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Bald Is The New Sexy In Hollywood Hairstyles

Updated on August 05, 2015

Hair Today...

Bald has not always been considered beautiful. Balding men have been often portrayed as objects of humor. Shaven pates were historically reserved for tonsured members of religious orders, or for the hyper-intelligent but often inhumane aliens from the annals of science fiction epics.

I remember reading an interview in which Hollywood icon John, The Duke, Wayne, decried the lack of privacy afforded him by the Hollywood press, stating he had to dive below deck to put on his hair-piece whenever they flew over his yacht. Heaven forfend he should be photographed au natural. Thinning hair was fine, but baldness was unacceptably non-macho.

In recent times, however, shaven heads have become mucho macho. No longer the sole purview of the bumbling, benighted, and perennially girl-friendless; the super-intellectuals; and the other-worldly. Bald is now considered hot stuff. In the world of action-adventure, bald is the new tall, dark and dangerous - butt-kickin' bad, and downright sexy!

Bruce "Machismo" Willis
Bruce "Machismo" Willis
Yul Brynner in The King & I
Yul Brynner in The King & I
Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven
Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Mr. Brynner

Bursting into the North American consciousness in Broadway's The King and I, Yul Brynner was among the first to popularize the bare skull - in fact, it became his trademark.

Exotically handsome and possessed of a sensual, dark-chocolate and brandy singing voice, this son of Romany brought a certain elegance to every role, no matter how dangerous his character.

From the world-weary yet fiercely moral hired gun in The Magnificent Seven, to the robotic parody of that role in the 1970s adventure flick, Westworld, he always projected an aura of edgy magnetism.

Samuel L. Jackson in S.W.A.T.
Samuel L. Jackson in S.W.A.T.

Tall, Dark and Dangerous...

If Samuel L. Jackson doesn't meet the criteria for this category, no one does.

This versatile, talented actor gave new meaning to "dangerous" in Pacific Heights with his portrayal of the psychotic next-door neighbour who happened to be a policeman.

His shaved head lent an air of menace to his mature good looks, making his character wildly, if frighteningly, attractive.

A face only a mother could love?
A face only a mother could love?

Iconic Alien Baldness

Bald is not only hot these days, it is also cute and cuddly. The first alien to break through the "bald aliens are scary and evil" school of thought came to us from of Stephen Spielberg.

E.T., the Extraterrestrial quickly became an iconic figure. Quotations from the movie have made their way into everyday speech. Phrases such as "E.T., phone home..." have become a part of our modern lexicon.

From the Silver Screen to the Silver Diodes...

"A long time ago, when the earth was green"... television sets used to contain a big old vacuum tube. The technology relied on silver and barium oxide, diodes,and very large capacitors.

At that time most TV stations broadcast a black and white test pattern when they came on the air - in my part of the world, that was a First Nations Chief in full war bonnet against a circular grid. This graphical combination allowed you to visually adjust the horizontal and vertical controls to achieve the best proportions before the actual programming started.

Then would begin the daily ritual of tweaking the dials and carefully aligning the antennas to achieve maximum picture quality. Known as rabbit ears, the antenna consisted of a pair of telescoping metal rods that sprouted from a central, rounded, skullcap-shaped base.

In larger centers, the reception was usually sufficiently stable to ensure a great picture most days. In rural areas, though, the adjustment ritual often included adding a ball of crumpled tinfoil or steel wool to one or both of the rabbit ears to miraculously clear the snowy picture.

But I digress...

Not to be outdone by hair styles on silver screen, tonsorial splendor on the television screen kept pace with Hollywood.

Telly Savalas as Kojack
Telly Savalas as Kojack

Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Telly Savalas was one of the first TV stars in a prime-time series to promote the manliness of a smooth-top shave. His title character, Kojack, featured what had been referred to previously as a "chrome dome". International movie star-status, and polished, Greek charm added a certain cachet to his characterization.

Telly's Kojack not only wise-cracked about his shaved head, he was smoke-free long before that was ever an issue, sporting a lollipop in place of the (then) ever-present cigarettes. It's almost shocking now to see reruns of some of the old black and white TV programs where nearly everyone lights up at the drop of a lighter.

Star Trek classic: Alien
Star Trek classic: Alien
The Next Generation's Captain Pickard
The Next Generation's Captain Pickard
Alien Androgeny
Alien Androgeny
They're both kinda cute, huh?
They're both kinda cute, huh?

The Alien Menace?

Originally promoted as "Wagon Train in space", Star Trek has left its indelible mark on our society. Though the original series only lasted for five years, it has spawned numerous spin-offs. Resurrecting the Star Trek theme in the late 80s, Star Trek: The Next Generation was the first of many entries into the franchise.

Some of its various reincarnations were home to such notable luminaries as Majel Barret Roddenberry, who played Nurse Chapel in the original series, and will be remembered as Lwaxana Troi, formidable mother of Counselor Troi, as well as for providing the voice for the Enterprise's computer.

Star Trek also provided us with a number of alien creatures, including several ubiquitous "bald and intelligent but lacking in compassion" types. The Next Generation, though, also gave us the intelligent, well-spoken, well-traveled, and follicularly-challenged Captain Jean-Luc Pickard.

Portrayed with grace and humor by the vastly talented Patrick Stewart, this star ship captain brings maturity and a killer British flavor to the polished-top look.

More Spaced Invaders...

Some of our more intelligent and at least partially humane bald visitors in recent years arrived from a distant galaxy bringing all manner of incredible technology.

Though well-spoken, seemingly gentle, and nice looking, they really don't swell the ranks of the "bald and beautiful" population because of their curious androgeny.

This definitely does not apply to the young man who played Augur. He, too, is well-spoken and intelligent, but way beyond nice-looking. He qualifies!

Alien Nation beauty
Alien Nation beauty

Another small-screen Alien

Yet another entry into the bald alien visitors genre, the lovely Michelle Scarabelli played one of the luscious alien in TV's Alien Nation.

The movie on which the series was based starred James Caan, and featured Mandy Patinkin as an alien police investigator, renamed Sam Fransisco, a play on the name of his entry point.

Both the movie and the series commented on xenophobia, while the "alien immigration" allowed the writers to explore a variety of race, culture, and gender issues. Not in the least of these was the nature of true beauty.

Bald is indeed beautiful!
Bald is indeed beautiful!

Definitely NOT menacing...

A recent entry into the bald, bad and sexy field, Shemar Moore of the very scary Criminal Minds looks great with or without hair. He also brings a certain panache to the ranks of really cool guys who shaved their heads to look hot - and look hot, he does, indeed!

Bald can be babelishus

Sigourney Weaver is perhaps one of the best known of the feminine bald brigade. She's a triple threat player - a womanly, alien butt-kickin', big gun-packing' heavy hitter. Like her male counterparts, she never quits, never loses her humanity, and manages to get the job done against incredible odds.

Similarly, Demi Moore's character in G.I. Jane displays resourcefulness and courage in the face of adversity, and makes the bald look her own.

Other notable ladies of the shorn locks include Natalie Portman in V For Vendetta, Persis Khambatta in Star Trek, The Movie, and Cameron Diaz in My Sister's Keeper.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sigourney WeaverDemi MooreNatalie PortmanPersis KhambattaCameron Diaz
Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
Demi Moore
Demi Moore
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
Persis Khambatta
Persis Khambatta
Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz

Definitely not the last word...

Though hair styles may come and go, there will always be room for the shaven-head style as well. It just looks too good on some. Not everyone can carry it off, but those who can certainly elevate the look to a level beyond mere hairlessness, up into the rarefied realm of icons and fashion-forward hairstyle fireworks.

© 2010 RedElf

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I enjoyed reading about these various actors and some of it I didn't know. Thank you very much

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi there - most welcome and glad to increase your knowledge ;)

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I am not much of a movies guy, but John Wayne, thanks to the westerns which I never missed, was an all time hero. I didn't know he was bald! Yul Brynner and Telly Savalas are also old familiars, and they carried the polished bald pate so well.

      On women, somehow, it doesn't look nice at all ... not to me at least! :)

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      The Duke kept it well hidden ;) Thanks, Jaspal - I prefer hair, too, but some carry the shaven-head look well.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 7 years ago from USA

      RedElf - One of our local TV whiz guys was just as bald as can be. He and his wife were married over 50 years. She told that in all of those years she had seen her husband without his wig but two times. That is likely a record. Gus :-)))

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Wow! I think so, Gus! I don't know how he managed it, but that certainly bespeaks determination! ;)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Not for everyone but on the whole bald guys look better than if they wear wigs

    • jamshithennala profile image

      jamshithennala 7 years ago

      in love you

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

      I was hoping to see a Jason Statham photo here ;) Nice point about the actresses.

    • profile image

      sord87 7 years ago

      bald is beauty but it seems too easy to hurt our head skin.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Right you are, ethel. It certainly takes a nicely shaped head for starters.

      That is very sweet, jamshithennala. I am so glad you enjoyed the hub!

      Hey, Betty, I just Googled him, and he would have been a great one to include.

      I would imagine you'd have to be pretty careful with that razor ;)

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      I have a friend who has alopecia and goes bald most of the time - this was hard for a woman to get into but she looks very pretty bald! She really got tired of wearing wigs!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      That's a tough one, kartika. She is fortunate to have a nicely shaped head. My mom wore wigs during her chemo and quite relied on them to help maintain her self-esteem, but it was a love-hate relationship ;)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      This was yet another pretty cool hub from our favorite Elf. I'm so glad you included ET amongst the "baldies"!

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      I couldn't leave out our favorite illegal alien ;) - thanks, Paradise7

    • profile image

      Nicks 7 years ago

      I certainly go with the idea of men not weraing a wig - in fact, I can think of nothing worse. However, shaved heads? I do not think so, far too cruel and unnatural. What happened to the idea of hair being a person's (normally a woman's) crowning glory?

    • profile image

      brokenblade 7 years ago

      I find that no style works for everyone. I believe bald is an intriguing style. The style definitely works for me. Actually, my hair would have to be either bald or very long, otherwise I look awkward. As far as women, I always like them with some hair. (Although I can go for a bald woman)

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Hey, Nicks. I'm not into wigs either...and I don't do bald - but it does look good on some. Perhaps they are just able to make a virtue of necessity.

      Greetings, brokenblade! Nice to meet you. Either way works for me, too - just not ON me, lol ;)

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      There are some sexy bald men, but then there are the ones that you want to give them Rogaine.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      ...or hair plugs! LOL. Thanks, lovely paper!

    • humahub profile image

      humahub 7 years ago from pakistan

      great hub keep the good work

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi there, humahub. Nice to meet you! Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Y not profile image

      Y not 6 years ago

      Hey Im in style now.

    • RedElf profile image
      Author

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      Who loves ya, Baby? :D:D:D ...and Y not, I say!

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