New Style Trend for Balding Young Men?

In my father’s generation and further back, they were few men who shaved their heads. I can think of Yul Brynner and Telly Savalas. Beyond those rare exceptions, it wasn’t widely acceptable in regular old white-collar culture. The shaved head was viewed as an oddity, and they called those guys Q-ball. This was the golden age of the comb-over.

Then in the 90s the ubiquitous popularity of Michael Jordan made it acceptable (though still debated by poor stand-up comics) for middle America guys to shave their heads. Suddenly, if you were losing your hair, you had a better option than a comb-over. My father, a pretty conservative guy who came up in the previous generation, even got on board; opting to buzz off all of his hair rather than sport the male-pattern baldness wrap-around U cut. And I, knowing that I would lose my hair eventual, thought great, there’s an easy solution for when that happens.

But, lately I’ve noticed that young guys (mid 20s through mid 30s) that are balding are opting to not go the Jordan route. They’re largely just letting it go. No comb-overs ironic or otherwise. There’s many different hairstyles, but they all seems to communicate, “Yes, I’m losing my hair. What of it?” and sort of embracing an authentic look. Is anyone else seeing this? Has the buzzed and shaved head had its run? Now that my hairline is undoubtedly receding by the month, I find myself letting my hair grow longer. I think I could embrace my hair’s U-shaped future and ditch my old Jordan plan.

A bald head is straight up sexy. With a full beard? YUM!

Shave it off. That’s what I say.

Like I said before, it’s the Carny Decade.

Shaved heads, heavy piercings, mega-tatoos.

Twenty years from now we’ll point and laugh just like we do with the way people looked and dressed in the 70’s.

I don’t think shaved heads (which is just one end of the full haircut spectrum) belong in the same category with “heavy piercings” and “mega-tattoos,” (which are modifications of living flesh) – not that any of them necessarily make you a carny.*

Shaved scalps are fine, beards are fine, but men with shaved scalps and beards always look to me like their heads are on upside-down.

But I’m not really the target audience anyway.

  • A big shout-out to all the fine upstanding carnival folk out there! Who loves you, baby?

I still dress like the 70’s.

I asked a guy like this once - I figured I knew him well enough - why his head was on upside down.

He called me - he figured he knew me well enough - a cheeky {gynaecological expletive}.

I’m OK so far but there is a small thin patch, at the top near the back, that’s on the way out.

I’ve not noticed this but Chicago is usually the last place in the USA (of the big cities) to get trends.

I think shaving your head when you have a full head of hair is gutsy and takes nerve, but if you shave it when your balding, to me, it just comes off as sneaky. Trying to cover up something.

I have shaved my head and I have a lot of hair on my head. Truthfully it’s so much easier just to shave it all off

I must admit I’m a student of the 80s with the long hair. I love long hair, but I don’t look very good in it, still if I had the choice I’d grow it out.

I think if you use Captain Picard as your role model, you really can’t go wrong. :slight_smile:

(Chrome dome with a long ponytail is and always will be pathetic, though.)

We comb it over, we’re trying to cover up something. We shave it all off, we’re covering up something. Make up yer freakin’ mind!:p;)

I’m balding, and have gone the full shave route but it just doesn’t work for me. And there is no way in hell I’m doing the combover or growing what I still have out; I just keep it short. I got no problems with my receding hairline, and I don’t frankly care regarding the opinions of anyone who’d judge me just by that genetic component alone.

I’m 27 with a notable bald spot. I’ve kept it the way it is for a few reasons:

  1. I’m not all that style-conscious to begin with, although I’ve been making some effort in the last couple of years.
  2. I haven’t decided whether or not I want to go totally bald, mainly because I want to figure out if it’ll look any better first, and doing that without simply taking the plunge is tricky.
  3. Keeping a bald head bald is quite a bit of work, as I understand it. I’m already pretty bad about keeping my beard trimmed.
  4. I’ve seen an argument made that shaved heads are a sign of insecurity and insincerity. I’m not wholly convinced this is so, and shaved heads generally do look better than bald spots anyway.

There’s some other minor reasons, but basically it’s a combination of being lazy, not really caring, and not sure enough that it would look significantly better. It’s a huge change that, if it turns out to be a mistake, will take a few months to fix, and in the meantime you look goofy.

But combovers are just stupid-looking.

I haven’t noticed the new trend: I’m solidly in this camp.

My dad started going bald in his twenties, so I never knew him with a full head of hair. Every man I was related to by blood was bald or very thin on top. So I knew from my teens that bald was in my future.

I had a professor in college who had been a Marine and kept the haircut when he quit. Looking at him one day, I realized that what saddened me about my fate was not the being bald, it was the sad, slow process of going bald. Thus, I decided that when the inevitable was upon me, I’d shave it.

I started shaving my head in 2001 and it lasted about three months. Shaving is more trouble than all the shampooing, conditioning, and trips to the barber had ever been. Consequently, I started trimming at my trimmer’s shortest setting. Best decision I ever made.

Every few weeks, 5 minutes or so with the trimmer, and I’m done. The occasional scrub down with Selsun Blue (dandruff is a scalp condition, after all), and I’m virtually free from the burden of hair care.

I’ve either not seen this or not seen the same thing that you have. Could you link to some example pics? If it’s a trend, then there must be some out there, somewhere.

The problem with your hair thinning on top, is that pretty much no matter what you do, people think it’s a combover. Better to either cut it down real short or shave entirely. I started with the hair clippers about 10 years ago, but after a while I found it less work and easier on my ears (cheap trimmers can be very loud) and less likely to miss spots if I just shave. I only shave twice a week, usually on Mondays and Fridays.

What’s interesting is that I think my hair has sort of gone gray during the ensuing ten years, but I’ve never really grown it out long enough to check.

I work with a guy who is your age. He ended up shaving his head instead of being partially bald, and growing a nice short-cropped beard to go with. It looks pretty hot, actually.

Another co-worker who has a bit darker complexion and hair keeps what he has left, but keeps it short. He’s afraid that if he takes the plunge and shaves it fully, the skin on the top of his head where his hair was will be lighter than the rest of his scalp.

points and laughs


I haven’t noticed this in Chicago, either. I’ve been balding since I was a teenager. I’ve shaved my head a couple of times, but for the last 10 years or so (I’m 34), I just keep it looking naturally bald (I have male pattern baldness of the Danny Devito-type, although I still have wisps of hair on top which I’m sure will completely be gone by the time I’m in my 40s). Most people I know in my age group who are balding shave their head completely. But, as you said, Chicago’s usually a little late on these types of trends. But, yeah, I don’t bother shaving it because the baldness doesn’t bother me.

There have always been, and will always be, better options than a comb-over. There is no hair or scalp style on the planet, which has ever been practiced by any human culture, or indeed, any mammal, that is worse that the comb-over. The only explanation I’ve ever come up with for the existence of the comb-over at all is that there’s a cadre of lonely, desperate barbers out there who decided that their only chance at romance was to remove as much as possible of the male population from their pool of competitors by giving them all the worst hairdo possible.

Sure. Search terms escape me, so here’s a couple semi-famous guys that fit what I’m seeing - though they fall to older end of the age range.

Adam Savage

Will Oldham

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about changing my beard to a Van Dyke, then doing the head-shaving thing. I just…can’t grow a decent moustache, even though my beard is like some mad growing thing. It’s kind of infuriating, actually. :stuck_out_tongue:

I would call that style Hipster Pattern Baldness.

My Daddy suffered from male-pattern baldness. His favorite comment on it?
“The human male only has a certain amount of testosterone; if some men want to waste theirs growing hair, that’s their problem!” :smiley: