How Trendy Can a Bald Man Be?

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In a bit of a flip, The New York Times decided today that being bald, shaving your head is now a hot men's trend and goes through the pros and cons of going smooth. The biggest con, of course, is that If you go bald, there are so many Style section-approved hair trends you'll miss out on. 

The Times' Daniel Jones explains that this "trend" comes more out of circumstance than whim or wish: "Luckily, I hit my hair-loss turning point at a time when there is, if not a solution to baldness, then a cooler alternative: head shaving ... In this millennium, however, it’s a whole new bald game." Following that wonderful pun, Jones shares a litany of men who made receding hairlines and male pattern baldness stylish and sexy: Jason Statham, Pitbull, Andre Agassi, Vin Diesel, Michael Jordan, Kelly Slater and their ilk. (Yes, we know... Andre Agassi?)

Moving on, Jones discusses the pros (no haircut bills, never going gray, no risk of hair lice) and cons (sunburn, being too popular) of the head-shaving movement, but failed to mention some of biggest drawbacks--not being able to participate in the what his paper deems the trendiest men's grooming trends. If you shave your head, here are some Times-approved trends you'll have to forego:

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The "Hitler Youth" Haircut

Bald-friendly?   No.

What is it? "Buzzed on the sides, longer on top and slicked back with a dab of pomade," according to The Times' Alex Williams.
Height of trend: November 15, 2011
Pros: Not looking like David Lynch (who rocks a "vertical variation on the look"); Not having to ask your barber for a 'Hitler Youth" hairstyle.
Cons: Never being mistaken for a castmember of Boardwalk Empire.

The Man Bun

Bald-friendly?  No.

What is it? "In certain arty neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick, some men are twisting their long hair into a form more famously worn by librarians, schoolmarms and Katharine Hepburn." writes The Times'  Phyllis Korkki. "But don’t call the male version an up-do or a chignon. Call it a man bun."
Height of trend: January 25, 2012
Pros: Not having someone ask you about your chignon; Less of a reliance on rubberbands
Cons: Having to actually be artsy instead of just looking "artsy"


 The Mad Men Sidepart:

Bald-friendly?   No.

What is it? Don Draper's signature cut.

Height of trend: November 24, 2010 though Esquire says a less rigid version is very in right now 
Pros: Not having to use a pocket comb; Not having to own a pocket comb, Not being known as "the guy" who has a pocket comb; All that product; All that money saved on product
Cons: Working that much harder at Mad Men theme parties




Bald-friendly?   Sure.

What is it? Stubble. Got that? No, not a beard. Stubble. "I don’t like to do that George Michael close-shave thing, where it looks almost feminine," one stubble afficionado told The Times' Douglas Quenqua. "Fade it in a little bit easier around the neck. Letting it grow a little natural but clean is definitely a stronger statement this season."
Height of trend: September 28, 2011
Pros: Being so very hip right now.
Cons: Running the risk of ruining it all and looking like George Michael. 


Man Moisturizers, etc.

Bald friendly?   Yes.

What is it? Concealers, Herbal moisturizers, Age-defying sunscreen. Why? "The reason, beauty analysts say, is a changing attitude among men, who now associate healthy-looking skin less with vanity than with professionalism," according to The Times' Douglas Quenqua. "At a time when job security is at a low, they say, men do not have to work in front of a camera to place a higher premium on being presentable."
Height of trend: December 20, 2011
Pros: Great looking skin.
Cons: This stuff might set you back, as Quenqua reports, some $600 per year.

Waxing or "Pejazzling"

Bald-friendly?   Yes.

What is it? "Lately though, guys’ grooming has gone one step further, deep into territory that was previously reserved solely for women: bikini waxing," notes The Times' Rachel Felder. "Also on its menu is something called 'pejazzling,' in which crystals in patterns like stars and dolphins are affixed on newly defuzzed skin."
Height of trend: April 10, 2012
Pros: Being up on the latest trend and a poster boy for the trendiness; Conversation killing response to a "carpet matching the drapes joke"
Cons: Crystals, stars, dolphins ... adjacent. to. your. genitalia.



Images by: Reuters, Wikimedia Commons, Bravo, lya Andriyanov (via Shutterstock), viki2win (via Shutterstock)


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.