Men, Are You Seasonally Bald?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    In Heat Like This, a Little Off the Top Isn’t Enough

    By GLENN COLLINS
    For a legion of hot, sweaty, humidity-hating New Yorkers — mostly of the male persuasion — it is high scalping season.

    “This weekend it’s going to get even hotter, that’s why I’m going to cut it off,” said Marlon Young, 42, a retired correction officer, waiting his turn with five others in the Sanchez Barber Shop at 1797 Lexington Avenue in East Harlem. “I’m going bald, actually. Even the beard, I’m taking off.”

    It is not exactly news that in a July heat wave, short haircuts are popular. But half measures are no longer sufficient, and to spend a few hours in the barbershops of the city — from Greenwich Village to Harlem to Flatbush and points in between — is to see this phenomenon at its most extreme.

    A little off the top? How about everything off the top, and the sides and the back as well? Carlos Rodriguez, pointing to his hair, said he wanted to “get it all off.” Mr. Rodriguez, a 37-year-old construction worker, was waiting in the Ilan El Canario Barber Shop at 160 Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    “Sometimes they come in sweating,” said Gil Sanchez, 58, who was cutting hair in the Sanchez shop. “Begging for me to shave it off.”

    Shawn Lindo, 28, a Manhattan personal trainer and bodybuilder, matches his hairstyle to the seasons. “You need long hair in winter to keep you warm,” he said as his noggin was being torn right down to the studs by Tim Roberts, his razor-wielding barber at Astor Place Hairstylists in Manhattan. “But for three months,” Mr. Lindo said, “I have my head shaved, and when the summer rolls around, it’s something I look forward to.”

    And now it is summer with a vengeance, a weekend for those H-words — hot and humid. If the city reaches its expected high of 95 on Saturday, residents will be enduring the second heat wave of the year (the last one — at least three 90-degree days in a row — occurred from June 7 to 10).

    And so, at Astor Place these days, “all we get is people saying, ‘I can’t take this hair, it’s too hot,’ ” said Michael Saviello, 46, the manager whom everyone in the shop, a cavernous 50-chair emporium at 2 Astor Place near Broadway, calls “Big Mike.”

    He estimated that on a hot day, 15 to 25 people would shell out $14 for a “zero cut” — which refers to a close-shaving blade stamped with a zero that is affixed to electric clippers.

    A few blocks to the east, at 19 St. Marks Place, Jessie Mojica, 37, a shift manager in the Supercuts store, said that “heat is definitely a motivator for getting chopped.”
    Last week a hirsute customer with “hair down to his mid-back took it all off,” Mr. Mojica said. “He was just annoyed with hot hair.”

    And when you’re having that tropical heat wave, head shaving “is a cool topic,” said Ian Tattersall with a laugh. He is a curator in the division of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History and the author of the book “Becoming Human.”

    “Voluntary baldness — shaving a head — is definitely some kind of a statement,” he said, which could be cultural, religious or personal. “But in some cases that statement could be as simple as, ‘I feel more comfortable this way.’ ”
    That was true of Sammy Stewart, 25, a mailroom clerk who lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn. At the Classique Barber Shop at 666 Flatbush Avenue, he was getting what his haircutter, Baba Cory, 37, called a “high and tight” or a “bald fade.” Mr. Stewart called it a buzz cut.

    Head hair, of course, “is a vestigial reminder of the fact that our ancestors used to be hairy and furry,” Dr. Tattersall said. Some scientists have speculated that human hairlessness was an evolutionary adaptation. “My guess as to why we retained head hair is for protection — you wouldn’t want the sun shining down on a naked brain case.”

    Exactly the sentiments of Mr. Lindo, whose shiny scalp is protected by a cap. “Which doesn’t get sweaty when your head is shaved,” he said.
    Carbon-footprintwise, Mr. Lindo and his shorn brethren may get gold stars. Adrian Wood, 62, the owner of the Paul Molé Barber Shop at 1031 Lexington Avenue at 74th Street, said, with a laugh, that “you could say that it is very green to shave your head instead of using air-conditioning.”

    Head shaving, added Mr. Wood more seriously, is never for the tonsorial schlepper.

    “It is not easy to shave a head,” he said, “because the razor edge is square — and the head is round.”

    Indeed, “it takes a half an hour to do the right kind of job,” said Tony DiMaggio, a barber at Paul Molé who, at 67, said he had “seen a lot of bald heads in 49 years of haircutting,” describing the steps of clipping, lathering and shaving necessary to create the perfectly naked pate.

    He added that summer head shaving was not without risk. One of Mr. DiMaggio’s customers, a real estate executive, asked to have his head shaved “and I said, ‘Are you sure your wife will like it?’ He told me, ‘Sure she will.’ Well, when she saw him she came over and gave me a piece of her mind. She told me I could never shave his head again!”

    Admittedly, many men going under the razor this summer are not meteorologically inclined. At Levels Barbershop in Harlem, Eddie Rouse, 35, a hotel event manager, had his hair radically cropped nearly to the scalp, but “it had nothing to do with the weather,” he said, explaining that he likes to look impeccable.
    And Mark Tullos, 38, an e-commerce project manager, was also going bald “irrespective of the season,” he said in his chair at Marrella Hair Stylists in the main concourse of the south wing of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Three years ago his thinning locks dictated head shaving “because I was fighting time — and losing,” he said.

    The phenomenon that might be termed male seasonal baldness is certainly not unknown to women who get their summer ’dos. Mr. Saviello said that some female customers at Astor Place actually went for a Sinead O’Connor look as the mercury rose.

    But there are less radical options. “It’s too hot to sit under the dryer,” said Marceline Naude, 23, a registered nurse who was getting box braids at Amy African Hair Braiding at 702 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. “It’s easier to manage in the heat.”
    Christy Carty, 30, a secretary who lives in Flatbush, said that braiding “is a great way to beat the heat,” adding: “With the perspiring, you constantly have to wash your hair. If your hair is braided, you get up and go.”

    And other women are beating the heat with strategies less extreme than taking it all off. Pat O’Brien, 56, a retired worker for JPMorgan Chase, was getting what her barber, Wilfredo Morales at Astor Place, called a “very tight crew cut.”
    Ms. O’Brien had a different term for it: “sensible.”
     
  2. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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  3. Pendlum

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    Never! Besides, my long hair can hold more water when I wet it, so it keeps me cool, and I don't have to worry about the top of my head being sun burnt.
     
  4. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Men shaving their head in the summer is not news. Atleast not in the south.
    I've been doing it for over half my life.
     
  5. ConnerM360

    ConnerM360 Active Member

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    Personally i'm not cutting it this summer its about 3-5 inches long and for the above comment how it holds more water and keeps cooler longer. No. It is definitely hotter with a thick head of hair. I have definitely thought about it as it gets so damn hot.
     
  6. Mr. Bungle

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    I shave my head year-round, just wear a hat all time time when I'm out during the wintertime. Gets pretty cold up here in the northeast... :biggrin1: I'm not doing the comb-over, I call my bald spot the "skin yarmulke"... nothing a little disposable razor can't take care of!! Besides, people tell me I look better bald anyway..
     
  7. Phil Ayesho

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    In the springtime of my life I had a full head of hair.

    Now as I enter the autumn of my life... not so much.

    So yes... I am seasonally balding.
     
  8. Novaboy

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    I've got #1 on the sides tapered to a zero but it's about a half inch or so on the top. I like getting it buzzed completely too.

    Novaboy
     
  9. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

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    not bald, but I do shorten it greatly in the summer. Down to a 1/4 inch sometimes.

    Oh, and

    monoxidil works for yarmulke type baldness.
     
  10. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    My head looks like a moon without hair on it, all lined and cratered. I much prefer to keep it covered.
     
  11. prepstudinsc

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    I don't have seasonal baldness, but I've seen people with seasonal teeth:
    "summer here and there and summer fallin' out".
     
  12. mista geechee

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    I used to have dreads but cut them after like 3 years. Now I just keep it wit' a fresh low cut and a sharp tape up, a signature of a barber shoop in "the hood".

    My girlfriend and sister said they'll both give me 50 bucks to grow a gumbi fade for halloween and still rock it for a week afterwards.

    http://connykate.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/gumby-fade.jpg

    but tupac's looks better in juice
    http://itsthejoint.net/images/thumb/8/8c/Allcrew.jpg/315px-Allcrew.jpg

    I might do it just to get a laugh. Like a 1993 throwback
     
  13. Principessa

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    A male Jewish friend refers to that look as Jew Pattern Baldness. :tongue:
     
  14. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

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    I actually think the yarmulke comes from older jewish men not wanting to show their age, so the cap covers their baldness, and makes them look like the younger jews with skull caps.
     
  15. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    If you do it, and dye it green and wear green facepaint for a gumbi costume, you've gotta post pics of it.
     
  16. Principessa

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    Oh no! Why did I click those links? I just time traveled back to 1985. :biggrin1: Now all I need is to kick back with some Pink Champale to complete the mood.
     
  17. Viking_UK

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    It's not happening here. I've got two feet of hair and it's staying, whatever the weather
     
  18. CALAMBO

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    yes...tried it...it seemed to work..so kept the short look...the time i spent on hair i could have made more money at work...seemed the right thing to do...
     
  19. jonnyjinx

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    I'm seasonably bald every season!

    I'm 36 with thinning grey/white hair so when I shave my face in the shower every morning, I continue upwards and shave my head too.

    I did it for the first time a couple of years back and it was the best thing I ever did because now everyone thinks I look younger, because I don't have grey hair!!:tongue:
     
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