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Grew It Out to Shave It Off by Bald Surfer
There are a lot of stories on this site about guys who loved their hair and cried when they were forced to part with it. This is NOT one of those stories...
The summer after my junior year in high school, I got a job working at a local day camp. I was an avid swimmer and really wanted a lifeguard position, but they said that their insurance required lifeguards had to be at least 18 years old. So instead I had to work as a counselor. On the first day, when it was time to take my group swimming, we got to the pool and I was checking out the lifeguards to see who got the job I really wanted. And down at the deep end, high in his chair was Billy C - captain of the football team, one of the most popular guys in school, etc. You know the type. Although I knew who he was, he didn't know me. I didn't travel in that circle of cool popular kids. I was no geek, but I wasn't "elite" either. But there was Billy, sitting in the life guard chair and instead of the perfectly styled blonde hair he sported all year, he was shaved totally bald. I couldn't help staring at his shining head. The shaved part of his head was much whiter than his face, but I couldn't believe how awesome he looked with a bald head. It seemed to fit his muscular, ripped body.
My own hair was intentionally shaggy in a planned messy style - kind of like a dark haired Owen Wilson. I never went in for the buzz cuts that so many of my friends had gotten. I liked my look. And I certainly never considered shaving my head. You never really saw guys shaved bald at my school, except when the swim team was competing. But every day at the pool, I kept staring at Billy's bald head. He must have shaved every day because I never saw a hint of stubble. And as the summer went on, and his head tanned up to match his face and body, I couldn't stop thinking about how I would look that way. I wasn't as big as Billy, but I worked out and had a lean but pretty ripped body. Could I pull off that look? I kept thinking about it, but never acted on it. And I really never spoke to Billy about it. I thought that would be odd, since we never really spoke before.
Towards the end of the summer, the camp threw a weekend party for the staff. Billy and I ended up on the same team for volleyball. Between games, I finally got up the nerve to tell him how cool I thought he looked with a shaved head, and asked him what made him do it.
"I figured that if I was going to be sitting in the hot sun every day all summer, I'd feel cooler without hair. I was going to shave it at the start of the summer and then just let it grow out, but I liked it and so does my girl, so I just kept shaving. And I'm playing college football in Florida, so I figure the bald head will help me beat the heat during practices, so I guess I'll keep at it for awhile. You gonna try it?"
I told him I'd thought about it since seeing him, but summer was almost over anyway. I didn't tell Billy, but in my mind I already knew that next summer, when I was old enough for the life guard job, I was going to be bald too. There was absolutely no doubt about it. I told my buddies about my plan and they laughed at me and said I'd never have the nerve. They said I never was even brave enough to buzz it like they did. I never mentioned it to them again, but I knew I would follow through and they'd be surprised when i actually did it. And I decided, just to make the change REALLY dramatic, I wouldn't cut my hair all school year, so I'd have a lot to shave off.
All year, my hair got longer and longer. The longer it got, the more annoying it seemed. More work. More mess. And my resolve to shave it all off became stronger and stronger. By June, the back was past my shoulders and the front constantly fell into my eyes. I couldn't wait to get rid of it.
The camp called me at the end of June to tell me I had the lifeguard job. My plan was coming together. I had to go to a pre-camp staff meeting a week before the camp opened, and at the pool, ready to serve as a lifeguard again was Billy and he was still bald! I say "still" because he had no tan lines, so I assumed that he never grew it back. Now I really couldn't wait to shave mine.
The Sunday before camp started, I went to Walmart to buy clippers. They had something called "Balding Clippers" and since my goal was bald, not buzzed, they seemed to be the perfect choice. I took them home, ran straight up to my bathroom and locked the door. I took the clippers out of the box, oiled them like the instructions said. I took off my shirt, plugged the clippers in and stared in the mirror at my shaggy mess. I had no doubts. I was really excited about shaving my head bald. I switched the clippers on, and the powerful motor started to hum and the clipper vibrated in my hand and suddenly it all seemed real and a little scary. My stomach was suddenly tied in a knot of fear. But I thought about how I'd grown to hate my long hair and how awesome Billy looked with his head shining in the sun. Before I could give myself a chance to back out, I placed the clippers at the center of my forehead and pushed them backward through my hair. Those balding clippers tore through my long thick hair with ease and as six inches of hair fell into the sink there was now a bald stripe down the middle of my head. With no way out, my momentary anxiety eased and I continued to shear off the top of my hair. Then I placed the clippers at the bottom of my right sideburn and pushed up through to the top of my now bald head. In just a few minutes, the sink was filled with a mop of dark hair and my head was nearly bald. The balding clippers took it down to a sandpaper of stubble but with my dark hair it was still visible. I stood there staring at the new me and coudn't believe how much I liked it. I already couldn't ever imagine having hair on my head again. But I wasn't done yet.
I washed my head with warm water and covered it with shaving cream. It looked so strange. I took my razor, placed it near the bottom of my right ear and slowly shaved upward toward the top of my head. What a rush! Stroke after upward stroke, I worked my way around the back and to the other side, finishing where my left sideburn used to be. Only the top remained. As I shaved that first stroke front to back, I had the oddest sensation - there's a sound that you hear "inside" your head when you run a razor over it. Anyone who has ever shaved their head knows what I'm talking about. A few minutes later, after I'd finished shaving, I ran my hand over my head, shaving down the few rough spots that I'd missed. And there in the mirror, staring back at me was a gleaming bald head - a little whiter than my face, but I knew that would quickly resolve since I would spend every day in the sun.
I walked downstairs. My mom saw me and screamed "What did you do?". I told her it was something I wanted to try for the summer and she stood there crying. My dad just laughed and said "whatever you want. it's your head." I went out to meet my buddies and when I walked in, they didn't even recognize me until I said hello. They couldn't believe I did it. Until that moment, they'd barely remembered that I even planned it. But after the initial shock, they all thought I looked good. Tougher. More manly. 2 guys even started talking about doing it themselves.
The next day was the first day of camp. I woke up, ran my hand over my head and it felt as stubbly as it did after the clippers yesterday, so I showered and shaved the whole thing all over again, going over missed spots until it was as smooth as possible. I was mart enough to apply lots of sunscreen, and headed to my first day of work. I checked in with the pool supervisor who laughed and asked if the lifeguards decided that they all had to be bald. I just said it was something I wanted to try and besides, it would beat the heat. He told me to take the chair at the shallow end. I walked out to the pool, climbed up into the chair. Billy looked across the pool, saw me and my shining bald head. He smiled, ran his hand over his own bald head and gave me a thumbs up. After our shift, Billy came over t me and told me that he thought my head looked even better than his. We became good friends that summer and we both stayed smooth and bald.They started calling us the Skin Twins. When I headed off to college, i was still bald. Nobody there ever knew me with hair, and I doubt they ever will...