Bald Is Beautiful This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 19, 2012
Let's discuss an important topic: nudity of the scalp. You may not understand the importance of bald men and women; here's a chance to gain positive insight into the world of these rare and unique people. You will, hopefully, gain an appreciation of the bald head by the time you return to your thoughts and daily doings.

Images of comical bald characters may be jumping around in your mind right now: Captain Picard, Squidward, Homer Simpson. These, unfortunately, are some of the strongest symbols of the bald nation currently. Having no hair has become synonymous with an older man, the grumpy neighbor, the criminal, the sick. Baldness is not commonly viewed as respectable or strong. But you must be informed that, yes, the bald head can be found on those who are brilliant, young, and incredible as well as on the dimwitted and elderly! It can be found on men and women. It can be found on the heads of the creative, the quiet, the tough.

This new age has tremendous possibilities for baldness. It no longer needs to be associated with just the deranged spacemen and obnoxious cartoon characters. It is so much more than that. So come, my friends, and look past what twentieth-century life has shown you and see what the twenty-first century holds for baldness.

The shaved head has many benefits. Think back to the last time you got sweaty. You were chasing a ball down the court; it was 100 degrees and the air conditioner was broken; you were standing behind a podium, ranting about one thing or another. That's when your body became overheated and you began to sweat. Sweat is meant to evaporate into the air, cooling your body, but the hair covering your head works like a net, holding sweat in. With no hair to trap sweat, a naked head does not have to endure such nonsense and easily cools itself.

You might be thinking, Well, that's great if you live in Florida, but chilly regions call for a self-grown heating system! Not true. After thousands of years of evolution, our bodies know how and when to get rid of or hold in heat. It's simple to keep warm. Let your body do its job, or if that's not enough, get a stylish cap!

The scalp, like any part of the body, sheds dead skin cells, no matter the season. Dandruff occurs when the scalp sheds thick flakes of dead cells that are visible and undesirable. If you have hair, you will have dandruff. You may have it now or you may get it tomorrow, but all hairy heads endure it. With no hair to hold dead cells on the scalp, the bald head is not prone to dandruff because skin can shed easily and invisibly.

Those who have hair also face threats like lice and ringworm. These are not friends you are pleased to find. Head lice, also known as cooties, live within the hair – clinging with sharp claws – and feed on blood and skin. These parasites can carry germs and diseases and spread easily from person to person through contact and sharing brushes, combs, hats, and pillows. Ringworm, on the other hand, is a fungus. It also thrives within the hair of the scalp, but instead of sucking blood, it devours keratin, the protein that gives hair its solid form. When affected by ringworm, hairs break off the scalp, creating ugly patchiness.

Besides all this destroying and feasting and ­bloodsucking, a person naturally sheds between 70 and 100 hairs a day as hairs are forced from the scalp to allow new hair to grow. What happens to the hair that falls out? It ends up in your sheets, clothing, and food. Men and women from ancient Egypt shaved their heads for the sake of cleanliness. Keeping hair clean and fresh is costly and time-consuming. Getting rid of hair is clean, fast, and cheap. What else could you ask for?

Strength. Today, strength is seen through many shapes, sizes, and forms. And baldness happens to be one of them. The actress Natalie Portman had her hair completely shaved for the movie “V for Vendetta” in 2006. She explained in an interview that she “was excited to have the opportunity to throw vanity away for a little while and go around with no hair.” She had no fear or shame in getting rid of the one aesthetic feature of the body that has been continuously important to the human race for centuries.

According to This Magazine, “girls have been conditioned to equate beauty with hair.” It has been imbedded into the human mind since before time that hair is what makes us beautiful. Hair makes us who we are. Hair is our identity. It helps create first impressions. If you do not have striking hair you are nobody.

Sound familiar? In recent history, white skin was considered the most alluring complexion. Women who wore pants were considered revolting, and the same applied to men in dresses. Those who were different were sinners, troublemakers, flawed. Happily, diversity is encouraged today. It takes admirable strength to stand baldly before others, letting the light reflect off one's scalp, and smile. Being bald shows that you are ready to break old ­social codes. Being bald shows that you care about more than just appearances. Your dignity is not stripped from you when you are stripped of hair.

How can anyone deny the allure of the shaved head? Not only does it add to the diversity of humankind, but it drives us to be who we are. The bare skin of a scalp echoes strength and reflects the joyous light of day. It states, “I am who I am, and I do not fear showing it.”

I hope this has made you consider dusting off that old buzzer and getting rid of all that hair weighing you down. But if not, hopefully the next time you pass a shining head you will greet it with respect and a smile. The bald head is a part of today. So let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Breece6 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

Very well written article, but as for the part about our bodies knowing how to heat themselves in the cold.  That's very true, but hair is usually the way our body chooses to heat its head.  


I don't know if you have, but I've had a shaved and non-shaved head before, and I definitely noticed the shave head being colder.  


Other than that though, nice article!

murrayzz1 replied...
Jul. 27, 2012 at 6:24 am

It's true that a bald head dissipates heat - up to a point. 


The problem comes when you get really hot and start to sweat.


When a person with hair sweats, the sweat is absorbed by the hair, and the greater surface area of the hair means that the sweat evaporates faster. This draws heat from the head and hence has a cooling effect.


For a bald person, the sweat simply runs off the head. The cooling effect is lost, and the perso... (more »)

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