New York Times News Service:

For most of recent grooming history, having a totally bald pate was a look most likely found among men with formidable personalities and names to match – Kojak, Yul, Ike, Warbucks, Mr. Clean.

It wasn’t a look for John over in accounting.

But in the late 1980s, Michael Jordan shaved it all off. Soon, the world was examining the scalps of Bruce Willis, Andre Agassi, Moby and just about one token character on every TV show – not to mention a swarm of Oscar nominees and presenters this year, including Jack Nicholson (who had shaved his head for a role).

The response is a booming market of products being developed and sold specifically to the unhirsute – a new front in the nearly $5 billion onslaught of male grooming products in the United States.

There are gels and ointments to help with the shave, to enhance the shine, to reduce the glare, to help with dryness or oiliness, to block the sun. There’s even a rolling razor to make the daily upkeep less stressful.

“I’m a former comb-over wearer,â€? confessed Howard Brauner, founder of the two-year-old company Bald Guyz. “I would spend half an hour in the morning making it look right, and then finally I just realized it was ridiculous. Once I decided to really go bald, my wife would get annoyed at me for using her expensive shampoos. But I had to use something to clean my head.â€?

For that particular ablution, Brauner now uses a head wash that’s part of the line of products he developed in response to his wife’s complaints. Bald Guyz also puts out pocket-size individual head wipes, for use on the go. And there is a conditioner, to be used twice a week. “Your skin up there is either dry or irritated or oily,â€? he said.

Photo by Bald Guyz.