« News Briefs—Latham Offers Cooking Lessons to Female Lawyers | Main | Munger Tolles Hiring Partner Says Diversity Is Still Elusive »

Your Bald Spot

Vivia Chen

April 24, 2012

Patrick-Steward_©wikipedia & bald-lawyersWho says I don't write enough fashion posts for men? I'm going for it, diving straight into a topic that's undeniably male. Next to being short, losing their hair (can we be frank and say "going bald"?) is something that men get awfully touchy about.

For whatever reason, hair is still equated with virility. I guess ever since Samson met Delilah, men have been watchful of their locks.

What should men do to curb the wrath of nature? Get hair transplants? Wear toupees?

Hell no! The macho thing is to embrace your impending baldness. Better yet, get a head start and shave your head. That's the advice of Daniel Jones, a writer for the style section of The New York Times. Reports Jones:

Head shaving has gone prime time. And not a moment too soon for guys like me, who would never have had the guts to take such a drastic measure if so many men hadn’t acted so bravely to make an odd look so mysteriously hip.

The advantages of head shaving, says Jones, "are almost too many to count." Among them: "No chance of going gray, no wet hair after a shower or swim, no haircut bill, no bed head, no risk of infestation with hair lice from your third grader."

But let's put those practicalities aside and go back to the real issue, which is whether having a head of hair is still essential to your ego (and, by extension, your career). I know a couple of male lawyers who spent a small fortune on hair transplants, though I can't say that it altered the course of their careers (or love life).

Personally, I don't really understand why men are so sensitive about going bald. I rarely notice whether a man has thinning hair. And I've never heard of a woman who refused to date someone because of his hairline. (It's not the hair loss but the combover that's the deal killer.)

Of course, if you are already in a positon of power, the issue recedes, so to speak. That said, if I had to make an aesthetic choice between someone with thinning hair versus a bald guy, I'd go for the baldy. I don't know if it's a Yul Brynner or Patrick Stewart thing, but I think bald men exude a certain authority and mystique. 

Indeed, The Am Law 100 is full of luminaries who are bald—like Latham & Watkins's Robert Dell, Jones Day's Joe Sims, and Kirkland & Ellis's James Sprayregen (pictured above, left to right). Whether they achieved that look by shaving their heads, I have no idea. As for whether they exude the same sexuality as Patrick Stewart—well, I'll let you decide.

What do you think? Shouldn't male lawyers with thinning hair just take it all off? Wouldn't that elevate the style quotient at your firm?

 Related post: "Your Gray Hair."

 

Get the latest from The Careerist—free! Sign up today--see box on upper right corner.

Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at [email protected]

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I guess men going bald is not an issue anymore. However, women going bald bears the public stigma.

Bald is good for some guys with thinking hair; for others, the answer is a transplant, or Toppik.

There are a lot of women who don't like when a guy is losing his hair, especially if the guy is not tall.

Men getting sensitive about a retreating hairline are sensitive for the same reason women say things like "does this make my ass look fat?"

It's a self-perceived flaw. A source of insecurity.

And shaving is not always a cure. There are a lot of shaved heads out there with weird bumps, ridges, and blinding shininess.

I very much love my husband of over thirty years. And, as someone who helps lawyers grow their books (average 20%) and recruits lawyers for a living, I think he is an outstanding lawyer. By the way, he is bald.

As a guy who "receded" during college and law school, "thinned" during my thirties and (gulp) "balded" during my forties, this post really hit home. I tried all the pharma cures, with nasty side effects, before embracing my baldness.

We should make a distinction, however, between a close cut with clippers and head shaving. Shaving can make you look like an aspiring MMA fighter, and if your head is oddly shaped, it just doesn't work. The more professional, lawyerly look is the close cut.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Subscribe to get The Careerist via e-mail

Enter your e-mail address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

To search across all ALM blogs, go to www.Lexis.com.