Tuesday, February 27, 2007


There are a number of advantages to shaving your head. Number one, as my friend Slime noted earlier in the comments, it eases the burden of maintaining your hair in sync with contemporary societal fashion sensibilities, day after day after day. That is a very important advantage for those of the working class, such as I. Secondly, like me, if you are in the habit of shaving (your chin) only once a week, maintaining your cranial hair to about the same length makes your face look symmetrical about the horizontal axis that passes through your nose. But the third and most important advantage is the beneficial effects it has on your social life.

A newly shaven head is a great conversation starter. Especially for introverts like me to whom speaking to other people does not come naturally. For me, it is a constant bother even to come up with new topics to broach while passing coworkers on the way to the bathroom. As an aside, nowadays I run to the bathroom. If you're running to the bathroom, people you encounter on the way think it's an emergency and don't bother with the formalities of courtesy. But anyways, if you do not wish to run to the bathroom everyday, things will now be easier for you. With a freshly bald pate, the onus of responsibility for starting a conversation will rest with the other guy, who will be more than happy to take it up and tender a request for information regarding the history of your hair removal. Why did you do it, when did you do it, is it going to be a permanent look for you, do you feel cold, etc will be the questions you can expect to be asked in the aftermath.

In fact, in some extreme cases, the naked vulnerability of your head might tug at the heartstrings of your fellow men with such ferocity that guys who previously would never have parted with their own facial hair will offer you its temporary use ("Do you need my beard to keep yourself warm, ha ha" : coworker). Some will offer you the facial hair of others in order to alleviate your own hairless condition ("You should borrow his fumanchu, he's not using it" : guy in gym, pointing to his french bearded exercycling buddy) .

So as you can see, when you shave your head, conversation will flow like Parachute coconut hair oil. The only problem now is that you have to be prepared in advance and come up with a list of reasons for why you did it. And there have to be two sets of reasons. One, the humorous ones, for people who are convinced that there HAS to be a goddamn funny rationale behind your apparent madness and two, serious reasons to explain to your superiors at work. I used the following. I am not sure which, if any, are the funny ones. I am about to be drafted as a US marine. I am making myself more aerodynamic for when I buy a new convertible. I'm celebrating the return of daylight savings. I'm getting ready for summer. I was shaving and went a bit higher than usual. Keep all these reasons in your rolodex, ready to be whipped out at the first sign of inquiry.

But like all protein-based lifeforms, a shaven head will fast lose its luster and your popularity will bottom out again. The key is to be unpredictable and keep things exciting. Next week, I'm planning to come to work with, say, a missing arm or leg. That should give me enough fodder for striking up conversations again for, say, about a week or two.


Vivek Kumar said...

"conversation will flow like Parachute coconut hair oil"

Or like Captain Cook Namak, which flows freely even at -18 degrees unlike Parachute coconut hair oil.

Anonymous said...

Was this Britney inspired in any way?

Anonymous said...

thank goodness, offers are still lmited to err.. "facial" hair!! :p :).

Vinod Khare said...

Heh heh. Really funny!

Anonymous said...

what, pray tell, happens after the you run out of arms and legs!

RobRoy said...

You should start going around saying, "Make it so." Also, pick someone and insist that he respond to the title Number One. Whenever you call a meeting, tell everyone that they will meet in your ready room.

gawker said...

vivek : It's great that Captain Cook came up with cold withstanding salt because I have a number of recipes that involve salt and -18 degrees temperature.

football : Haircut no. Alcohol abuse yes.

twilight fairy : Yes, I am lucky most Pennsylvanians shave their privates.

vinod : Thank you sir

karlton : I'll probably have to borrow someone else's. In fact, I think that's how most serial killers come to be.

robroy : Done, done and done. Except I named him Numero Uno because it sounds cooler.

Anonymous said...

"if you are in the habit of shaving (your chin) only once a week, maintaining your cranial hair to about the same length makes your face look symmetrical about the horizontal axis that passes through your nose."
I am also not a frequent (chin) shaver. And with serious hair loss I am considering shaving my hair too, to maintain proportion.

btw, I had written a post a few weeks back on facial hair: