Savagery tamed

I stopped getting haircuts last year — almost exactly a year ago today. I just despaired at the horror of that last presidential election, and decided I didn’t care anymore, and I’d just let it grow. Unfortunately, long hair is a pain to take care of, and my wife was also looking askance at me, and so I finally broke down and got it chopped off yesterday. It helped that the salon I went to had a poster out front acknowledging solidarity with the LGBTQ community, so I was able to cross that threshold and get it done.

Here I am, before and after.

I don’t know…now I’m thinking I’m preferring the wild-haired old testament prophet look. Maybe it’s just that the lighting was better.


  1. says

    Unfortunately, long hair is a pain to take care of,

    Yes, it is. Wanders off muttering about the 37 inches of hair I carry around.

  2. Ed Seedhouse says

    I do slightly prefer the old look but sympathize with the practical problems of maintenance. I let my hair grow until it annoys me then I gather it together in a pony tail and slash that with some scissors. The trouble with professional haircuts is that after getting them I am still just as ugly as before.

  3. says

    If it were 3 feet long, I could at least tie it back out of the way. At a third of that length, it was just flopping around my head.

  4. rpjohnston says

    Long hair is kind of a pain…but what I wouldn’t give for more of it. I’m halfway to the Greg Universe look.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    Too bad.
    The beard was just getting to the point where you could have done interesting things with it.

  6. says

    long hair is a pain to take care of,

    Which is exactly why I got rid of long hair 20 years ago and never let it grow longer thatn an inch ever since.

  7. says

    You look 10 years younger with the new cut, but maybe that’s the beard trim. I like long hair, but not so much long beards.

  8. hemidactylus says

    I prefer the new look. Glad to see you backed off a bit from going full Duck Dynasty on the face fur. The beard craze has gotten out of hand. Last night I considered launching a campaign to shave the world thus save the world.

    I prefer keeping my hair shorter so I don’t have to spend much time combing it. My laziness gets me to the Sonny Crockett stage of face fur, but the horrors of duck calls motivate me to make periodic corrections.

  9. fernando says

    “Mad Scientist” (left) VS “Mad Scientist In-Disguise” (right).
    Just kiding! Please don’t send any of your cybernetic-flying-octopi-with lase-eyes after me… Please!

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    Neatly trimmed beards are an abomination, strictly for salesmen and Quebec politicians. I’m sticking with the scary old man look.

  11. Rich Woods says

    I haven’t seen the inside of a barber’s shop since I was 15.

    I’m not going to say how old I am now, but I’ve got almost as much grey in my beard as PZ.

    I do like to keep my beard trimmed, though. It just has to be thick enough to keep my jaw warm in winter, yet in summer able to hold enough Guinness to feed the stagger home when the pub closes.

  12. KG says

    The beard craze has gotten out of hand.

    Does this imply that you regularly scrape your face with a sharp piece of metal, you weirdo?

  13. grasshopper says

    Man to barber: “I know I only have three strands of hair left on my head, but can you tidy me up a little?”
    Barber: “Sure, how do you want your part?”
    Man: “Two strands to the left, one to the right.”
    Barber combs hair.
    Barber: “Sorry, one strand has fallen out.”
    Man: “OK then, no problem. One strand to the left, and one strand to the right.”
    Barber combs hair.
    Barber: “Sorry, again, but another strand has fallen out.”
    Man to barber as he leaves chair: “Bugrit, I’ll just leave it messy.”

  14. markgisleson says

    Long hair is easier, but not until you grow it all the way out.

    Cut mine off, saw how bad my psoriasis had gotten, and started growing a new hippy combover. Took two years despite having less hair to grow.

    P.S. Donna Brazile is dying for our sins right now. It was a cult, not a campaign. Campaigns try to win, cults just keep launching doomed-to-fail jihads.

  15. hemidactylus says

    #21- I am in Sonny Crockett phase right now. Razor time is near.

    #25- I prefer the ease of washing shorter hair. Just a dab of shampoo.

  16. robro says

    All hair is difficult to take care of…that’s why I’m gradually getting rid of my. I’m pretty much down to eye brows, ears, and nose hair.

    That New Testament, “smoldering fury” shot is good. Looks like you’ve been practicing your Trump glare.

  17. siwuloki says

    I haven’t had a haircut since 1988; keep it tied back, and tucked under a hat when hiking to keep it out of trouble. I have a facial cowlick that prevents me from having a beard – left side grows down, right side grows back and horizontal. I used to scrape my face with the two- and three-blade cartridges and always felt skinned afterwards. Switched to a safety razor and haven’t looked back. Blades are cheap, too!

  18. jrkrideau says

    @ 17 Rob Grigjanis
    Neatly trimmed beards are an abomination
    Easy to see who’s voting NDP in the next federal election. :)

  19. blf says

    My last haircut was in 2000, which in turn was the first time since the very early 1980s. In 2000 the hair was almost down to my waist, and was cut in aid of Amnesty International, raising over €1000, which was then matched by my employer-at-that-time’s donations policy.

    As far as I can recall, I last shaved ten years ago; and back then I shaved only once every three or four years. My current beard looks like a hedgehog swallowed sideways. No birds are currently known to be nesting in it.

  20. says

    “I used to scrape my face with the two- and three-blade cartridges and always felt skinned afterwards. Switched to a safety razor and haven’t looked back.”

    Another vote here for safety razors. Although I did just break a $35 Edwin Jagger model by dropping it in the bathtub. I liked that razor a lot but luckily I also have a $70 Merkur that’s much more sturdy. That’s the problem with this sort of razor – you’ve got to invest a bit up front to get a quality razor. But after that even the best blades (Feathers, for my money) don’t cost more than $.25 each.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    I (a few years older than our esteemed host, that whippersnapper!) still have most of my hair, and quit cutting it over a decade ago.

    It has grown about two inches in that time (though beard & mustache sprout away as vigorously as ever). Can’t recall having heard of this biological change from other geezers & codgers, but maybe that comes from spending so much of each day geezing and codging.

  22. richardemmanuel says

    It turned out to be reducible. I think I think you look much better – but I’ll have to check with iphone future. Order out of chaos.
    More geometrically coherently symmetrical. This new man’s sentences will surely synchromesh the universal grammar. Paper cuts are the worst. Keep the lines you’ve sincerely written, everyone has baggage. Don’t ever get too neat, nothing comes from frozen meat. etc.

  23. hemidactylus says

    Just shaved the Crockett stubble. But given I am too lazy to change razor blades often my face stays shadowy. Is that still technically a beard? Getting into Sorites turf here. I am thinking of beard length legislation. Experimenting is ok. The maximum length length shall be the Andrew Weil cut off. And it must meet his impeccable standards for grooming. Say what you will about Weil, but he has a magnificent beard.

  24. says

    Your OT photo makes you look like the first apostle in The Brand New Testament. He cleaned up lovely, and left his hair long.

  25. ebotebo says

    February 27, 2012, my wife Bonnie developed a dorsal perforated peptic ulcer and came pretty close to dying. At that moment, I stopped cutting me hair and about four years ago started growing a beard. Bonnie didn’t like the beard at all and was happy that I decided to cut it on the 1st of November every year. She passed this last August 1st., the birth of Jerry day, yet I continue to cut it off the 1st of November.

  26. vucodlak says

    I haven’t had another person cut my hair in about 8 years. I just can’t see the point in making an appointment to spend twenty bucks for something I can do myself in half a minute for free. Bind it, hack it off, and burn it in a desecrated brazier on the banks of the Styx. What could be easier?

    It’ll be a year tomorrow since I last cut my hair. I hacked somewhere between 12-18 inches off as soon as I saw the orange gasbag had won. I almost went with the whole bald-of-mourning, but I don’t want people thinking I’m a skinhead. Or skinless-head, as the case may be. There’s some strange mischief occurring in the forest of my follicles that makes the skin scabrous, almost waxen. I fear that, if I tried to shave it, I’d end up with a bare skull. I’d be more a bonehead than skinhead, which would, admittedly, be better.

    In any case, it seems nature will soon enough render the debate moot. My hair, which has only grown perhaps 6 or 7 inches in the past year, is falling out in clumps. Stress, I suppose. I’ll be bald soon enough, whether I wish it or not.

    The one place my hair isn’t falling out is my face. And everywhere else, I guess, but my facial hair grows with daemonic alacrity. I shave every other day. I really ought to do it twice a day, but I hate shaving. Alas, I don’t hate shaving as much as I hate facial hair, so I’ve reached as uneasy compromise. If I could afford it, I’d have the vicious barbs removed permanently.

    Figures; the one place I’ve got a proper pelt has to have the consistency of a sea urchin. I know, know: if I let it grow, it would (probably) get softer. I don’t intend to find out, though. I look forward the caress of a cool breeze upon my face too much (on the rare occasions that I leave this crypt) to grow a beard.

  27. Ed Seedhouse says

    I can stand long top hair better than long beard hair. I wore a beard for many years, mostly out of the desire to annoy my employers and acquaintances, but now that I am ancient and withered I find I cannot stand a beard past a couple of days. The damn thing itches and doesn’t help with the full face mask I connect myself to the CPAP machine with.

    I like PZ’s beard because I don’t have to wear it and I think it looks good on him.

  28. pacal says

    I hate shaving, which is why the only time my beard will come off is when I’m safely dead.

  29. call me mark says

    “I don’t advise a hair cut man. All hairdressers are in the employment of the government. Hair are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight.”

  30. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I haven’t shaved since 1977.
    Beard doesn’t get “too” long, as follicles periodically “sleep” and the hair is let loose.
    Still trim it back occasionally (*hint*, every 6 months whether I need it or not, *wink*).
    My scalp has been abandoning hair for quite some time, so the remainders I’ve refrained from reducing their length. (Hygienic maintenance is not a problem)
    In college, had an impression ponytail, which got lopped off for interview season to find my entry into a career.
    Trying to recreate that ‘decoration’ is pretty meager due to the fewer number of active follicles on my scalp.
    Still keeping what is now more properly a “rat tail”, to memorialize my youthful “ponytail”.
    rats (pun not intended).

  31. eggmoidal says

    I too would have stopped cutting my hair (what little didn’t already desert me), in the ancient Roman mourning fashion, after last Nov’s election, but I am employed by American industry, and there shagginess is a no-no. Besides, one year is enough to mourn anything. Life must go on, even under Nazi rule, right? Dog, why is it the older I get, the better cannabinoids look?