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Lick My Bald!

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A Slick Move :: A fully shaved head can make a balding guy feel bold

On a mid-September day in Brooklyn, I had a tonsorial epiphany.

I was sitting in a green room with Charles Barkley, the candid, witty and shaved-head basketball commentator for TNT. We were inside a soundstage in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, awaiting the final day of Spike Lee's filming of a promotional campaign for the new National Basketball Association season.

"How do you shave your head?" I asked.

"With a razor and shaving cream," said Barkley, who adopted the look in his mid-20s. "Why, brother," he added, "are you thinking of coming home? Because what you've got ain't working for you."

He was right. What was left an inch or so above my ears wasn't much to work with. When the remnants grew, I looked like Larry Fine of the Three Stooges. I have been a vigorous pro-baldness advocate for more than a dozen years -- and a jealous observer of those with the guts to shave it all off -- but I had always shied away from the Big Shave . . . .

I came home in 1991.
When I was 21 years old, I saw that my hair was receding and decided to completely shave it all off. The newfound look gave me a sense of calm because I had some anxiety over the fact that I was young and was somewhat losing my hair.

It was a no-brainer for me: Losing some hair -- shave it off. Why try to fight the aging process.

So, one day, I went to the barbershop to get my hair "did," and told my barber to take it all off.

"Everything?" he asked.
"You made a close fade, right?" he responded back.
"Nope, a baldie cut."

When the barber finished he looked at me and said, "You're a new man!"

The reaction was instantaneous. Co-workers at my job literally didn't recognize me, and said that I looked more professional with my bald-headed sheen. (I was working as a chef at the time.) When I showed my newfound look to my former girlfriend, she smiled and said I looked sexy. "Bald heads turned me on," she purred.

For 13 years, I have maintained the "shaved-head" look. Every Saturday, after getting my "baldie" haircut at the barbershop, I leave the shop with a sense of empowerment. With my freshly clean look, cute saleswomen want to approach me. Men stare at my glistening dome. Older woman flirt with me. On the job, my co-workers tend to look at me differently. Well-groomed and glistening seems to put people at ease, then down-right and bummy with a 5 'o clock shadow. (On occasion, I have come to work looking disheveled and unshaven.)

Every now and then, I would grow my hair just to see what I would look like with some darkness on the top of my dome. One time, a female co-worker came up to me and said, "Nope, it's not working. Keep it bald."

Not to worry, I will always be a baldie for life!