And Now, In News Unrelated to the Election

Me, having trimmed back my hair rather severely.

I’ve been annoyed with my hair a lot recently; it’s sort of gotten a look that I can only describe as “consistently failed comb over,” which is not a look that I think is great either for me or for people in general. So today I decided to do something about it, and after consultation with and approval from Krissy, who after all has to look at my head on a regular basis, I went ahead and took a pair of clippers to my head and made all my hairs a consistent 5 millimeter height.

And… I think it looks fine! This is not the first time I’ve done this — I did this for a while most of a decade ago — but more to the point my hair is not annoying me anymore. Maybe it will have learned its lesson and will not grow out again in comb-over mode. And if it does, well. I still have the clippers.

— JS

46 Comments on “And Now, In News Unrelated to the Election”

  1. Excellent! As someone with much the same hairdo, I think it looks good. And it is so easy to take care of! Just get up, and you’re done.

  2. For what it’s worth, this is pretty much what you look like on the inside of my OMW paperback from 2007-ish, so good on you.

  3. Most of my adult life I’ve kept my hair long enough to keep it in a simple brush-back (or, for several decades, in a ponytail).

    But at 68, my hairline is retreating as if it were Napoleon’s army and my eyebrows were Moscow, with a similar ongoing decimation in numbers of individual strands. So I’ve been musing on going buzzcut, or perhaps full shavehead.

  4. I decided long ago that I’d rather look bald than vain. My trigger for the next bout with clippers is a bad hair day.

  5. Clippers are essentially the only hairstyling I do, so I thoroughly approve of this.

  6. I have much the same hairline and started doing the same thing when I was about the same age as you. An advantage in the time of the plague is that I can let my wife cut my hair and not worry about how it will look.

  7. Congratulations. I came to the same conclusion years ago. I don’t have much hair left, but it’s not trying to cover the whole real estate which is my noggin. You’ll save money on haircuts, but will make up for it with hats. To keep your head warm in the winter and shield it from sun in the summer. But don’t worry. It’s only hair.

  8. First, you’ve got a good head shape for ultra-short hair or the complete lack thereof. So congratulations on that.
    Second, if your wife is good with it, I encourage you to keep it that way. It looks great! It’s stylish and neat!

  9. I do the same. No hassles, no vanity. Just wear a hat on sunny days so you don’t sunburn your scalp. That hurts.

  10. Welcome to the club! A combination of a receding hairline, a growing bald spot and a huge chunk of hair missing over my left temple due to radiation and chemotherapy has had me shaving my entire head for about a decade. For years before that I trimmed it down with a #2 and never had to think about it or pay a barber. I cannot recommend the look highly enough. It’s maintenance-free and you’ll never spend another penny on shampoo or barbers. More importantly, it projects confidence. Rocking a shaved scalp states very clearly that you don’t give a damn about your hair and you don’t care who knows it.

  11. My Covid-19 silver lining is that about a month into the shutdown I bought electric hair clippers and discovered that they work just fine. I too benefit from having little hair to begin with, so it’s not as if a professional haircut can accomplish much more than I can do myself. It’s just that I no longer for the privilege.

  12. My wife has veto power over how my hair is cut. She’s the one who has to look at it all the time, after all; I see it in the mirror for a few seconds a couple of times a day.

  13. Tempting. And a good opportunity to have the dermatologist take a look, for those of us in the Coppertone Suntan Oil age bracket.

  14. The best thing is, that haircut can last for months in a pinch. But…not months and months, unless you dig the mad scientist look…so, yeah clippers.
    (speaking, of course, for a friend)

  15. There’s a lot to be said for absence of annoyance. There’s also a lot to be said for not looking like Stephen Miller. Wise to let Krissy choose.

  16. One more for the overall clipper buzz cut. I’ve gone without a guard for the last 15 years or so, and for 10 years before that with a small guard (I’m 45 now). The key to balding gracefully (in addition to not caring), is to cunningly start shaving your head a decade before the balding starts, so there’s not much change when the time comes.

  17. #2 shear on the old barber’s clips and about 5 minutes of work has kept my head properly aligned for a while.

    If you’re going with clippers, a good set is worth the money.

  18. Bald is sexy! My bf is grey and balding (think early seasons Picard) and it’s freaking hot

    I love that you two consult but don’t dictate each other’s hair choices. We have the same deal. We had to make it because we started dating in February and I needed a cut then and by the time I was able to get one she removed several inches. He didn’t indicate a strong opinion pre-cut but I told him if he really didn’t like it I was open for future negotiations. Luckily – I like my hair really short! – he liked it fine.

  19. 5mm? when my hair gets that long, my wife can use my head as a scrubby, that’s when I know it’s time to shave

  20. Eventually I got tired of the “hungover Ben Franklin” look and took the clippers to it all.

    It was liberating. And easy to maintain.

    Welcome (back) to the club!

  21. After 7 months of quarantine, my husband begged, pleaded, cajoled and finally coerced me, a woman who shouldn’t be allowed to wield scissors in any capacity whatsoever, into cutting his hair. It didn’t look too bad, and why does anyone need more than one ear anyway? Next time I’ll order clippers and make him do it himself. (Yours looks very nice, and you appear to still have 2 ears. Go you!)

  22. You’re braver than I am. I’ve been trying to talk myself into this for months as my hairline is basically identical to yours and my reaction to the way my hair looks is the same as yours. Just haven’t been able to talk myself into pulling the trigger.

  23. Started doing the 00000 clippers ten years ago and never looked back. So much easier to style my hair with a washcloth, after all. And your eyebrows may do as mine have done and take you into Brezhnev Invitational/Londo Molliari cosplay territory. If you’re into that, of course.

  24. Along with starring in several very enjoyable movies, the best thing Bruce Willis ever did for the world was show middle-aged white guys with thinning hair that shaving or buzzing it is a fantastic option.

    (Not that I think Bruce is your direct inspiration, but you’re old enough to remember when “going bald” was considered unthinkable. Bruce—and Michael Jordan—demonstrated how false that was, and made the buzz/shave option mainstream.)

  25. My husband and I call that his “Charlie Brown mode” because the tuft in the middle front of his head grows much more quickly than the rest of it. The clippers came out for him recently too.

    I have to say that I’m a bit jealous of both of you. I lost my hair while taking chemo a few years ago, and while I certainly hope that I never need chemo again, I really loved being bald.

  26. After years of my urging, my husband went full Jean-Luc Picard a couple of years ago. COVID meant he let it grow, and grow, and grow….until it was almost touching his collar. At that point we got out the clippers and returned him to his proper state. He likes not having to comb it. I, on the other hand, from having extremely short hair, can now gather mine in a pony tail. Yeesh. Hate it. Mark S, the first day is a shock, but honestly, after you get over it, you’ll love the freedom.

    Yours looks great, gracious host.

  27. A couple of years ago I went to having my hair lady clip me as short as possible. Now I use a trimmer at home with no guard so that I’m not bald, but just have stubble (organic sandpaper). Still have my jawline beard, though.

  28. I do mine a bit longer, 13mm overall & tapered down to 7 – 8 at the sides and back with the vacuum clippers, probably due for another soon. With the vacuum attached there’s little mess and almost no cleanup. That’s been my solution for the last decade plus.

  29. Would that plush cuts were more fashionable for women in general, no matter their orientation, religious status or current state of health. Buzz it all off, save heaps of time every day, and forget about expensive shampoos, salon visits and styling products, all of which attract the “pink tax.”

    As it is, a really short ‘do on a woman is usually a signifier for any of: chemo, recent ordination as a nun, or same-sex preference. Unless one is Natalie Portman or Sinéad O’Connor.

  30. I’ve not had a hair cut since sometime in the 1980s. Combined with male pattern baldness, it looks really bad. Since I’m a recluse, I don’t much care about that. Since I’m in Chicago, a little bit of extra insulation during the winter is worth it, especially combined with the ease of maintenance.

  31. My partner has been cutting his hair with the dog clippers for decades. After I retired (or maybe after I got old enough to not give a ratsass what I look like) I started using the dog clippers too. Going from mid-back hair length to longest available dog clipper blade length cut ten or twenty minutes off my shower time. Shoulda done it years earlier.
    @Shrinking Violet above. Not personally on chemo, but Yeah, I can always say I did it in solidarity for my partner, who is.

  32. along with rmichaelroman, I value the insulation longer hair provides–mine being curly. Having inherited female pattern baldness from my mother’s side, without Rogaine I was starting to look like my mother (same shaped skull), and that would never do. I use scissors to cut it every couple of months, it looks OK, the curliness adding a forgiveness factor. i like the feel of very short hair, but don’t like it cold in the winter. In any event, the short look is good on you, sir.

  33. This is the News We Needed. Thank goodness you don’t have a funny-shaped head like one of my colleagues who finally got rid of the combover to find that his head was kinda pointy!

  34. Quite the difference from the “Six Views of Scalzi” photos… which I fear looked a bit like documenting the common descendant of Count Balthar (as played by John Colicos), and Governor Kodos (“The Executioner”) of Tarsus IV (as played by Arnold Moss).

    This is good. Less fuel for my nightmares.

    Plus it looks good. (Says a guy who hasn’t let his hair grow longer than 3mm in two decades.)