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BY DESIGN : The Buzz of Summer

July 28, 1994|WILLIAM KISSEL

Seal did it. So did Tom Hanks for "Forrest Gump" and Keanu Reeves for "Speed." Now it seems every other guy in Los Angeles has shorn his scalp for summer.

Whether they choose Gump's 1950s-inspired whitewalls (short on top, bald on the sides) or completely bald all the way around, most guys claim this season's crew cuts are more about being cool, rather than looking cool.

"I didn't do it to be in the KKK or to be thought of as a skinhead," says Juan Escobedo, 22, of Hawthorne. "I work in the sun all day, and it's just cooler to have it this way."

Jon Micheal, owner of a Pasadena hair salon that bears his name, says he does about 20 to 30 buzz cuts a week at $15 each during the summer. "It's hot, it's summer and it's mod," Micheal says. "It started with the whole skateboarding thing, then it hit MTV and now everyone--including women--wants it."

Not everyone is looking to make a bold style statement, however. Rick Caldwell, 26, says he was after a "leave-me-alone" statement. "Normally I have longer hair and sideburns. But I live in West Hollywood and I'd get hit on by guys a lot so I shaved it." He grew to appreciate the cut's advantages: "It doesn't get messed up when the wind blows. And when you take a shower, you don't need conditioner."

You also don't need to carry around a comb. But a word of caution: Those going without nature's cranial shade provider risk sunburn. So swab your dome with a liberal dose of sunscreen.

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