Baring it all: Bald has become beautiful

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2003

That moment of discovery, that lightbulb-atop-the-head revelation, shines at a different time for every man.

For some, it's early their 20s or 30s. Others don't deal with follicular challenges until they are pushing 50 or older.

Fortunately for the aging baby boomers and their seniors, the younger generation is making their seniors' receding hairlines less painful.

In fact, some of the 50-plus crowd is jumping on the "power balding" bandwagon, skipping that tiny smooth spot in back and going directly to completely shaved heads.

Call it a pre-emptive strike, but today bald is more beautiful than ever, or at least more trendy.

In fact, it's a fashion statement. One can find skinheads around their offices, on their television sets in sports and movies and even in their churches or civic clubs.

One Internet Web site,, even includes lists of sports players who dare to bare it all including "Bare Bears," "Buffalo Bills Baldies"and, of course, "Basket Bald."

And many of these guys voluntarily flipped their lids. So what's so hard about former hippies pushing 50 or 60 joining the Bald is Beautiful club?

Otto Harz recalls the moment about four years ago when he decided to surrender to smooth, to give glabrousness a try.

A Corvette owner, Harz likes convertibles. He was driving one when he received his "shining light" revelation.

With hair already thin on top, Harz was driving on the freeway with the top off his convertible when he looked in the rear-view mirror. The hair on the sides of his head was blowing straight out.

"I decided I didn't want to look like Bozo," Harz said. "Unlike some of these guys I've seen, I'm not vain enough to have to cover up that bald spot."

The fear of a bad comb-over is what prompted Jim Holston to take lather up top. He uses a straight razor to shave the top of his head.

Harz's first step was to trim the hair atop his head and comb what was left straight back. It was his 29-year-old son who offered up a head-shaving challenge that cut close to home for Mike, the younger Harz.

"I said if you do it, I'll do it," Mike Harz said. "So I had to keep my word."

Today, both still remain among the ranks of the bold and the bald. Its simplicity, a quick towel rub in the morning after his shower, is among its charm.

"I haven't combed my hair in four years," the elder Harz said.

And once people realized that Harz didn't have cancer, they got used to it, too.

Holston used to be unmerciful about making fun of men with comb-overs.

"Why can't you see that it's a hair cap that lifts up when the wind hits," Holston said.

In retrospect, though, he said he knows several men who wear toupees that look good.

But people tell him that he looks younger now he's shaved off the gray.

But he gets bald jokes every once in a while.

For instance: "I can't see. Put your cap on." Now he makes fun of himself. He calls his baseball cap a "soft top for his convertible."

But it's been OK.

"If this is my worst problem, this is not bad," he said.

Marlene Feduris is a reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News.

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