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October 06, 2005

Chrome Dome

It's pretty much a fact that the balder you get, the shorter your hair needs to be in order to have it look good. The hair at the top of my head had gotten thin enough that not matter how short it got, it looked a little silly. So, I thought, screw it, and shaved my head. I think it looks fine, and more importantly, Krissy thinks it looks fine. I'll probably keep the look for a while. The good news is that no matter what, now my hair officially can't get any shorter.

Posted by john at October 6, 2005 08:56 PM

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Don McArthur | October 6, 2005 09:26 PM

For God's sakes, man, return the damn camera.

Oliver Dale | October 6, 2005 09:58 PM

It could get shorter, but that would involve a six-pack of Corona and a sharp knife.

Can you tell I've been writing horror recently?

Jon Hansen | October 6, 2005 10:07 PM

Now that you've streamlined your head, I think it's time to tattoo on a couple of racing stripes.

anon | October 6, 2005 11:10 PM

It really is the only way to bald gracefully.

Karl | October 6, 2005 11:14 PM

Yup, better than stubble.

Joe Rybicki | October 6, 2005 11:20 PM

Welcome, brother.

Lucy Kemnitzer | October 7, 2005 12:31 AM

Well, you look good with a shaved head, but mostly they don't necessarily. And as far as other ways to look good with baldness -- there's the Einstein look, which may be humorous but it's endearing, and after a certain point in one's life, endearing is really the best thing you can get.

T.M. Wagner | October 7, 2005 12:33 AM

You're lucky, John. Some men look good with shaved heads, others don't. You seem to be among the former. I'm certainly the latter. I did it once to see how I'd look when male pattern baldness finally overtook me, and frankly I looked like some kind of serial killer or celebrity stalker. Everyone I knew hated it too. Enjoy your dome; for me, it looks like Bosley will be getting lots of my money over the next several years.

Soni | October 7, 2005 01:25 AM

Certainly does make your eyebrows stand out. Or is that just how you predict cold winters out there in cow land?

Ron | October 7, 2005 01:29 AM

OMG, it's Brian Michael Bendis!

Ron | October 7, 2005 01:32 AM



Byron | October 7, 2005 01:56 AM

S'okay, I imagine by the time you get bored with the whole shaved head thing they'll have gotten some sort of hair cloning working (using the testosterone insensitive hair follicles, natch) or something involving hair stem cells (AFAIK these are adult stem cells so no ethical quandaries) or the genes that control follicle shutdown (depending on how this works you might end up in a cure-worse-than-the-disease situation.). Every Pharma company out there knows that figuring out baldness is worth absurd amounts of money.

Harry Connolly | October 7, 2005 02:17 AM

You missed your eyebrows.

Devin L. Ganger | October 7, 2005 02:34 AM

Harry, you joke, but one night when I was razoring myself down I slipped too far (John, never shave yourself late at night; trust me on this) and took a big whack out of my eyebrow. I mulled it over for a couple of seconds and shrugged, then shaved off both eyebrows. My wife didn't notice for a day or two until I told her, and nobody commented.

It helps that my ridges are fairly pronounced, so even with no hair on them, I have a well-defined eyebrow ridge. The shading from that helped serve a lot of the same visual purpose.

John, if you decide you want to keep the shaved look, I recommend that you check out the Headblade razor. Takes a bit of getting used to, but it really is a lot easier once you get the hang of it. I can do my head in less time than it takes to do my face with a regular razor. It's easy to use in the shower, so you're ready to go for the day.

mythago | October 7, 2005 03:13 AM

Wax or no?

Deanna Hoak | October 7, 2005 03:32 AM

It looks good on you!

Sue | October 7, 2005 06:17 AM

My husband started losing his hair around the time he graduated high school/started college. It was kind of useful to be bald on top in college, because it meant not getting carded at the campus pub, but it wasn't so useful in terms of picking up co-eds.

Of course, I'm kind of grateful for that, but it didn't make him very happy at the time.

Anyway, he'd look awful if he shaved off the rest of his hair. He has kind of a Ziggy face. It'd be bad.

Jan | October 7, 2005 08:22 AM

I dig. Although damn, the upcoming Ohio winter is going to be extra chilly for you, no?

Justin Anderson | October 7, 2005 08:38 AM

Better bald than balding, that's my motto. Although, honestly, I'm lazy and don't bother shaving more than twice a month.

Lot's o' folks swear by the Headblade, but if you're as lazy as me, it's just a pain. Because of the way it's designed, it's tough to clear the blade of the shorn stubble if you've let your hair grow in for more than a day or two, in my experience. They're cheap enough that trying it out isn't going to break the bank though, and I can recommend their shaving cream -- called, disturbingly enough, Headlube.

rochelle | October 7, 2005 10:05 AM

I'm diggin' it. Give us the run-down. Clippers first? Then close shave? Products? My husband has me buzz his balding head every couple weeks with clippers, and I've watched enough Queer Eye to know that I should be slathering something on first. I've taken the clippers down to the closest setting, but have never gotten to bald yet.

John Scalzi | October 7, 2005 10:08 AM

I used electric clippers without a guard, and followed them up with a Mach 3 disposable and regular shaving cream. Seemed to work just fine; nothing terribly complicated.

Jim Winter | October 7, 2005 10:27 AM

I don't want to alarm anyone, but has anyone ever seen John and Lex Luthor together?

I'm just saying...

Dean | October 7, 2005 11:18 AM

I have to say I agree with you, John. At some point, as it gets thinner and thinner, the dignified thing to do is say 'ah, to hell with it' and cut it really short. I'm fortunate, I don't have pattern thinning, just general all over thinness, so 1/8" is a good length.

No offense to anyone who frequents this place, I hope, but the chrome dome n' thin ponytail is almost as lame as the full-blown combover. If your hair is going, wear it proudly.

Penny | October 7, 2005 11:26 AM

Wow.. that's pretty hot!!! Keith is also balding on the top, but every time he attempts to get hair products, I attack him.. I soooo dig bald....Besides, it provides a perfect "kiss" spot... Penny

Therese Norén | October 7, 2005 11:42 AM

Clearly, you're the second best looking shaved sf author.

(It's impossible to beat the hotness that is China Miéville.)

Dennis | October 7, 2005 11:42 AM

I would also recommend the HeadBlade. In addition to the razor itself, the also sell some really high quality shaving cream, aftershave lotion (in glossy or matte!), and spray-on sunscreen. I've never been disappointed with one of their products.
I've been shaving my head (every other day) for about five years. The next thing you will probably do is start cultivating interesting facial hair...

John Scalzi | October 7, 2005 11:45 AM

Therese Noren:

"It's impossible to beat the hotness that is China Miéville."

Yeah, I know. I don't really register male beauty other than polite observational terms, but even I think he's hot. Also, given the cut of the clothes I've seen him in, I suspect China is in slightly better shape than I.

sxKitten | October 7, 2005 12:28 PM

I don't usually base my reading selection on the author's looks, but I may have to make an exception for China Miéville.

Devin L. Ganger | October 7, 2005 12:35 PM

Ah, the good old Mach3. My razor of choice. I tend to use the Headblade for a quick pass over the head (and yes, Justin is correct that it can be hard to clear the blades if you've got too much fuzz, but that's true of any razor to some degree), then use the Mach3 to do my face/chin and touch up any remaining rough spots on the head.

If you're going to shave your head regularly, I would recommend that you try out a good shaving gel instead of regular foam. The foam makes it easier to see where you've shaved, true, but the gel usually results in a better shave in fewer passes, so less irritation of the skin.

I don't use any of the wax or finishes -- at most, a nice soothing aftershave lotion with sunscreen. Most people who shave will have a naturally glossy finish if they've gotten close enough.

Anyway, enjoy the experience! I can't think of a single grooming habit I've acquired that I've had more fun with.

Just don't tell my mom | October 7, 2005 01:30 PM

There is one....but you probably don't want to post pictures of it on the internet.

Steve Brady | October 7, 2005 01:49 PM

Looks good.

Dane | October 7, 2005 09:34 PM

Switched from Pert to Nair?

Of course, you could just use "Nads"...but then, do you really want to pay money to rub Nads on your head?

Derryl Murphy | October 8, 2005 11:51 PM

Devin's full of good advice; I usually shave my head in the summer and grow it back in the winter, and the Headblade is the blade of choice, but if I let it get too thick I go with the Mach 3. And yeah, gel works better than foam.

BTW, watch out for objects around your head. Hair acts as an early warning system, and without it there you're gonna slam your noggin now and again.

And my wife would disagree that you're the second-best looking bald SF author. Third-best, maybe. Although, come to think of it, I've never shown her a pic of China.


Miko | October 9, 2005 10:12 AM

Hunkadelic! The first thing I thought when I saw your pic was not "look at the chrome dome" but "what a hot dude!" I'm serious. From a woman's point of view (if it means anything to you), you look good. Some guys can carry it off, and some guys can't. You definitely can.

John Scalzi | October 9, 2005 10:50 AM

Miko writes:

"Hunkadelic! The first thing I thought when I saw your pic was not 'look at the chrome dome' but 'what a hot dude!' I'm serious."

Well, thank you. Be aware, of course, that I picked the most flattering picture out of the the 30 or so that I took (go digital cameras), so the other 29 pictures would be rather less hunkadelic.

iain | October 10, 2005 10:06 AM

Yes, the Rob Halford/Judas Priest/Neck to Back of Skull/ "Hell Bent for Leather" Tatoo is definitely called for.

I'm sure it'll go over well in Southern Ohio.

Bruce Arthurs | October 10, 2005 01:19 PM

Advertising space!

Bruce Arthurs | October 10, 2005 01:22 PM

Actually, you're lucky in having a pretty symmetrical skull. I've considered shaving my head a few times, until I remember some photos from Army basic training and how, umm, lumpy my head was.

psychotoddler | October 11, 2005 08:51 PM

You're starting to look like Jerry Doyle.

bobby scott | November 8, 2005 10:05 PM

Just call me Ebeneezer, cuz that's who I resembe.

Anonymous | February 22, 2007 05:59 PM

When I look at you I think "7-ball, corner pocket."

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