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Style With Sean

Sean Fitzgerald | Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Last week I donated my hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths so tone lucky cancer patient will someday be able to have a full head of red hair. Going from 8.5 inches to basically 0 is not only scary, but hard to get used to. However, I can already tell the difference. Based on my experience, here are the pros and cons of long hair vs. a shaved head.

Pros of Long Hair

You Can Head Bang like a Pro: Have you ever gone to a concert and just felt like headbanging, but it just didn’t feel quite right? It’s because you don’t have hair smacking you in the face on the downbang and then hair flying up on the upbang. Proper headbanging technique requires long hair. It was also a requirement to be a rock god in the ’80s. The ’80s really wouldn’t have been the same without all that hair flying around.

Girls Wanting to Play With It: Yes, this truly does happen. The sheer number of times girls asked to French braid my hair was a little scary. It’s like they think it’s their own little play toy that they mix and match into pretty shapes and colors. Warning: Do not take up anyone’s offer to put your hair into cornrows.

You Might Look Better: You’re an average Joe. Your hair has been short forever. You will never know if long hair might actually make you look better. It has something to do with your face shape (round, diamond, square, cylindrical, Magnum, dreamy, etc.), but that’s not my area of expertise. All I know is that you might actually like it. If you don’t, you can always go back.

Cons of Long Hair

High Maintenance: Remember when your parents said you could get a dog, but you had to take care of it? Well this is the exact same thing. If you can put up with it, you might reap the rewards. If not, you might look like a bum.

The Your-Mom-is-Going-to-Try-to-Cut-it-Off-Herself Dilemma: All Moms are programmed to make sure that their child does not do anything crazy. She also wants you to look like a “good boy.” She doesn’t want her son to turn into a “rebel.” If you grow out your hair, she will try to cut it off. It’s in her nature.

Pros of a Shaved Head

Manly: Almost the universal sign of a man is a man with short hair. Soldiers have shaved heads, Bruce Willis is bald or maybe you just want to look like Mr. Clean. Either way, short hair exhibits manliness.

Easy and Simple: If you have short hair all you have to do is jump in the shower, put in some shampoo and rinse. After 3 to 4 weeks, you just shave it again. The sheer amount of money saved on haircuts might be worth it.

Cons of a Shaved Head

Same Old Same Old: It’s kind of boring. If you have had it short forever, isn’t it time to branch out a bit?

Shapely Noggin: In order to pull off the true shaved head look without looking like a deformed alien, you need a nice shapely head. You can’t afford to have any bumps or asymmetrical features. However, if you’ve got any crazy scars (like myself), you can show them off.

Contact Sean Fitzgerald at sfitzge3@nd.edu

The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Style With Sean

Sean Fitzgerald | Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Since 2008, Notre Dame students have been going bald to support childhood cancer research by participating in The Bald and the Beautiful, or TBAB. Men brave enough to channel their inner Bruce Willis and a few brave, possibly even heroic, women have gone bald to raise funds for this amazing event. This year, I will be one of those men.

My Story

I grew my hair for more than nine months for this event. What could have possibly caused me to do this? Well, I was reading an article online and it had these two tips: Every guy should shave his head at least once in his life, and every guy should let his hair grow past his ears at least once in his life. And then I read about TBAB. So I let it grow.

I hoped it would be long enough to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. In order to qualify, hair has to be eight inches long from the ponytail. Unfortunately, I don’t quite make the cut. My hair is quite long though – about eight-and-a-half inches. As a male who has never had long hair before, it was quite the experience.

I had to use conditioner consistently. I bought hair gel for the first time since sixth grade, and I even had a shampooing schedule, so my hair wouldn’t be too frizzy throughout the week. I now know way too much about hair, more than I ever needed to know. However, this was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned I like my hair to be about five inches long. I learned the difference between shampoo and conditioner (I seriously didn’t know). Without this experiment, I would never have learned these things.

Most importantly, though, I realized how lucky I am to even have hair. I hope everyone comes out this Wednesday through Friday to support someone participating in TBAB. Several other Dillon Men and I will be shaving our heads on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in LaFortune. Come on out and support us and childhood cancer research. Donations can be made at bald.nd.edu, or in person at LaFortune.

What will I do when I go bald? Will I have phantom-hair syndrome? I honestly do not know what will happen. Such a drastic change is kind of crazy for most people. And, I have to be honest, it’s a little scary. However, I know that what I am doing will make someone who is much worse off than me have a chance at a life, or at least a little bit of hope. Even if I look terrible when I’m bald, I know that I have made a positive impact on someone else’s life, and that is more important than anything style-related. However, I’m going to try my best to pull it off.

Contact Sean Fitzgerald at sfitzge3@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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Style with Sean

Sean Fitzgerald | Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Despite my usual focus on clothes, this week I have decided to focus on something just as important in style: grooming. More specifically, the grooming of your chest hair.

The Case for looking like Chewbacca:

I remember when I grew up that the coolest dudes ever had the greatest chest hair. Who didn’t love Austin Powers, or dream of being the next Sean Connery or Magnum P.I.? But here’s the kicker – Chuck Norris had chest hair. Therefore, chest hair is the greatest thing ever.

The boy with chest hair no longer feels like a little kid; he has progressed into manhood. The acquisition of chest hair is the modern man’s proof that he is no longer a boy, but a man. He is the man’s man. He cuts down trees with an ax in his spare time. He fights with his bare knuckles. He knows how to start a fire with two sticks. He could survive in the wild with a hatchet. He loves football. And everyone knows not to mess with his woman.

The Case against Chewbacca:

But, becoming your inner Paul Bunyan can get a little out of control. Imagine all of the things that get lost in there. At certain lengths, small little critters have been known to bury themselves in there for the harsh winters in South Bend. If this man unbuttons two buttons on his shirt, it starts to escape, causing some to mistake him for a South American drug lord. Despite being the man’s man, he has often been confused with mystical creatures such as Chewbacca, bears and Bigfoot. He should be wary of his overwhelming hair, even if it could be used as a pillow.

The Case for looking like the Abercrombie & Fitch Model:

Unfortunately, not all men have been blessed with the ability to grow a forest on their chest. Here comes the A&F model. Ladies swoon to him and his washboard abs. Every muscle is clearly defined. He lacks a single hair except for the lightly gelled ones on his head. He could be as dumb as an ox, he couldn’t survive a second in the wild, but he always gets the girl. He relaxes by the beach and his job is to stand there and just look good. He is a woman’s dream date.

The Case against the A&F Model:

But, he looks like a little boy. Did he ever reach puberty? Where was this man when I was growing up? He seems to be the antithesis of the man’s man; he is the woman’s man. He is a pretty boy who can’t do hard work. Other than his large hairless chest and awe-inducing muscles, what else does he have to offer? He spends his days removing miniscule amounts of hair from his body, he spends exorbitant amounts of time on styling what hair he has on his head and he probably isn’t even an ambi-turner.

I don’t know which one is better or which one is worse. I grew up seeing the man’s man as my hero. But, where has he gone? When was the last time anyone saw a male model with chest hair? Someone, please start a Viewpoint war on this, because it would be hilarious.

Contact Sean Fitzgerald at sfitzge3@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Observer.