by NPR STAFF
When New York Times contributing editor Daniel Jones started losing his hair, he chose what he considers a “cooler alternative” — head shaving.
“Losing your hair,” he tells NPR’s Neal Conan, “is a little bit like a girlfriend who’s sort of drifting away, and you’re clinging to her as she goes off and sees other people. … It gets worse and worse. So it’s better to take some sort of pre-emptive move.”
Jones, who shaved his head more than eight years ago, explains the difficulties of confronting a receding hairline or thinning crown.
On shaving his head for the first time
“It’s mostly a difference of feel … when you’re shaving in the shower and feeling the track that’s left and suddenly there’s nothing there. … In comments after the piece ran, people described that moment — of sort of feeling it be smooth — as being more remarkable than anything that they actually saw.”
On things to consider before shaving your head
“Head shape has a lot to do with whether this is a possibility for you or not, and if your ears stick out and that sort of thing. By the time I got to it, I had a pretty good idea what my head shape was. … My hair was short enough at that point where I didn’t worry too much about it. It’s just taking it one last step.”
On the shaved head as a sign of the macho man
“Bruce Willis was the idol back in the day. … Maybe it’s sort of the military practice of doing this, but it’s also associated with … the sort of sweating he-man … in battle. … The other component of this is people who shave their heads often then work out a lot more and feel like … they have to, you know, buck up or at least get in shape. … It’s OK to be the in-shape bald guy. So I’d argue that shaving your head is also better for your long-term health.”
On the one downside of head shaving
“I learned that the hard way. … Wearing a bicycle helmet and having the air vents across the top and not thinking to put sunscreen on the top of your head … you wind up with what I called a sort of geometrically pleasing — if sort of disturbing-looking — sunburn.”