Choosing to be Bald

I’ve been shaving my head for 20+ years. At 36, this is the majority of my life. This is a choice, not a forcing function of balding. As far as I can tell, I still have the potential for a full head of hair.

Surprisingly, I often get asked why I shave my head. I don’t have a particularly interesting response to this question… it’s just easy and convenient.

To my mother’s dismay, I initially started buzzing my head with clippers at 13 or 14. I simply didn’t want to sit in an awkward barber’s chair once a month… it seemed like a waste of time and money. I had friends who spent a lot of time styling their hair with gel or whatever other product… also a waste of time and money. My football helmet went on easily, I didn’t have to shampoo it, and it looked decent enough.

I continued buzzing my hair into college. While in training for the USMC, I decided to transition the razor. Clean and simple. Over a decade later, I’m confident I’ll continue shaving it until my deathbed. Like brushing my teeth or working out, it’s just part of my routine.

Here are the pros of shaved head life:

  • Convenient: I shave my head every other day while shaving my face. I timed it once…. 90 seconds from the comfort of my own bathroom.
  • Clean: Anyone who spends time in the field or backcountry knows that hair gets gross, fast. A shaved head will get dirty, but it’s not holding the grease and grime like a full head of hair.
  • One less thing to consider: No barbers, no hairstyles, no hair products. It removes an inconsequential decision point from my life. It’s not some liberating action, but it sure is simpler.
  • Money savings: I asked ChatGPT how much the average man spends on their hair annually. It responded with haircuts @ $250 + shampoo @ $180 + styling products @ $60 for a total of $490. I spend $40 annually on shaving cream and razors, which I would buy anyway to shave my face. $450 savings. I’d imagine for military members, it’s even more due to the weekly haircut requirement (for the USMC at least).
  • Greatness is also bald: If I ever happen to meet Michael Jordan or Mike Tyson, the only people in the world I might get giggly over, I have a conversation starter.

It’s amazing the number of people I meet who ask me why I shave my head. The only answer I can give is a shoulder shrug. Why do you let your hair grow long? There is no enlightening answer… it’s just something you do, just like me. At least I saved $450.



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