[Return to Article Index]
Advantages and Disadvantages
Like everything else in life, shaving your head has both advantages and disadvantages. If you're not sure you want to shave your head, you should probably browse through the points below and reflect on how they might relate to you.
You'll note that I've listed more disadvantages than advantages. That's primarily so that if you're making a decision, you're aware of as many of the negative points that I could think of before you decide. Personally, I find the pros outweigh the cons, but that's just my opinion.
- Once you've shaved, there's no more need to comb or primp your hair. It's always perfect! Plus, if you're removing it all, it's hard to get a bad haircut.
- You'll never have bed-head or hat-head. Wear whatever you like on your head!
- When it's hot, a quick splash of water cools you right down, but won't keep dripping into your eyes.
- Seeking attention? In most places, it's a memorable look. Many people find it interesting, and you may find yourself fielding questions about the how's and why's.
- It's comfortable. It never gets tangled or in your face, and it feels good to run your hands over a smooth scalp. Plus, washing a bare head is easier and more enjoyable than washing your hair.
- It can get cold up top when it's cold outside. When the temperature drops, make sure you've got something to keep your head warm.
- You can burn it. Your scalp is skin, and just as easy to sunburn as any other part of your outside. If you spend a lot of time outside, keep a hat handy.
- Some people do find it intimidating. You will sometimes be considered a thug or threat because of your appearance, though I've found that this depends more on your demeanor than your appearance alone. Thankfully, the decline of neo-nazi skinhead riots on day-time talk shows has also reduced the association between the smooth-headed and blind-zealous hatred and bigotry, so this is not as much of a danger as it would have been ten years ago. However, as with any cosmetic change, you must be aware that some people will project attitudes and values onto you because of your appearance.
- If you want to keep it smooth, you have to shave regularly. I spend 15 minutes a day, 3 or 4 days a week keeping my scalp smooth, which is a fair commitment in my mind. The amount of time you spend depends on how smooth you want it or how stubbly you're willing to let it be, and how quickly your hair grows.
- You do have to take care of your scalp. Some recommend using Vitamin E and Aloe occasionally, to avoid dry-scalp. Personally, I occasionally use some Vaseline Intensive Care when my scalp seems sore or dried out, and it seems fine. But if you have scalp problems now, they won't all go away when your hair does.
- If you're involved in an accident that involves something hitting your head, there's a greater chance of breaking the skin if you don't have hair. Hair acts something like a lubricant in those cases, and a small barrier, and us shaved men don't benefit from that. On the bright side, when your head is cut open by an accident, it's also easier to clean the wound and keep it clean afterward (which can be awkward with a full head of hair).
- Finally, it's not for everyone. Some people, upon shaving their heads, discover that they are not happy with the result. Of those few people who have told me they were unhappy with the shaved look, most cited their head shape or the presence of bumps or other irregularities. You'll have to use judgment. Remember, the only person who has to like the way you look is you.
This article is based on personal experience, observations, and comments I've received from other people who shave their heads. If you have any comments or questions about this article, feel free to contact me about them. This article was last updated in February 2002.
[Return to Article Index]
[ Home | Other Sites of Interest | About this site | Site Map | Contact ]