Bald, Bearded, and Brave: Using the Remington Shortcut Pro for a Zero Guard Buzz Cut from a Full Head of Hair

I have this ritual: Every year and a half, I shave my head with the Remington Shortcut Pro. I keep it that way for a couple of months, then I grow my hair back out. I have been routinely doing this since I was 21 years old.

Typically the response I get from people who have never seen me without hair is this: “Whoa! What did you do to your hair?… Actually, though… You can pull it off. It looks good on you.”

However, I know the secret:

The moment you shave off all your hair is the moment you have what it takes; that’s the moment you can pull it off.

It’s less how about a man looks with his hair shaved off and more about the idea it conveys:

“I am a man who is brave enough to base my identity completely apart from my hair.”

In other words, it’s announcing to the world that my hair is not part of my confidence. I say it’s silly and juvenile for a man to base any of his confidence in his hair, knowing that most men experience male pattern baldness at some point in their life.

And then once you had a beard to the equation, it sends that much more of a subliminal message of confidence out to the masses.

A man who rocks the bald head and the full beard is the man who broadcasts his masculinity.

As Mario Joyner pointed out in a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the beard is the one last thing that men still exclusively have.

There has never been a better time for men to shave off all their hair and grow their beards.

It takes a confident man, even a brave man, to shave off his hair.

So if you’re considering making that leap of masculinity, I highly recommend the Remington Shortcut Pro, as demonstrating in the video at the top of this article.

You can also check out the product on Amazon with this link: Remington Shortcut Pro

Lastly, I invite you to check out my YouTube channel, which is ultimately a celebration of the masculine identity and mindset.

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

We survived! Yay for us! With Baby Holly turning 6 weeks old as of yesterday, my wife and I have apparently made it through what I hear is the toughest part of the postpartum days: the first 6 weeks.

That first month or so is when you as the parent must figure out the details on what works best for your baby regarding sleeping schedules, formulas, and diapers. It’s a culture shock as a parent, even after already having one child. I knew it would be challenging going into it.

However, I must have kept my expectations lower than I needed to because, honestly, it hasn’t been that bad!

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

Despite us managing our newborn’s infant acid reflux, for the post part, things have been fairly predictable. There have really been just 10 simple steps to caring for our newborn during the first 6 weeks:

1)      Feed her an ounce, burp her. Repeat until each ounce is gone.

2)      Change her diaper.

3)      Play with her by talking to her and helping her do exercises.

4)      Take a cute picture of her.

5)      While you teach yourself newborn photography, by the default of taking so many pictures, Instagram your work to show it off to friends and family.

6)      Change her diaper.

7)      Wrap her up in a blanket and rock her to sleep with the pacifier in her mouth,

then place her in the crib.

8)      Change her diaper, now that she finally fell asleep but wet herself again.

9)      Rock her back to sleep and place her in the crib again.

10)  Repeat two and a half hours later when she wakes up again.

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

Those are my 10 simple steps. This has been my life for the past 6 weeks.

Granted, these 10 steps have been my wife’s reality more than mine, since she’s on maternity leave, but I still work during the day. A lot of the time my main responsibility is to take care of our 5 and a half year-old son Jack while my wife Jill takes care of the baby.

This past weekend I celebrated the end of those first 6 weeks by shaving off my postpartum beard, as well as getting a hair trim. As you can see though, I was unable to overcome the temptation of shaving (and Instagramming) in stages.

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

And if my eyes look bloodshot and cross-eyed, and I look like I need some ginseng because of lack of sleep, it’s probably true.

As for Baby Holly, she doesn’t have that problem so much…

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

Fare thee well.

Postpartum: My 10 Steps of Caring for a Newborn during the First 6 Weeks

Dear Holly: The Postpartum Beard and My Ability to Burp You

1 month old.

Dear Holly,

I love having a little baby girl! I really do. I love knowing I get to come home each day and hold you, talk to you in my special baby voice, stare at you, change your diapers, feed you, and perhaps most important to Mommy… burp you.

Oh yes, that’s one of the biggest ways I can help Mommy take care of you right now. It’s currently my exclusive niche.

Mommy actually depends on me to get that done each time either one of us feeds you. I have a special yet effortless way of sort of tossing you over my shoulder. You instantly seem at peace, as you do this combination of a purr and a grunt. Usually within a couple minutes, a huge burp escapes you.

It makes me feel good to know I have a new official super power.

You are now a month-old and I do admit, it doesn’t seem you should be that old already. The time has flown by. It hasn’t been chaotic, though. Mommy and I have naturally worked out a system to share the load of caring for you.

Your brother Jack is the only one at our house who gets to sleep through the night, but that’s alright. Mommy and I are teamed up to care for you as you need to be fed, changed, and burped every 3 hours.

In the midst of all this, I have accidently invented something I call… the Postpartum Beard.

I’m a low-maintenance, low-overhead kind of guy. Therefore, I traditionally just shave once a week, every Sunday; so I’m only clean-shaven that one day and then quite stubbly for the rest of the week.

This has been my tradition for quite a while now. But now, it’s clearly been more than a week since I’ve used my Norelco.

I know people typically associate the word “postpartum” with depression, but the word simply means “following childbirth.”  I have a feeling I’m not the only dad of a newborn out there who like me, accidentally ended up with a beard.

The Postpartum Beard demonstrates something we as happily married men already know, something that apparently the media will never choose to legitimately celebrate:

As far as all of my friends who are dads, we are all very involved as parents; even with infants.

I personally don’t know of even one happily married dad who doesn’t get up in the middle of the night to help his wife with the crying baby. To me, that’s simply a given.

That doesn’t make us heroes or even special. It makes us good modern husbands and good modern fathers, which is something that we find much identity in as men, here in the year 2016. It’s masculine to sacrifice sleep and hobbies for our babies and kids.

And it’s pretty masculine to have a super power of being able to burp a baby.

You and I are a good match. Thanks for burping so easily for me.



Being a Handsome Man Vs. Being a Hot Guy

And why it ultimately doesn’t matter anyway thanks to a little something called “charm”.

Recently I asked my facebook friends via my status update, this question:

Females, I need your input for something I’m writing: What is the difference between a guy who is “handsome” and a guy who is “hot, sexy, etc.”?

To summarize the similarities of the responses, with a man who is “hot” there is an attraction (mostly physical), whereas  with a man who is “handsome” is someone who simply is a good-looking guy, though there is not necessarily any kind of attraction there.  Of course the ironic thing about this can best be summed up by what my friend Holly Arnesen said:

“if i refer to a guy as handsome, it usually means that physically speaking he’s nicely put together, but doesn’t necessarily mean i’m attracted. hot and sexy usually has to do with more than what a guy looks like. like some women think intelligence is sexy so, they’ll go for a smart guy over one that they think is nicer to look at.  i once heard someone say, ‘men fall in love with women they are attracted to, and women are attracted to the men they fall in love with.’ i’m not a guy, but i’m pretty sure this tends to be way things go.”

On the right, Bronson Pinchot, who played "Balki" on Perfect Strangers.

What enticed me to walk up to my future wife on October 5, 2006 and talk to her the very first time I saw her from across a large crowded room was her appearance.  Though it wasn’t until four months later to the day, on our first date (I knew it was a date but she didn’t until it was over), that she actually thought of me in any kind of romantic way.  My physical looks were irrelevant to the equation up until the point I made it clear I was interested in her, given that I’d shared with her my personality and character prior to day that we crossed the line from being friends to dating.

Until we started dating, I was just another average-looking dude.  A forgettable face.  Perhaps the most memorable physical trait would have been my dark hair.  Based on the celebrities that people have told me I look like in the last couple of years (“Cory Matthews” from Boy Meets World, “Balki” from Perfect Strangers, “Ross” from Friends, as well as David Arquette and Paul Rudd), I evidently have the looks of a Jewish-American comedian, which all of those Nick Shell look-alikes are.  Men that are remembered not for their looks, but for their personalities and talent.  Are those men handsome?  Sure, why not.  It’s irrelevant either way.

Ben Savage, who played "Corey Matthews" on Boy Meets World.

Speaking of David Schwimmer, I don’t believe anyone could have played the part of Ross better.  But to be part of one of the most popular romantic American TV couples ever, he was a very ordinary looking guy.  Fans of Friends always think of Ross and Rachel fondly, though never once have I ever heard anyone comment good or bad on David Schwimmer’s looks.  But regarding Jennifer Aniston, it’s not that way at all. Her looks were so relevant she actually started a hairstyle craze in 1995 called “The Rachel”.

When my wife and I reminisce on when we first started dating, she always says, “You always had interesting stuff to say so I knew we’d never run out of things to talk about.”  It’s possible that’s what won her over.  My quirkiness.  Some people would call it my ability to “think some crazy crap up”.  Others more reverently refer to it as “thinking deeply”.   My lifelong habit of daydreaming during math and science class definitely paid off.  I charmed her.

So if a guy is simply average-looking, how can he improve his situation?  The “Makeover Week” on the TV show The Biggest Loser would tell us he would need to slim down, get his hair cut shorter, shave off his beard, and wear nicer clothes.  But I know my wife always prefers me to wear jeans, t-shirt, and a ball cap, and she never notices or cares whether I have a beard or not.  There’s really no official way for a schlub or average Joe to gain “handsomeness” or “sexiness” since that’s up to the girl they’re trying to attract.

The more colorful and eye-catching cockatiel bird is on the right. The female is on the left.

And I think that’s why it’s a guy thing to not care as much about our appearance as females do.  Because unlike male birds (which are always more attractive and attention-grabbing than the females they attract), male humans know they can attract a woman who is out of their league looks-wise as long as they are funny enough, smart enough, rich enough, strong enough, sensitive enough, or whatever else it takes to charm their love interest.  From Doug Heffernan to Barney Rubble, charm certainly has its advantages.

Must Not Mustache: Young White Men Can’t Be Taken Seriously with a Mustache

Why do none of my friends have a mustache?  I’d say a lot of it has to do with the fact that most of my friends are within 5 years of my age, meaning that I don’t know any 24 to 34 year olds who are mustachioed.  The mustache could quite possibly be a dying tradition, with the exception of cops.

Recently I saw an independent movie called Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman and Jewish comedian Jack Black.  For the first 30 minutes of the movie, Jack Black has a mustache.  During that time, he apologetically explains to everyone that he recently had a beard but while he was shaving it off he thought it would be funny to just keep a mustache.  But eventually he shaves it because he doesn’t feel like he can be taken seriously by anyone.

Good point.

Can a man under the age of, let’s say, 40 years old be taken seriously if he has a mustache?

Yes.  But there are definite rules to making it work:

1)     Be a cop, as previously mentioned.  It just sort of goes with the job.  In fact, I don’t think I could take a cop seriously UNLESS he has a mustache.


2)     Be an African American man.  I’ve never seen an African American man who didn’t look good with a mustache.  Will Smith is the epitome.  In fact, I remember on the show Scrubs when Donald Faison shaved his mustache, it bothered me.  Heck, African American men can even pull off the even riskier goatee without exception.  (See Chris Rock and/or Darius Rucker.)

It’s no coincidence that in the sitcom My Name is Earl that Earl Hickey had a mustache.  He was a white guy under 40 who was a loveable idiot.  To enhance his character trait of being out of touch of social expectations, he had to have a mustache.

What’s really interesting is that in a recent study, it was discovered that mustachioed men earn 8% per more money that bearded men, and 4% more than clean shaven men.  Not only that, but men with mustaches are more likely to hired during a job interview.–More-Money-63930997.html

So does that mean that I am being discriminated against by my own society?  A culture that refuses to take seriously white men with mustaches under 40?  Am I simply at a disadvantage until 11 years from now when I become of age?

I am missing out on a 4% to 8% salary increase over this.  Maybe it’s worth a shot to at least try.

(Looks to stage left, rubs chin for dramatic effect, then begins to plot a bad idea…)

Click here to see what happened next: Operation: Mustache (A Social Experiment)

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on mustaches, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one