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I'm kicking back, watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9. On-screen, Avery Brooks (playing Captain Benjamin Sisko) is looking dashing and in-command. My eyes are drawn to his perfectly-formed head. The skin is completely smooth on his scalp, the colour smooth and unbroken.
Change the channel, and it's time to kick some tail with the World Wrestling Federation. Stone Cold Steve Austin is running around, beating the crap out of people, and looking dangerous. Again my eyes focus on his smoothly-shaven skull, and I'm amazed by the uniform colour of the skin on his head.
Get up and go to the bathroom, and what greets me in the mirror? A handsome face with a smoothly shaved head. It looks good, but it's not as perfect as those I just saw on TV. There's a bit of shadow, even though I shaved earlier in the day. You can make out the outline of where my hair used to be. Why can't I get rid of the shadow?
If I could get rid of the hair entirely, including the root, then I would probably not have a visible shadow. There are other ways of removing hair besides shaving (listed in this article, if you're interested), and some of them are supposed to eliminate the hair by killing the root. Electrolosis and laser hair removal spring to mind. But I'm not ready to use either method myself.
For a number of reasons.
That last point is especially important to consider. I remember seeing another intentionally-bald guy get on a bus once, and I was impressed with how shadow-free his head appeared. He sat right in front of me, and it still looked great from just 2 or 3 feet away. But when I really looked closely, I realized that he had as much shadow as I did. Most people are more critical of their own appearance than other people's; though you may notice your shadow, others may not notice it nearly as easily as you.
So is there any way to beat shadow?
No matter how much you shave, the roots will still be there, and they'll be just barely visible beneath your skin. Certain other hair removal methods (like electrolysis or laser hair removal) might eliminate shadow, since they kill the hair's roots, but they have disadvantages.
You could take a page from the stars and apply makeup to your scalp. Find a foundation makeup that matches your skin tone, and apply it to your scalp, and you can disguise the appearance of shadow. That is, if you want to apply makeup every day.
My personal advice, though, is not to worry about it too much. Shadow is not usually as noticeable as we think, so it's really nothing to be concerned about.
This article is based on personal experience and observation. If you have additional information that might be relevant, or if you have any questions or comments about this article, please feel free to contact me. This article was last updated August 2003.
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