Thursday, March 31, 2005

Survive and thrive

The Smoky River Express in Alberta has an article about a cancer survivor who is shaving his head to raise funds for cancer research. Doug Coulter was given seven months to live back in 1989, but proved tougher than the doctors thought.
Colter confirmed his his participation this week as a volunteer in the upcoming cancer head shave fund-raising event hosted by Smoky River Fire & Rescue April 27.

"It’s something I wanted to be a part of back in 2003, but my health prevented me from being a participant," he says. "But I’m ready this year. Hopefully, I’ll have a reasonable amount of hair to shed for the cause at hand."

The upcoming fundraiser is part of combined charitable effort by emergency response officials in the region to help raise timely funds for cancer research.
Doug Coulter's story is inspiring; it's great to hear about people who not only survive cancer, but thrive and continue to give back to the community.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Students using their heads

Although the majority of St. Baldrick's events are held right around St. Patrick's day, there are still many that are taking place now or in the near future. Tinley Park High School in Tinley Park, Illinois, held an event on March 27th. There's a write-up in the Daily Southtown.
When she was 14, Beth Kurecki shaved her head to show support for her mother as she went through chemotherapy.

On Thursday, she cut off 10 inches of her hair to donate to an organization that provides wigs for children with cancer.

The gymnasium of Tinley Park High School was filled with cheers as 36 students and 12 teachers shaved their heads for the St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Telly Savalas

Telly SavalasBorn in 1924 to Greek immigrants, Aristotle "Telly" Savalas was a soldier and a journalist before turning to acting. His film and TV career stretches from 1961 until his death in 1994, during which time he played many interesting roles.

He first shaved his head for the role of Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Ever Told, and retained the look from there on out. Though he preferred comedy, he often played villains, including James Bond's most memorable foe, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

He's probably best remembered for his role in the 1970's television series Kojak, where he played the tough detective Theo Kojak. With his trademark lollipop in his mouth and the catchphrase "Who loves ya, baby?", Kojak was a unique character at a time when police dramas were getting dull.

Savalas died in 1994 due to complications of prostate & bone cancer. He will be remembered as a dynamic presence, a man of substance and style.

Links:
Telly Savalas
Telly Savalas on IMDB
TV Tome

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Never shave your head?

Bald studentsFound an interesting blog-type item from China. It's the tale of a young student who decided he wanted to shave his head.
Touching my head, felt a bit pricky. Felt like a monk. Who knows, maybe my last incarnation was a monk.

Returning to dormitory, my dorm mates were astonished. After laughing aloud for a while, all of them couldn’t resist themselves to come up for a touch.

"Um, feels nice!"

"Go! Go! Go! Is my head a mop? Next time someone touches my head again, I’ll be pissed."
Unfortunately for this student, being bald-by-choice means that he stands out in a place where people tend to blend in.
Most of the teachers outside our department often don’t recognize us. When calling rolls, they have to look at the attendance sheet. Like winning prizes, whoever is being called upon, whoever got tough luck. Now, everything is just dandy. The teacher doesn’t bother looking at the attendance sheet anymore. Whenever there’s a question, the bald student please...

Life is awful.
The article has a few other stories where the shaver in question feels humiliated due to his shaved head. From the sounds of it, both friends and teachers contributed to his feeling uncomfortable with his hairstyle.

To end his tale of disillusionment with the 'baldie' hairstyle, the young student presents this warning to his peers:
My fellow students, please remember my blood-earn lesson, never shave your head! :(
Poor guy. Being a non-conformist in a very conformist culture can be a tough challenge.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Cutter's Crew

Cutter's Crew is a website devoted to shaved heads and short haircuts. It's been around for a long time, and is loaded with pics and shaving stories.
If you like men's hair shaved or in a crewcut, military cut and in any other short/shaved style, the Cutters Crew is the right place for you. And when you don't like your own long hair: Wait no longer - it takes only 5 to 10 minutes to shave your head. More and more people stepping out of the barbershops with gleaming heads. Don't forget: Bald is beautiful! I shave my head every morning after the shower. And the result is very fine.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Barbering and Balding in Oz

If you're interested in pictures of bald-by-choice folks, I can't recall any site as packed to the brim with photos as Barbering and Balding in Oz. This site is packed from end-to-end with hundreds of pictures. It's designed with broadband in mind; pages are large and take a while to load on a slow connection.

They've also got a page of balderized photos. The site's author accepts new photos through email, so if you want to see your photo 'balderized', send it on over. They can also do other virtual hairstyle changes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Baldly Go

The website Baldly Go presents a free hair-loss solution:
Instead of.. Doing a hair replacement; transplant; spray; drugs; wearing a wig; blaming your wife; telling people that it's a temporary thing; going to the gym; trying some strange hair loss treatments; seeing a psychologist; doing a headstand; yoga; praying; crying; telling everybody that you are loaded with testosterone;paying for expansive hair loss treatment; doing a research; using creams etc...

You can simply shave your head and look better than ever!
One question I'm often asked is, "How will I look if I shave my head?" Baldly Go offers a solution for this question, as well: send the site owner your photo, and he'll remove your hair virtually. He's also got a gallery of before & after shots which is quite good.

All in all, a great site to visit if you're thinking about shaving but aren't sure if you really want to go through with it. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Consumer watch: M3Power

I've always valued the reviews produced by Consumer Reports magazine. They tend to do their research, and they're not beholden to any commercial interests aside from their subscribers. K-Fox TV has a piece on their website discussing Consumer Reports evaluation of the M3Power
The verdict, well, the M3-Power did deliver a very close shave. But it turns out it was no better than Gillette's Mach 3 Turbo, which is $7 cheaper. So Consumer Reports says there's no need to pay more just to get a little buzz.
Not everyone agrees, of course, and I've had email from people who felt the M3Power was better for them than the regular Mach 3. For instance, this email:
I just read your review on the m3 power, and I think it doesn't do the razor justice at all. 1st off, the lubrication is way better on those blades, and there is a big difference between those blades and the regular Mach 3 blades. 2nd off, I do agree with you that the shave is about the same as far as closeness goes, but the major plus for this razor compared to any other razor I've used, is how gentle it is on the skin. I'm not sure how your skin is, but mine is very irritable and just about anything messes me up. This razor is the best I've ever had when it comes to taking care of my scalp. I've tried it with the vibration and without, and I'm confident that this is mostly due to the vibration, although I do feel that the extra lube on the blade helps a bit more as well. The other thing with this razor is that due to the vibration, I can use the blades twice as long as I could with a non-vibrating handle. As far as it costing too much, I think that's bogus, it's a whopping 7 or 8 bucks more, and it's not like you gotta buy one every week, you buy it once. It costs less than that damn headblade and it works twice as good.
The author referred to the review of the M3Power on my site, in which I recommended sticking with the regular Mach 3.

Personally, I think you can reduce irritation by using a good shaving lubricant (like shaving oil or Aveeno Positively Smooth shave gel), and it's a cheaper method for improving one's shave than the M3Power. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Changing outlooks

JohnsonFrom the South Bend Tribune, this story that follows up on an item mentioned back in December.

Back then, Chandra Johnson shaved her head to protest the firing of a colleague at Notre Dame University.
At the time, Johnson said she would remain bald until the football team wins a national championship. Her attitude about that has changed a bit.

Johnson's scalp remains smoothly shaved. She leaves her head bare most of the time, but wears a hat or an African-style turban when outdoors or at official university functions.

"It's unlikely I will grow it back, even if we did win a national championship," she said a few days ago. The act of shaving her head "helps me to understand better what we do in living in a world that fails to see the goodness in all people," she said.

She also likes the fact that being bald saves time. "Wrapping it takes a second," she said.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Shaving in the green

St. Baldrick's shaveSt. Patrick's day has passed us by, and with it, many St. Baldrick's events have taken place. There are a lot of stories around the US about the big day.

In Alaska, firefighters went bald for the cause.
Kuiper thought the head-shaving gimmick sounded like a good idea after learning about it from Outside chapters of the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads.

"It's a new twist, something different, and we thought it would be kind of fun," Kuiper said. "It's never been done in Alaska before."
A bunch of students at St. Anthony's School went under the clippers, including some girls.
"See how inspiring this is?" Abigail's mother said as she took pictures of her daughter and others as they sat in the makeshift barber's chair in the school gym Friday morning. She said her daughter was "very excited with the choice she made and in making statements with her bald head."

She also commended her daughter's philanthropic action saying, "It is important to see our children standing up for what they believe in."
In Stevens Point, the event has been growing for several years.
The local St. Baldrick's event has grown from seven participants in its first year to 35 last year and more than 80 for 2005. Word-of-mouth has helped the event grow, organizers said.
There are too many great stories to list, of course, so I'll just add a link to Google News.

Congratulations to everyone who participated. This year's St. Baldrick's celebration has already broken some records. Way to go!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Electric shaving history

Yesterday (March 18th) was a significant day in the history of shaving. According the the US Census Bureau, it's the day that Schick began marketing the first electric shaver back in 1931.
One thing men of today have in common with those of the past is the decision to either shave or grow a beard. Until 1931, if the decision was to shave, the only choice was a wet shave with a safety razor. On this day that year, the Schick Company began marketing the first electric razor. The safety razor had been around for about 30 years and was a great improvement over the dangerous straight razor. As more homes became electrified, the market was ripe for an efficient electric razor to provide a quick, dry shave and the device proved to be an immediate hit. Today, more than 7-million electric razors are among the small, electric housewares made each year in the U.S., worth some 2.5-billion dollars.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mailbag: Expectations

In a recent email, one gentleman was wondering what he could expect from other people if he shaved his head.
I still don't know how society, people in general, even friends would react to me, to my face, to my personality, to my look,... or to any shaved man in our society.

Somehow it seems to me that society is still biased, doubtfull and somehow "ambivalent" toward and about a bald/shaved man.

It seems that it is more natural to accept a man whose hair has receded naturally than a shaved man.

My real question is : What are the people's, men's, women's reaction to a shaved man ( Not a natural bald or semi bald man, but a shaved man).
People's reactions to a bald-by-choice person depend on the individual people in question. There is no single reaction that is consistent across a population in this regard.

Some people will think it's fantastic, and they'll absolutely love the look. These people may even take the time to compliment you on your appearance.

Some people will think it's terrible, and they'll assume negative things about you based solely on your appearance. These people will not usually tell you this; they'll make their judgements privately.

Most people won't care too much either way. They're largely indifferent to your appearance whether you have hair or not, and it won't sway their opinion of you in either direction. They may think it looks good or looks bad, but they don't really care.

And the truth is, these reactions hold no matter what your appearance. People may judge you negatively or positively for almost any aspect of your external appearance, and for the most part, you'll never know.

Based on email correspondence over many years with hundreds of head-shavers, I can say with confidence that most people who shave their heads get much more positive attention than negative attention. As I said before, people who really like it will sometimes tell you so, while people who don't like it usually keep it to themselves, so you end up with many compliments and few or no criticisms.

Does that mean that you (specifically) will get good responses? I don't know. There are never any guarantees. But by and large, I would expect you to get good responses.

Whatever choice you make, though, make it one that you are comfortable with. The opinions of others will vary and may change like the wind. You can't control what other people think of you, and it's stressful to even try to do so. Make yourself happy and it matters less what others think.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel

I've tried a lot of different shaving products over the years, but one brand I hadn't tried before was Aveeno. I've been hearing good things about their products for a long time, but just hadn't gotten around to trying one.

Earlier this year, J.B. Bryant sent me a review of Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel (which is posted at my site) which was very positive. A while back, I was shopping at a nearby supermarket and decided to pick up a can and give it a try.

I've been using it for about 6 weeks now, and I'm very impressed. It's the best shaving gel I've tried, and it's quality is right there with shaving oil. It washes out of the blade very easily, provides great lubrication, and provides excellent protection against nicks and irritation.

The reviews on Epinions.com are all pretty positive as well. Aveeno products are usually pretty widely available, so finding it should be fairly easy.

I'll be posting a full review to my site soon, with any luck.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Letting your hair down

New Age Media Concepts has this bit and a bit more related to St. Baldrick's Day:
Last year in Los Angeles, 250 shavees raised over $200,000 for the cause and Woerner found herself asking why more women had not been involved in the head shaving. This year, St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s national "Women Who Really Let Their Hair Down" campaign was what she was hoping for. "I’ve supported St. Baldrick’s Day celebrations for several years", states Woerner, "and last year there were no female "shavees" at the event I attended in Los Angeles. I want to "represent" for my gender! I’m not at a point in my life where I can write giant checks to charity, but I can certainly give up my hair."
Congratulations to Anita Woerner and all the other women who are giving up their hair for a good cause.

Monday, March 14, 2005

In praise of bald men

The website Stop Hairloss Now has an article entitled "In Praise Of Bald Men". The article is a bit of a rambler, moving from bald-by-choice to the causes of baldness, to transplantation options. The tone of the article is all over the place, too, and includes lines like this:
"Some men, like Michael Jordan, look good with completely bald heads," said Kiley. "Unfortunately, most mens' heads are too lumpy or oddly shaped to look good with no hair."
Of course, that line comes from a doctor who performs hair transplants. It's not like he's got a particular motive for slamming the bald-by-choice look, right?

But the article ends on a solid note:
Whether baldness improves performance, makes a man sexier, wealthier, or gives a sense of convenience, lightness or freedom, "It's hard to tell anymore," said Cheryl Hartman, "whether a man is bald by nature or bald by choice.

"I prefer baldness," she said, "and, yes, I think my husband is sexy. And what's more ...

"We don't fight over the hair dryer anymore."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Half-way to smooth

From Pennsylvania, this story:
As Matt Cooper sat down to dinner with his wife last Wednesday to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, she might have noticed that he was missing something - half a head of hair.

No, it was not the quick grip of male pattern baldness. The last time Cooper visited a barber was July, and he had boasted locks that dangled to his shoulders.

Rather, Cooper, an earth science teacher at Lampeter-Strasburg High School, had co-organized a fund-raiser for children with cancer.
Cooper and 21 other teachers at his school shaved their heads to raise money for the Four Diamonds fund. Students at the school raised over $25,000 to see their teachers go bald and to help kids with cancer at the Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Fighting fire with...

From Central Pennsylvania comes this story about firefighters who are shaving for a cause:
Ever wonder what it would be like to be bald - or maybe you’re sick and tired of your current hairdo?

If this is the case, the crew at Gratz Fire Department has the perfect solution for those suffering with a hairdo crisis. On March 19, the firemen and anyone else from the public who would like to get involved will have their heads shaved. Gratz Fire Company will hold the "St. Baldrick’s" event at the station.

The men aren’t too concerned about their hairdos, they are going bald to help raise money for children with cancer.
This is the month for St. Baldrick's stories, of course (1, 2, 3), since the event's coming up very shortly. You can check the St. Baldrick's website to see if the event's being held in your area. If it isn't, you can always start one.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Vanity

The Chicago Tribune has an article about the Police Department's St. Baldrick's event. It's a good story, but something at the end of it really caught my eye.
Nancy O'Dacre of Naperville is one of three women who volunteered to shave her head. O'Dacre said she decided to participate because her own two sons are "medically fragile."

Neither has cancer, but P.J., 5, was born prematurely and required extensive hospitalization. Eighteen-month-old Patrick was born with a congenital heart defect that was treated with open-heart surgery and daily medication.

O'Dacre hoped to raise $1,015 in honor of Patrick's Oct. 15 birthday but has already received more than $3,000 in pledges. She has also received a lot of grief from people who can't understand why a woman would shave her head.

"At the end of this, I'm going to write a book about vanity," she joked.
I'm not certain why anyone would give this woman grief about shaving her head for a charity event. I can understand people not wanting to shave their own heads, but is it really a problem when someone else has the nerve to do something like this, especially when it's for a good cause?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

World's Greatest Shave

Friday, March 11th, 2005 will be a busy day in barbershops across Australia, as the World's Greatest Shave gets underway. The Daily Liberal has an article about some student efforts in this event:
Colouring your hair bright orange and then shaving it off a week later is a "small price to pay" for a good cause, says local student Darren Oen.

The Charles Sturt University residential advisor is among a group of the university's students who have jumped at the chance to raise money and support those affected by cancer.

Leg, back and stomach waxing, head shaving, hair colouring and face painting are all part of the mini makeovers that local residents are invited to undergo this Friday at the leukemia foundation's World's Greatest Shave, organised by student residents at the university.
The Northern Daily Leader has an article about the Tamworth Regional Council buzzing their hair down too. This group includes a couple of law enforcement officers.
You could also put your own neck on the chopping block and go bald for cancer. Senior compliance officer Ross Briggs heads up the council challenge for the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave.

"We had decided that one of our rangers, Nathan Peacock, had had too much hair for too long and he needed to leave the 80s behind," Mr Briggs said.

"This is a great cause and we're hoping we can get plenty of people to join us. We'll be glad to take people's money from them. They can donate to the cause, or get shaved or just go a mad colour, or just come down and watch and cheer us all on, anything to help."
The World's Greatest Shave has been mentioned before, too.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Everything2

Some ideas of what to do with your shaved head from a user on Everything2:
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!
Everything2 is a sort of freewheeling online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute. Sort of like Wikipedia (which also has an article on head shaving) but with a different style. It makes for interesting reading at times.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Bald Chick

MJMJ has been shaving her head for 3 years, and she likes it. She likes it enough that she's put up a website called The Bald Chick. She likes it enough that she's written a book (currently unpublished). She even likes it enough to put it on a t-shirt. After all, what's not to like?
Whatever their initial gut reaction is, though, I'd bet cash money that what they all want to know, perhaps despite themselves, is this one simple thing: why the #$&@! did I shave my head? Why in the world would a seemingly intelligent, relatively rational young woman shave her head? It's a valid question. While seeing a man with a proudly shaven head strolling down the street has become quite common, a woman is another matter entirely. My shiny pate seems to cause not only questions, but also incredulity, alarm, and sometimes even anger.
Women who shave their heads are often judged negatively, which is unfortunate. If more people take pride in it, as MJ does, perhaps that will change. Good luck, MJ.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

More St. Baldrick's Hype

St. Baldrick's Day just gets more and more attention. Here's a story from Covington, Kentucky:
Writer Will Rogers once said the only thing that can prevent hair loss is the floor, but for those who are ready to sacrifice their vanity to support a good cause, the upcoming St. Baldrick's Day celebration could be the place to be.

Volunteers who participate in the St. Baldrick's Day celebration exist to recruit those willing to shave their heads in public in return for donations to fight children's cancer.

The event will take place March 20 on the second floor of Jack Quinn's Irish Pub in Covington, where the stage will buzz as participant's heads are shaved in front of a crowd of cheering friends and supporters.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Inco Shines

Here's a good story from the mining town of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada:
Ryan Harris’ friends, family and co-workers are willing to pay a lot to see him lose his long, blond mane of hair.

So far, the 25-year-old Inco transportation operator has collected almost $800 in pledges to have his head shaved during the Inco Shines fundraiser, which is raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society to invest in prostate cancer research.

Seventy-five other Inco employees are also having their "domes chromed" Saturday at 11 am in the centre court of the New Sudbury Shopping Centre. The workers are hoping to raise $50,000 for the cause.
The male-dominated mining company is raising money for prostate cancer because it's the number one cancer among men, but it often doesn't get talked about.

Friday, March 04, 2005

M3Power comments

WCPO's Don't Waste Your Money has a short bit on the Gillette M3Power:
But is it really better than Gillette's top selling Mach 3 Turbo?

A half dozen men who work for our partner, Consumer Reports magazine, checked this one out.

After one week, most announced it shaved well... but was not noticeably better than the Mach 3, which has no battery.
They give it a B, and say that the Mach 3's a better buy. I tend to agree.

At least these guys shaved themselves and not fruit.

Speaking of the M3Power, it's still having legal problems around the world. I mentioned previously that Wilkonson Sword (owner of the Schick brand) had filed suit against certain claims made by Gillette, specifically the claim that the M3Power's vibrations caused the hair to stand up. In that case an injunction was granted in Germany preventing the claim from being aired in ads. Problems continue in Australia.
In that case and the subsequent Australian one, Energizer submitted the results of tests conducted by it and "observed" by Yale University dermatology professor, David Leffell.

According to Justice Hely, a special apparatus was used to demonstrate "a fully automated and controlled shaving stroke", yet Dr Leffell observed "no hair-raising or hair directional change effect". The Yale professor gave evidence to the Australian court by video link, as did Gillette experts, who disputed the findings, and maintained that the M3Power did create a "hair-extension effect".

In his judgement, Justice Hely said Energizer was developing, or at least investigating, a battery-powered oscillating razor of its own. That could lead to an inference that Energizer believed that such a razor would provide "enhanced shaving performance", the judge said, adding: "This matter was not disclosed on the application for an ex parte injunction. It should have been disclosed."
It will be interesting to see what happens with these cases.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bald at the Robin Hood

As St. Baldrick's day approaches, here's a story from Bermuda:
His wife’s fight with cancer has led one leading reinsurance executive to take it all off to raise funds for research benefiting children suffering from the disease.

Andrew Cook, chief financial officer for Bermuda-based AXIS Capital, is going bald on March 18 along with, so far, nine other locals taking part in the St. Baldrick’s fundraising event.

The popular head-shaving event - which dates back five years and has raised nearly $7 million by now - gets staged both here at the Robin Hood Pub and across the US every year.
It all started out when several US-based reinsurance executives came up with the idea to recruit 17 colleagues in an attempt to raise $17,000 to benefit children with cancer.
In case you missed it, there was a previous post about St. Baldrick's as well.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New Hotness

The Jamaica Observer has an article titled "Bald, Sexy & Hot" talking about the bald-by-choice look.
Losing hair is no longer a fear many men harbour.
In fact, once that starts to happen some males are known to help the process along by shaving off what's left, then wearing their bald crown proudly.

Others, young and old alike, are embracing the eye-catching look while calling it their own - with attitude to match. Quite a liberating experience for many, which allows them to sport a confidence that only an ultra modern and sexy shaved head could give.
The article includes comments from several women who find shaved heads very appealing on men.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Shaving controversy

A lot of people worry that shaving their head will lead to a lot of negative reactions. For most people, reactions are positive, but sometimes people do hear negative reactions. Consider the tale of Chancellor Donald Mash of the Univeristy of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and the reactions to him shaving off just his moustache.
Although the mustache had held its ground atop Mash's upper lip for a long 33 years, he returned to work after the summer of 2003 whisker-less.

Susie Johnson, the program assistant to the chancellor, said the entire office was stunned to see Mash without his 'stache.
Articles were written in the student paper, and the subject was debated by many. Despite a large furor over a small bit of hair, Chancellor Mash was clearly able to maintain a good perspective.
"As I look ahead to retirement I can see myself with my head completely shaved and wearing an earring. Of course I wouldn't go for that look while I'm the chancellor, given the reaction to simply shaving off a mustache. I don't think the campus nor Madison is ready for that."
Most people don't get this much attention paid to their shaving habits, of course.