ian riley

Maintaining A Bald Head

ian riley
Maintaining A Bald Head


More dominant. More confident. More attractive. More masculine. These are results from a University of Pennsylvania study, linked here on the how people perceive bald men.

Now, as much as that strokes my ego the imperative word there is "perceive". Whether you inherently display these traits is another issue.

We do live in a world where perception is reality for the majority of people, you will be put in a box on first sight before you utter a word.

Celebrities such as Vin Diesel, Samuel L Jackson, Micheal Jordan, Jason Statham, Bruce Wilis and Tyson Beckford all have different variations of the bald look and have made it popular and "sexy" in recent years but let's get into the reason for the bald head.

Reasons For The Bald Head

1) Fad. If you think celebrities don't influence trends you're delusional. People buy products, mimic behaviors simply because a celebrity openly or subliminally endorsed it.

I don't think the above mentioned celebrities and others openly endorse rocking the bald head but seeing them rocking it so well has surely influenced some of us non-celebrities to give it a shot.

2) Doing it to support a cause. I've seen this alot recently in relation to cancer awareness. Usually someone doing it for this reason because of someone they know who is suffering from the dreadful disease.

Unfortunately the reason I'm doing it isn't as noble as this (cancer has affected my family too, I support in other ways), I didn't have a choice.

3) Simply going bald. Yup it can be genetic, such as my case. My dad has the old school horse shoe look, clean on top but hair around the side. Not sure if my grandfather had it but my dad got it, my uncles got it and my two older brothers started getting in their twenties.

Would you believe me if I told you I had braids before? I wish I had pictures to show but by age 25 I started to see my hair rescinding. I didn't want (and still don't) the horse shoe look or the half committed horse shoe where you still have a little bit on top but the baldness is starting to show.

I live on extremes, either I have hair or I don't have hair and since genes where winning that battle, I decided to go clean shaven.

4) Low maintenance. No hair care products. No hair dryer. No comb. No brush. No durag (yall still wear those?). No wave cream. The only effort you have to put into maintaining a bald head is actually shaving it. Which segways into the next segment

What you need.

Remember in past posts how I said I keep things simple when it comes to style. Grooming a bald head is no different. Here are the basics

1) A quality razor. I used to use cheap dollar store razors when I first started. It half ass did the job and had to go over the head again to get the random spots that still had hair.

Then I found the Gillette Fusion Pro-glide Razor. WOW! this cartridge based razor did the job perfectly! Those multiple blades in the cartridge cleaned the head in my first go around, no need to go over it again.

I'm all for trying new products so I've been using the Dollar Shave Club razor for a month now. It's cheaper than the GFPR even with the cartridges, it does the job but not as well as the GFPR. Perhaps it wasn't meant for the head, I works well on my face and maybe I'll do a review on them and their other products some day.

2) Shave Cream. Brand loyalty applies here too just like with clothing. I've been using Gillette shaving gel from day one.

3) Mirror. Maybe you are one of those guys that don't need a mirror, kudos to you. But for the rest of us, that bathroom mirror is critical. It just guides you to where you need to shave and makes sure you don't miss any spots.

That mirror may cover the front and sides but what about the back? That's where my portable mirror comes in handy. You might even notice some pesky back and neck hairs that need to cut off too.

4) Moisturizer, shampoo and conditioner. This is where individual basis vary. I personally have never used these products in the six years I've been shaving my head.

I don't get dandruff, there's nothing their to condition so no need for that and my head (and yours) naturally secretes oil so that moisturizes it.

Of course another option is to go a a barber and have them shave it for you. If you're like me this will prove to be expensive since my hair grows fast (I know right?! crazy! for a balding guy), it doesn't make financial sense to go to the barber every couple days when I can invest in a quality razor and shaving gel that would last a couple weeks.

Can you compensate for going bald? Well yea, you can invest in nice stylish fedoras, newsboy hats, baseball caps and even snapbacks for you youngsters.

You can also grow out your other facial hair, not your nose hairs, I mean your mustache and beard :) That is a whole other grooming post, right now I got a little stubble going on so who knows...


Any Disadvantage With The Bald Head?

Not too many, just a couple I go through

1) Your bald head is exposed to nature so come winter season you'll definitely need a hat. I've been caught in this New England Fall/Winter without one and it taught me a lesson never to forget.

2) You sweat alot. Again, exposed to mother nature so in the summer it would be best to keep a small clean towel close by.

I don't know about any other bald men but when I eat hot or spicy food, my head starts sweating. That makes me a little self conscious and conflicts with my love for spicy food. Maybe I just have weak sweat glands.

3) Your head naturally secretes oil. Oil that makes your head so shiny it can rival the Great Wall of China as another wonder of the world that can be see from out of space.

Ok, maybe a little hyperbole but the point is, people notice it and I hate the stares. I actually had a guy ask me once if I rub anything on it to make it shine like that. I broke down the human biology of the head and he walked away less ignorant than before. At least that's what I hope.


My $0.02

I didn't choose the bald head life, the bald head life chose me! And quite frankly, it's a cool life. It's one of my more recognizable features, easy to maintain and does fairly well with the ladies :)