Baldness: The Bane of Barbershops.

I haven’t been to the barbershop in nearly 20 years, and that makes me bad for business.

Handsome, but bald.

Barbers see me for what I am–a non-customer, inarable landscape, a fiscal down arrow in their bottom line.  I have no place walking through their doors.  Barbers look at me the way a Tree Surgeon sees the desert, or a Chiropractor sees spineless people–a no-sale S.O.B.  So, imagine the looks I receive when I bring my 3 year-old son Jack in for a trim.

We head downtown to the old-school, male-dominated barbershop.  The interior is mainly predictable, three barbershop seats, wood paneling, a small TV, the standard array of mags and some serious taxidermy.  The lunging fox has Jack’s attention.  He correctly admonishes, “Swiper! No Swiping!”  I smile at Jack and look up at the Barbers, a proud father of a smart kid who watches Dora the Explorer.  None of the Barbers return my smile.  Hardcore cutters.  Whatever.  I chastise in my head–You’ll get no business from me, gentlemen!

I spot the main Barber, who, oddly enough, is wearing a rug.  This gets me thinking–maybe I am a paying customer after all.  Nah, wigs seem like too much effort.  I buzz what little hair remains myself, with a cheap Wahl trimmer–done, in 5 minutes.  Enough about me.  The boy is here for a trim.

The wait time is minimal and Jack is soon seated, getting the works.  He’s amazingly composed for his age, maintaining a preternatural stillness while razor-sharp steel whirs about his head.  His platinum blond hair falls to the floor, a rare jewel radiating against countless shades of brown and black.  More customers come in at this point.  This is where things get a little hairy (pun intended).  The new customers notice me, I’m an outsider.

Look.  An interloper.

Their eyes scan, and stop: a barber chair becomes free.  Now looking at me, an uncomfortable silence.

How could he possibly be next in line for a haircut?  Inconceivable. 

But manners prevail, somehow, and the rightful next in line offers me the open barber chair.  I smile and point to my gleaming skull.

His response is nonverbal.  Translated into words, he says, “Oh.  Right, you’re bald.  Sorry about that.”

While mostly courteous, he was wrong to feel bad for bald people.  This blog post alone serves as evidence of how much money we’re saving on hair care.  And generally speaking, we take less time to get ready in the morning.

A black comb slips into the blue Barbicide, followed by a little neck dusting.  The cape is then removed with a traditional flourish.  Jack hops down ready to roll.  He ends up with a great 50s-style cut.  Check him out.  Pretty cool.   It is nice to have hair.

That's a fine cut.

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192 Responses to Baldness: The Bane of Barbershops.

  1. Dude I spend 50 buck plus tip to go to a salon to basically have what little hair I have left “creatively placed.” You’re saving loads.

    BTW: put little gadgets on your page so people can follow your blog by email, rss, etc.

  2. Thanks DKL. I added an RSS feed–good to know. $50?! Whoa brother.

  3. I was in Derry, Ireland a couple of weeks ago and found a barber shop that would have probably taken you on as a customer – it was called Baldies Barbershop. Sadly, it shut it’s doors for the last time a couple of years ago…I can’t imagine why they ever went out of business… 😉

    Great post and your boy’s haircut is very cute!

  4. Tori Nelson says:

    I sent a link to your post to The Dude of The House. Our son has a shocking head of hair which Dad likes to comb and play with because he hasn’t had hair for years. There is always a friendly reminder that he’s not missing much when he walks into the bathroom and finds me beating the tar out of my mane with a brush and a jumbo bottle of detangler!

  5. abichica says:

    great post.. $50.. freaken unbelievable..!!

  6. baligins says:

    Great post! My Dad has been bald for 20 years and never goes to the barbershop. I make fun of him for using his razor to shave what little hair he has left.

  7. That is indeed a fine cut. The word ‘Barbicide’ has always troubled me. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. You should have some party mix to celebrate.

  8. Mark Hutton says:

    I’m with you – I’ve got three boys of my own – they’ve all got more hair than I ever had. I love walking in with my guys and watching folks scramble to figure out why I am there. I always sort of chuckle at the “what can I do for you today” question. I wish I could come up with some fun response.

  9. Mikalee Byerman says:

    Wow: They’re a truly hardcore bunch, those old-time barbers! Too funny…

    Your little man is ADORABLE though. Great cut! 🙂

  10. mp06 says:

    I’m heading the same way as you with the hair and getting my haircut was one of life’s little pleasures. Embrace the space I say.

  11. Hilarious! Dude, that must have been awkward!

    I love the descriptive writing, congrats for being Freshly Pressed! Well deserved 🙂


  12. andy says:

    Very entertaining! Kudos to you for braving the barbershop environment. I find it mildly intimidating with hair…hence me joining the $50+ salon club. Baldness has its benefits! 🙂

  13. Fighting Reality says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! I always enjoy how they take off the cape and brush the hair of your neck. You can feel the pokiness of the bristles. As a woman with – let’s just say complicated – hair, I wish I could just take a razor to my head and go all Natalie Portman from V for Vandetta. Alas, I wouldn’t look as good. \

  14. How fun! Good to know you’ve rediscovered the barbershop.

    You might enjoy my recent post called “Pixied and Permed: My Life in Haircuts and Headbands.”

    And congrats on FPed!


  15. wadingacross says:


    Similarly, I haven’t gone to a barber or salon in 11 years. I do it myself with clippers.
    My wife trims our children’s hair too. She’s getting pretty good at it.
    Only she will go to a salon – and that, rarely (I like her hair long).

    Cute. And yeah, add links and other little blurbs to spice up your blog.

    Have fun, that’s what this is all about.

    • Thanks so much. I work on resumes, cover letters, personal statements all day, which gets pretty tedious after a while. I relish writing posts b/c I’m finally free. Yes, long hair for my wife, too.

  16. natasiarose says:

    Your son is adorbs! Cute post.

  17. So, youre a barbershop reject…..??? pssffft…..look at Yule Brenner. He was totally hot! So is Vin Diesel, Andre Agassi. etc! You wear it well, no worries!

    Your son is adorable. Congrats on making FP.

  18. scrapscribe says:

    Hilarious style man! I buzz my hair at home with my Wahl trimmers as well. I’m not bald, but I do save myself the $15-20 for the trim. Right on! I lol’d a few times, thanks for the great write up.

  19. daitexas says:

    I’ve got a full head of hair, but I’ve shaved it down to number one for years now. Have actually recently been considering letting it grow out again. You make a compelling argument against that thought!

  20. Subhash says:

    Bald is the new beautiful! 😀 Nice Post!

  21. Sadaf Shah says:

    I like this post 🙂 my 16 years old son just shaved his head. I guess we will be saving a lot of money 😉

  22. Loved this, though I have hair and can’t really identify.

  23. TheUrbanati says:

    I literally laughed out loud at this line: “Oh. Right, you’re bald. Sorry about that.” Great post! Thanks for the chuckles 🙂

  24. Micke says:

    I started shaving my head when I noticed that I could look in the mirror and follow the contour of my skull through my own hair. My hair was – in other words – getting a bit thin on the ground. I started trimming it with an electric hair-trimmer, but one day my girlfriend suggested “we” should shave my head with a razor… That was almost ten years ago, and I’ve never looked back! Not only am I saving a fat load of cash every month, but every now and then I manage to hide my blubbery torso under a well fitting t-shirt and get that “f**kin’ A – I look like Vin Diesel” sensation!

  25. mybrightspot says:

    I shave my head to skin regularly… I have been very curious about going to a barber shop and having my head wet shaved with a straight razor.

  26. I have been cutting the hair of my semi-bald husband in recent months. Here’s to Wahl shavers!

  27. scott38 says:

    I have been cutting my own hair with a set of clippers (and the assistance of my lovely wife) for years. I did my math and figure that I save about $650 per year on haircuts. It’s a no-brainer for me. But, to pull it off, you need to have a regularly shaped head.

  28. periphereality says:

    Genuinely found this an entertaining and (it’s a rarity) witty post!

  29. annedearle says:

    When my daughter was a very little girl she once gave her uncle a comb for Christmas. He didn’t have a hair on his head. He said thank you very much but next year perhaps you would give me a duster.

  30. Dip Ramavat says:

    Well you said it right about the savings on hair care. I am at an age where my expenses on hair care are declining and pretty soon I will join your club.

  31. Yes, you are a drain on the bottom line for barber shops but sponge manufacturers look at you as bank.

    Congrats on being Freshly Shaved, oops I mean Freshly Pressed.

    Have a great day!.

    Mr Bricks

  32. Love it! Have always loved bolo head guys. 🙂 Aloha!

  33. lawless525 says:

    Hey great blog. First and for most I am 27 and already going or pretty much gone bald (O_o) but I for some reason I am still not saving money or more like wasting it trying to get a hair cut to the level of the baldness LOL yup. Speaking In a silence voice (but I’m not ready to let go) Oh worst of all my barber, every time I set down for a cut LOL at me say “Man look at your bald spot, its so sad your younger that me and I still got hair on my head. Better yet I am going to grow out my hair and braid it so you can get mad LOL” Whatever. Love the “Swiper! No Swiping!” ROFL.

    • Your Barber needs to exercise some compassion. I was in your position prior to going full Wahl. In any event, I get your sense of humor, and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed mine. Thanks for the feedback, Lawless.

  34. Christine says:

    Now you can do something else with that discretionary spending:)

  35. Debbie says:

    Enjoyable and well-written blog. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Jack is adorable, and I love the haircut. I wish I could get my daughter to get my grandson’s hair cut the same way.

  36. Lonnie says:

    Hey, hair is overrated anyway! I have been given myself a shave for about 15 years. No comb to carry and no waiting at the barbershop. I do miss the conversation there though.

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

  37. Stephen Rees says:

    I started losing my hair in thirties – and the same thing is happening to my sons. It is, of course, due to high testosterone levels. But I have not taken the step of using my Wahl on my head – it is reserved for the beard. I have a constant battle with barbers, who offer a senior’s discount, which I do not qualify for, but no bald man discount. I should pay less since I occupy the chair for much less time than the average customer. I have checked with my partner and she says I have a lot of hair and should not shave it all off, and I am not going to argue with her over such a trivial matter. But the barber who is honest and treats me fairly will get my unwavering custom. I have yet to meet him.

    • In your 30s?! You lucky devil, Stephen. I was spotted as a receding hairline during Biology class, Jr year in HS. We were discussing genetics and its effects. Agreed, less time in the chair, decrease the fee. Love the beard. I’ve recently grown some Martin Van Buren chops.

  38. Very funny post. I’m a barber with my own business. There are three of us, all women, working together. We have a laugh with our customers, and even get asked by the bald guys if we can stick hair on!! We are traditional barbers, but also trendy, so no wooden paneling. Just out of interest, how much did you pay for Jack’s cool dude hair cut?

  39. Good for you for embracing balditude. My husband has broken from family tradition and said “No” to the comb-over as well. Although he continues to invest in hair gel with a hold level of 9.

  40. Harold says:

    Good story and congrats on being FP!

  41. ournote2self says:

    Haha! Cute blog! There are days when I tell myself I’m just going to shave it all off. I’ve yet to do it though…

  42. judithornot says:

    Was at a barbershop while my grandson got his hair cut, when I noticed a barber working on a man who was mostly bald. She was massaging his head! So, a bald person can enjoy a barbershop, if you just find one that really knows what they are doing.

  43. My boyfriend shaves his head! I love the way it looks. 🙂 And yes, he does save tons of money. I love this post.

  44. TharpSter says:

    LOL. Interloper.

    Kudos from one bald guy to another.

  45. James J. Amos, MD says:

    You don’t need hair. You have words! The little guy got a great cut. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  46. Eva McCane says:

    cute post! $50 is insane…i’m a girl with long hair and i pay only 75 for a cut, color, and style. unless they’re stiching real gold strands into my hair, i refuse to pay more than 100. and my girl rocks.

  47. Faun says:

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed! My husband sports that Kojak look as well…I’m envious and threaten to shave mine off occasionally. Especially when its triple digit hot! And I’m over the hair color already…jeesh. Men have it easy. Okay, I’ll stop hating… 😀

    Precious young man you have there, Dad. I loved the Dora reference…reminded me of my grandson…

  48. You had me cackling and sputtering at ‘people without spines’. God, what would we do without humor. And bald men. Thank you for such a lovely surprise!

    • Thank you so much, ethnogourmand! My bud is a Chiro–thought of him while writing. He laughed, too. My pleasure to entertain. I consider it a MAJOR accomplishment if someone “cackles and sputters.”

  49. Shawn Bird says:

    lol I have noticed when I have been in line at the barber shop, that barbers take just as long with mostly bald customers, as they do with the hairy ones. I remember staring in awed fascination as the the barber snipped the empty air above one client’s shiny pate for 15 mins. (15 mins that I was waiting to have my kid’s REAL hair removed!). I had not known until that moment that barber shops are quite as much about stroking egos and providing illusion as beauty spas are.

    PS. ditto on the spineless. Love a clever turn of phrase. How long were you saving that one? ;-P

  50. collegeandotherpeskythings says:

    Oh! I know… go for a good old fashioned shave!

  51. Hahaha you are an awesome story teller (and your son is adorable!)!

  52. Oh, I blogged on barbers today too…

  53. beyondanomie says:

    Funny read; enjoyed it a lot.

    My somewhat receding hairline quivered in sympathy.

  54. k8edid says:

    Love your boy’s haircut…yours, too for that matter. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  55. ratinthecity says:

    I am neither a man nor am I bald but I thought this was hilarious! Brilliantly written and very perceptive of what I’d imagine men in a barber shop faced with a bald man to be like. Lovely boy too! 🙂

  56. Pie says:

    Wahl is the equipment of Kings! My brothers swear by it.

    A great post about baldness and barbers that made me laugh out loud. And the little man looks great.

    You had me at your blog title. Anyone who has a blog name like deep as a bird bath is bound to be good value in my book. Congrats on making it to Freshly Pressed.

  57. amanda.sapp says:

    Great post! Congrats on Freshly Pressed exposure; I wouldn’t have found this but really dig your writing style. Keep publishing.

  58. Honestly, I l-o-v-e bald men, although my husband is not. One of my first crushes was on a teacher I had who as balding…something about that smooth skin! Jack is A-dor-able!! What a fiun posts. They look at people with longhair the same way…you can’t possibly be here to do business with all that hair stringing everywhere! Congrats on FP, 🙂 AmberLena

  59. Enjoyed the post! I’ve been toying with the idea of shaving it all off for a while. Not quite there yet, especially because I’m not sure I meet the “regularly shaped head” qualifier. Guess I won’t know for sure until I shave it off and have a look.

  60. Sharvil says:

    really interesting to read and congrats on being FP! hahah anyway i saw that ur a career counselor, i think i need to ask u a few questions if thats okay with you =/


  61. ava812 says:

    Hahahahha! The Swiper no swiping pun was soooooooooo funny! I have 2 girls and Dora the Explorer is all they watch right now. You are one great dad! Cool haircut Jack!

  62. Walked past an old-school barbershop today and thought it would be fun to stop in for an old-fashioned shave. Maybe your barber friends would appreciate the opportunity to put a horror movie razor to your neck …

  63. skinnywench says:

    nice writing style – luv the post

  64. cpb says:

    As a proud Smooth-American, I am happy to keep my $20 a month. In fact, it was a barber here in Portland who gave me my first “all bald” look four years ago when I finally decided to take it all off. As he buzzed off my remaining hair, he said, “Brother, you’re gonna wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.” And the barber? He was bald, too.

    The best part? I promptly went for a beer, AND I GOT CARDED. In sum: bald is good, baldING is pathetic.

    Since then, a $15 clipper purchased the following week, plus one pack of Bics every couple of months, keeps me looking smooth and shiny.

    To baldness!

  65. haha the first sentence alone could have almost been a complete, fully comprehensible blog post

  66. Ling says:

    fine haircut, indeed!

  67. I wish I was bald, I would be saving a crap-load of money!
    Nice post by the way.

  68. ayjeebee says:

    Bald or not bald, you’re definitely funny! Loved your sense of humour.

  69. tmastgrave says:

    I just started going bald. I was harboring a secret hope that it would never happen, even though all them men in my family go bald. Oh well, I guess I’m going to enjoy the rest of my hair while I’ve got it.

  70. MBB says:

    I find bald men sexy. I always tell those semi-bald guys to just shave it all off, rather than keeping the hair here and there. You have a nicely shaped head, it suits you very well. And the little boy, nice haircut, and a very cute boy! Congratulations of making it to Freshly Pressed.

  71. thoughtfactory says:

    At the other extreme are those who have a heap of hair on their heads as they enter the barbershop. Barbers view them as “overtime”. So the mumbai barbers always keep nagging me with “are we there yet?” questions while giving me a haircut. If you try their patience a bit more, you’re warned that the end result won’t look good followed by a “phew! ok!” and yes, inflation keeps up pace with haircutting charges here so well! – niranjan

  72. Genghis Ron says:

    I used to make fun of my dad for being bald, and I’m sure you can guess how that turned out. I usually shave my head myself. When I lived in Orlando, I found an old Puerto Rican barber who shaved my head with a straight razor. He also took care of my eyebrows and nose hairs, and slapped some smelly crap on my head. Don’t know if it was worth the $25, but it was still cool.

  73. Classic says:

    Not to be a typical teenage girl but…Awwww! Jack is cute as a button!! 😉

  74. GringoTzarr says:

    Wonderfully written post, I’ve got pretty wild, thick hair but have been toying with the idea of walking on your side of the road and slashing it all off. Consider me inspired!

  75. Bakbakee says:

    A. This post is hilarious!!!!!!!
    B. Baldness never goes out of fashion
    C. You save on shampoos, conditioners, serum, gel and time spent in the bathroom.
    D. Congrats on getting freshly pressed!!

    • Thanks, Bakbakee! Agreed, less time spent in the bathroom–I feel like that place is my wife’s office, along with the kitchen of course. I feel like I’m invading her territory when I’m at the sink.

  76. Love this post! Luckily I don’t spend anything on my hair either as my sister’s a hairdresser haha. My hair is a nightmare though.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  77. my boyfriend still goes to the barbers, he is pretty much bald. i dont think he can let go!

  78. Looking forward to reading more! Passing this on to others…keep up the good work!

  79. Aisiri says:

    I wish that bald women can be accepted in society without looks or glares! You men have it so easy, being bald is nothing out of the world.
    I hate having hair on my head. And coming from a female creature, that IS pretty big! If you have see the photos of myself on my blog, I like to have my hair pretty short, I actually wanted to have a shiny head, but my friends had laughed at me when I actually did it two years back!
    A normal haircut for me costs about USD $50 or sometimes, even $75 :O 😦
    Lucky you!

  80. ronchick7 says:

    I haven’t been to the barbershop in about 10 years I guess. However, I shave my hair with a razor, so I guess I spend more than using a machine 🙂
    Can’t wait to take my twin girls to the barbershop when they’re old enough… Wonder how it’ll be.

    • It’s an interesting experience. A little dicey when you first walk in. Imagine we just sat in the chair, gleaming, saying nothing? It would be a like a low-level Jackass stunt. …Twins? Very nice.

  81. gaycarboys says:

    I’m fifty but have all my hair. But I can’t abide grey hair so it’s the bottle for me. Your post made me realise I’m the only one among all my firends with all their hair, even the younguns! I’ll point them at your post :):):) thanks for the read!

  82. jennspage says:

    This made me smile. Nice change to my otherwise quite boring day. Can imagine the looks on their faces! Trimmer cut: 5 cents. hairdresser cut: 50$. Priceless. Bald man in line at the barber shop : Priceless. =)

  83. A. C. Baker says:

    I know what you mean. I figured up that since I quit going to the barber I have saved over $900.

    But have you noticed, now that more guys are doing the bald thing, women don’t come up and ask to rub your head? When I first shaved around 10-11 years ago, it was a relatively new thing. Every once in a while a total stranger (usually an attractive female, thank the Lord) would say, “Can I just touch your head?” They don’t do that any more. I have mixed emotions about it, too. You see, I like being married and being a pastor, but I do miss the attention 😉

  84. Harri says:

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed, this was so funny to read and HOW cute is Jack! (That’s not actually a question, because he IS super cute!) I think you are blessed with baldness for the reasons you stated- saving time and money plus you don’t have to fear the wind and rain in the same way as us hairy mortals! x

  85. Awesome looking kid, and as a fellow baldy with a 6-month-old baby I have this to look forward to!

    I share your satisfaction on barber shop savings; and I’m certain I’d be late for work every day if I had to brush hair!

  86. I’m really happy to be a customer at the barbershop now instead of the beauty salon. I barely get funny looks any more since the barber knows me, and includes me in conversation as he cut other people’s hair. If he didn’t, I’m sure I’d get the lady-in-a-barbershop-without-a-son look. $8/month beats the hell out of $100/visit, so they can look if they want, and I wouldn’t even care. They just had better not sit in that chair when it’s MY turn, or it’s ON. And I don’t mean hair. 🙂

  87. Patty says:

    This was such a laugh. This, I imagine, is the exact opposite of what my boyfriend goes through when he passes by a barbershop. He has unruly, waist-length hair (longer than mine, that jerk), and I suspect them barbers are tripping all over themselves trying to get him into their seats. He’ll have none of their nonsense, though, as I fully support his long-standing fight for his tresses.

    Then again, they might give him up as a totally lost cause. It could go either way. 😀

  88. Seti Matua says:

    Awesome post! I’ve been shaving my head for 16 years even though I have a full head of hair. I hate combs, mirrors, hair products and I concur – time spent in a barber chair is time I could have spent on other things. Thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  89. lol i will be wonder to know how guys shave your head

  90. lol i will be wonder to know how you guys shave your head

  91. JM says:

    I use a razor every morning. It actually takes me a few minutes longer when I am going for the bald look than when I let my hair grow and just cut it every few days. I greatly prefer having no hair but my girlfriend keeps pushing me to grow it back… So every few weeks I do. I do itnall myself though so I am still a “non-customer” for the most part. I have stopped in to have my face shaved every once in a while though.

  92. Keith says:

    Well Mr Deep, finally lost my hair to Alopecia Totalis when I was about twenty, over thirty years ago. Went to a medical consultant who said my hair was falling out because I may be stressed about something. So he says, “ What are you worried about?” I said…“Well my hair falling out”! It’s true what they say about viscous circles. Been totally bald ever since and saved a fortune in haircuts. No head hair,eyebrows, eyelashes and well….errmmm. Need I go on!! Have you seen the price of a barber in the UK? Power to the smoothies I say.

  93. I once dated a guy who was bald and I loved his look, but I would occasionally put wigs on him, just to see what he looked like with hair. It was a lot of fun! You may be the bane of barber shops, but you are a wig maker’s dream! 😉

    • Wigs. Yes, a ton of fun! A step further: over her shoulder, I position my wife’s hair on my upper lip at parties like a makeshift mustache. Everyone laughs but my wife. Still cool, though.

  94. leadinglight says:

    I have long and thick hair. It can go high as $70 for me but being bald is not an option.

  95. nik says:

    witty post, mate.
    great job 🙂

    and yeh i too agree, aside from having the guts to do away with vanity of having hair & the courage to shave it all off, one must also have a regularly shaped head…

    I remember the night i decided to try and go bald all the way:
    I had a bad day at work…. lots of issues to think about… watching dave letterman (and this was somewhat in the late 1998)….. saw the scissors and shaver, and just thought: What if??…

    now fast forward to 2011, i’m still as is: happily bald. very much less maintenance when getting for work… and very much puling if off well.

    don’t get me wrong: i can still grow a full mane anytime, but then i see the savings i do for NOT having hair… and the wife likewise encourages me to keep it off 🙂
    she likes the cleaner look: she says i look younger when i have hair and “don’t strike fear in the hearts of men…” in comparison to when i’m bald (whatever she means by that hahahaha).

    awesome post, man…..

  96. realanonymousgirl2011 says:


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