couple of days ago.
Phillips: "Are you surprised by the impact it had? How it moved people?"

Etheridge: "Yes. Yes, I'm definitely taken aback. I remember when I finally made the choice. Yeah, I'm going to do it bald. And you know what? Maybe this'll help somebody who's sitting on chemo laying in bed and going, God, I'm bald. Isn't this weird? Maybe it'll help them feel a little better. I didn't know to what extent that would happen. But I'm honored."
Etheridge's performance at the Grammy's got a lot of attention in the news, and has inspired a lot of people.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Doctors and nurses shave heads for patient

ShavingDoctors and hospitals can be quite intimidating for some people. It's bad enough when you're there to visit sometimes, but when you're in for serious surgery, the whole experience can be overwhelming. It can be even worse when you're a kid. That's why it's nice to read a story of the lengths some medical staff will go to to make a patient feel better. Here's the story from Salinas, California:
About 20 Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System employees shaved their heads Friday in a fund-raising drive for a 12-year-old Salinas girl with cancer.

About a month ago, Haley Baxter, 12, a sixth-grader at Salinas Christian School, had a 6-pound tumor the size of a volleyball removed at Stanford Medical Center.

The doctors and nurses shaved their heads in solidarity with Haley, who is undergoing chemotherapy and losing her hair. They're also helping raise money for her medical expenses.
Good luck, Haley. I trust all will go well.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bald as a basketball

The Greensburg Salem Golden Lions basketball team decided that the way to stay united as a team was to shave their heads together.
"We really are like a family," said Manley, the lone senior in the starting lineup and the unquestioned emotional leader for Greensburg Salem. "We really care about each other. [Shaving the heads] gave us more unity.

"Most of the guys were for it, but a couple of the ones with long, shaggy hair were shaky on it and needed to be talked into it."
It seems to be helping, as the team has been doing very well. Good luck in the playoffs, guys.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Gob's Bad Hair Day

From the West Roxbury & Roslindale Transcript, this upbeat story:
Gobnait Conneely will soon begin chemotherapy at Caritas St. Elizabeth's Hospital to treat her breast cancer. But instead of waiting for her hair to fall out, Conneely is taking charge of her own destiny and helping others at the same time. The West Roxbury woman shaved her head bald last week to raise money for breast cancer patients and immigrants.

"Well, they say bald is beautiful," an upbeat Conneely told a crowd of friends gathered at Phil's Hair Salon in Brighton.

[...]
Even Conneely's hair became a source of charity last week. Conneely donated her hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hair prosthetics to children with long-term medical hair loss. "She decided two months ago to donate her hair to Locks of Love, and we just decided to do it with her as a friendship thing," said Sioban McHugh of Brighton, displaying her bald head in solidarity.
Locks of Love is a great organization, and it's always good to hear about people donating hair to them.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I shaved the sheriff

A previous post to this blog described how police in the United States can shave the heads of civilians without a warrant. If you're in Marysville, Kansas, you can shave the head of a law enforcement officer, according to the Marysville Advocate.
The Shave a Police Officer event to raise funds for a Marysville 4-year-old who has leukemia gets better and better.
Organizers of the Karlee Rockwell fund-raiser said this week that participants who bid big bucks will have a chance to shave the sheriff.
Marshall County’s finest have added their names to the list already inhabited by Marysville’s finest. Sheriff Kenny Coggins, undersheriff John Ralph and deputy Todd Heath said this week that they would join the corps of law enforcement officers who will have their heads shaved by the highest bidders in a silent auction.
There's not much time left to get in on the fun: bidding closes at 4pm on Sunday, and the shaving starts at 6. An opportunity to shave a law enforcement officer's head, and the money's going to charity? It's a great opportunity.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Musings on hair (and no hair)

In a journal entry from 2000, Adam Tow muses about hair, including some thoughts about having no hair. He's tried a few different styles, and his comments are interesting.
Everyone should at least shave their heads once in their lifetime. It might look strange at first, but it eventually grows on you. Plus, it’s soooo easy to take care of your hair when you don’t have any! Shower right before going to sleep, and you won’t have to worry about waking up with your hair sticking up in all directions!
The latest update to his article mentions that he got cornrows in 2002.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Isaac Hayes

Isaac HayesIsaac Hayes was one of the most influential musical influences of the 1960's and 1970's. Hayes laid the groundwork for the 'Memphis Soul' sound and paved the way for many artists. His music speaks for itself, but his look is a part of the mystique as well.

The cover for his 1969 album Hot Buttered Soul featured Hayes' silky smooth cranium. According to Hayes' website:
In a new emerging age of Afro-centrism and Black Power, devoting the entire LP cover to Hayes' shaven head was a revolutionary statement.
One thing's certain: Isaac Hayes definitely helped make bald sexy.

Links:
Isaac Hayes' official site
Rolling Stone's profile
AllMusic's profile

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Advice for a flaking scalp

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has an advice column that recently got this question from a bald-by-choice reader:
I'm a guy in my 30s who shaves his head -- first because I thought it looked cool, now because I'm starting to thin out on top. The constant shaving in the cold weather is making me pretty flaky -- and I don't mean goofy. I've noticed this for the first time this winter; what should I be doing to prevent the snowman effect?
It's the first time I've seen a BBC question in an advice column, so I thought it was neat. The columnist offers some suggestions, too.
Using a humidifier at home will help, as will your choice of shaving foam. Some contain agents that dry out your scalp, so stay away from those that contain alcohol, peppermint and laurel sulfate. One foam that comes highly recommended from my shave-down friends is Aveda Shave Cream for Men.
Moisturizers and skin care creams are often a good idea. When my scalp gets itchy and flaky, I generally turn to Vaseline Intensive Care skin lotion. I haven't had that problem for many years, though, and I suspect it's due to the moisturizing powers of shaving oil.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Playing Warbucks

Daddy WarbucksThirteen-year-old Tommy Foy decided to take the 'method acting' approach for his school production of Little Orphan Annie. Foy was playing the role of Daddy Warbucks, and felt that the only way to do the role justice was to shave his head.
"I got a bald cap but it looked fake, so I said I would shave my head," he said. "I thought why not. It's just hair, it'll grow back."
His mother was initially uncertain, fearing that he might be teased by classmates, but that ended up not being a concern.
"At first I was a bit hesitant...but afterward I was really happy because my head was in pretty good shape. There weren't any big dents or anything like that," Tommy said. "At school, a lot of my classmates loved it. Everybody was feeling my head (Thursday)."
Congratulations on the success of your play, Tommy.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mailbag: Shampoo as a shaving lubricant

I got this email from Todd:
I've been shaving my head for about 4 years now. The other day I took my son to the barber and after telling him I get terrible irritation if I shave more than once a week he said to use shampoo instead of shaving cream. Shaving cream has alcohol and dries out your scalp, shampoo doesn't. I just bought a Headblade and with shampoo have shaved my head twice in three days and I look great. Thanks for listening.
I hadn't thought of using shampoo as a shaving lubricant; that's quite an interesting idea, and an ironic use for the product. I agree with the barber's comments about alcohol, of course, and it's generally considered a good idea to avoid aftershaves with alcohol as well.

I recently got another email suggesting shampoo as well.
By recommendation of a friend of mine that is a hairdresser, I began using "Hairseptic" in lieu of shaving cream. She recommended it to me because she has been using this product to shave the back of her client's necks with no irritation. It is a clear liquid, highly concentrated shampoo. I pour into a spray bottle and just spray a light film over my head and start shaving. I love it! I shave much faster with absolutely no irritation. What I don't like is that if it gets in your eyes....OWWW! Burns like the devil. Other than that, a great product. The name of the company is Aristocrat Hairseptic Company from Columbus, Ohio. It can be ordered at 1-800-783-0636 and can be found in beauty supply stores as well.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

After the shaving

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has a great article about aftershave that any shaver would find interesting. They discuss changes in aftershaves, from the 'bracing' alcohol-based aftershaves to the newer soothing creams. The article also specifically mentions the head-shaving market and the new line of grooming products from Michael Jordan.
"The aftershaves of the past were mostly alcohol with a small amount of fragrance. The net effect was a lot of stinging and burning, and not much healing or soothing characteristics," Berard says.

Michael Jordan aftershave, for example, contains triple-distilled peppermint oil to seal pores and pro-vitamin B-5 to soothe irritation, Berard says.

"And since more men than ever before are shaving their heads, we designed the Michael Jordan aftershave to minimize oil for a shine-free finish eliminating the ‘chrome dome’ effect," he says.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Gillette Man

Gillette ManBryan Curtis of Slate gives us a take on the Gillette Man and Proctor & Gamble. P&G recently purchased Gillette for $57 Billion (USD). The article goes into the history of the Gillette Man, and it's pretty entertaining.
The Procter & Gamble sale may pose a threat to the Gillette man. It's a shotgun wedding of the grooming categories. Just as Gillette dominates men's shaving products, Procter & Gamble provides the top toiletry brands for women: Tampax, Olay, Cover Girl, and Max Factor. Will P&G's femininity nag the machismo out of the Gillette man?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Voting for a change (of hairstyle)

At Auburn University, the Dean's willing to shave his head to get his students to vote.
In an attempt to persuade students to vote in Auburn University's Student Government Association elections Feb. 9, Dean of Students Kent Smith said he will shave his head if 7,200 students turn out for the elections.

Smith said in the last election 6,400 students voted. His goal is to raise the number 12 percent.

"I'm trying to find ways to motivate students to be part of the political process," Smith said.
It sounds like something of a sacrifice for the Dean, too.
"I've never had a shaved head, and I'm not sure how interested I am in that. However, if the students come through, I'll do it," he said.
I wonder if there's any way to convince politicians to shave their heads for votes?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Always the unexpected

College basketball player Ted Rosendahl likes to surprise people.
"Our coach (Donnie Danklessen) thought it was a little too long," Rosendahl said. "My mother also didn't like it that long."

But instead of getting just a regular hair cut, Rosendahl returned to practice one day with a mohawk.

"That won't cut it," Danklessen said, recalling the moment he saw Rosendahl. "The next day Ted came back with a shaved head. I have to admit he looks good that way."
A new haircut can often be a welcome way to change things around. Sometimes a change is as good as a break.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mailbag: Tom's of Maine Natural Conditioning Shave Cream

People occasionally send me reviews of shaving products that they've tried. If the review is substantial enough, I generally post it to my reviews page, but sometimes I'm sent a review that's not really long enough to get a page of it's own. Here's a review that was sent to me by J. Maxwell.
I would like to submit to fellow head shavers a review Tom's of Maine Natural Conditioning Shave Cream. It is available at natural food stores such as Whole Foods Market. I have found Tom's to be the best shave cream I have yet tried. It is slick, and the Fresh Mint (Honeysuckle is also available) soothes the scalp during the shave. It comes in a tube and a little of this product goes a long way. I shave every other day and find that a tube will last me a month or more.
I haven't tried this product myself, and haven't seen it available for sale in Canada, but perhaps this will interest someone.

Related link:
Amazon.com - with one short review

Monday, February 07, 2005

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Stone Cold Steve AustinThe image of a shaved-bald head and a goatee is iconic now, and it's often been associated with Stone Cold Steve Austin, possibly the most popular wrestler of modern times. Certainly in the late 90's, no figure defined "bad ass" quite as well as the foul-mouthed redneck character who played by his own rules and attacked anyone who happened to be in the way.

When I get email from people who have recently shaved their heads, it's not uncommon for people to compare themselves to Stone Cold. It's not hard to understand why. Besides being a poster boy for toughness and stubborn independence, Austin looked great with his smoothly-shaved head.

Austin made it big in 1996, at a time in which shaved heads were still not that common. His charisma and visibility helped make the bald-by-choice look more popular.

Some Steve Austin links:
Bio at Rotten.com
Bio at Rock13.com
Pro Wrestling Insider
Internet Movie Database
The Stone Cold Truth - autobiography available through Amazon.
An interview with UGO (circa 2003?)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Swimmer styles

The Daily Evergreen carries this story of a swimming team's pre-meet hairstyles. Swimmers often shave their heads to reduce drag in the water. These guys decided to try a variety of interesting hairstyles before the big event, though.
So how the heck will having a mohawk or mullet help a swimmer go faster?

Actually, the Greyhounds’ new cuts are a way of having a little fun together the week before districts begin.

By the time Saturday’s district finals begin, most of the swimmers will finish their haircut by shaving the rest of their head.
From the sounds of it, the team considers this a great way to bond.
Besides their heads, the swimmers shave pretty much everything else their swimsuit doesn’t cover.

"A bunch of guys shaving their legs together sounds kind of weird, but it brings them closer as a team," Fort said. "But you should see all the cuts they have on their legs after."
I've often thought it would be neat to experiment with some wild and crazy hairstyles. I just don't have the patience to let my hair grow out long enough anymore.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Krazy Kevin

Krazy KevinDJ Krazy Kevin of Radio Bahrain is drawing a lot of attention in this small country in the Persian Gulf. Kevin has decided to shave his trademark long hair to raise money for victims of the asian tsunami.

He's getting a lot of support from the local news. The Gulf Daily News has mentioned it several times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and the response is quite strong.
Krazy Kevin, whose full name is Kevin Howarth, has invited others to follow his example and raise money for tsunami victims by shaving their heads. [*]
Good luck to Krazy Kevin and everyone associated with fund-raising efforts for the disaster.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Bald buddies

From the Citizen Online, the story of friends helping friends by shaving their heads.
Nathan Babcock’s cancer battle has inspired his friends to come together to support him by shaving their heads, showing solidarity with their friend and promising not to let him fight alone.

Five of his high school friends shaved their heads at the same time with him to help him deal with the disease he’s facing. They said they did it so he would not stand out as someone different.
As they say later in the article, perhaps they'll start a trend at their school.

Good luck to Nathan. With the support of your family and friends, you'll do well.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Exfoliation

The Sacremento Bee has some advice on taking care of your skin. It includes some stuff for us guys, including some tips on shaving.
Shaving every day is a man's way of exfoliating his face. That's good, but shaving should be done after a shower rather than before, and with shaving gel, not soap. A sharp razor is important to avoid shaving the same place multiple times, which can irritate the skin.

If after-shave is used, check the ingredients to make sure there's no alcohol. It dries the skin. Everyone, including men, should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day. This could double as your moisturizer.
The article mentions that Michael Jordan will launch a line of grooming products for men this year.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Shaving for literacy

No HairThere are many examples of people shaving their heads to support a good cause. People shave to raise money for friends and family, or for a charity. People shave their heads to support people in different circumstances. From the Clarion News comes this story of a State Trooper who shaved his head to motivate young kids to read.
Pennsylvania State Trooper Dan Kamerer is sporting a "cooler" look this week. Kamerer challenged students at North Clarion Elementary School if they could increase their accelerated reading scores by 15 percent he would shave off all the hair on head. Students not only reached that goal, they increased it by 42 percent, that’s an increase of 5,535 to 7,575 in a nine-week period. Becky Delaney’s second-grade class had the top percentage increase and will receive a pizza party. Bobbie Cyphert from the Hair Studio in Tylersburg entertained students by shaving designs while she cut Kamerer’s hair.
Keep reading, kids.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Oops! I'm bald!

There's a fun story from the Globe and Mail (registration is probably required). Bryan Tenenhouse tells the story of how he came to have his head shaved.
It all started with a bad haircut. You know, the kind where the barber hands back your glasses and you put them on only to see -- your scalp!

My first frantic thought was, "Where's my hair?!"

Then suddenly I heard myself say, "Take it all off, just shave it all off."
Tenenhouse then describes various reactions to his haircut from the people in his life (which seems to have primarily consisted of surprise and concern). Like most people who shave their heads on the spur of the moment, it took a while for him to get used to the new look. But it ends well, of course.
As for me, I have to admit that I feel younger now without hair. I think everybody should have something about them that makes them feel unique, even if they aren't. And although you do see more shaved heads today than ever before, not everybody can carry them off.

I don't know if I really can. But I feel like I can and that's made all the difference.
Way to go, Bryan.