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Sexy crown on bald heads

Forget about the power behind Samson's legendary locks. For some guys, the best hairstyle is none at all.

December 13, 2007|T.L. Stanley | Special to The Times

There's only one way Tom Colicchio could make me go weak in the knees, and it has nothing to do with his loins, unless by that you mean the heart of a perfectly prepared five-course dinner.

I'm a fan, sure, just not in that way. So imagine my surprise when, in otherwise sane conversation, girlfriends have spoken in graphic detail about what they'd like to do to the bald, barrel-chested chef if given the chance. Go ahead and try to stifle that shiver. It didn't work for me.

Here's something I do understand: smooth-pated Michael Chiklis as the ultimate antihero, good cop/bad cop Vic Mackey. Now you're talking. That smoldering, well-shaved hottie who plays Lex Luthor on "Smallville"? Gimme some of that.

Standards vary wildly and sparks fly (or don't) for reasons no one can explain, but one thing seems undeniable: Bald is the new sexy.

At least that was the prevailing, and hopeful, vibe at what was perhaps the most novel (or twisted, depending on your point of view) event I've ever attended in my single life: speed dating with a room full of bald men.

Though I'm not sure of the math, it seems like there are more clean-shaven guys out there than ever, either by choice (bold fashion statement) or fate (blame your mom's side of the family). Here in Hollywood, they run the gamut from distinguished (think Stanley Tucci and Ben Kingsley) to hot (Jason Statham, Chuck Liddell and Vin Diesel) to downright gorgeous (Taye Diggs). Then there's Bruce Willis, who really has gotten better with more years and fewer locks.

For some women, shiny pates are a deal breaker in a man. Maybe they're leftover metal fans. Other chicks, especially recent converts, are just the opposite, having sworn off any Hair Club for Men members. Plugs, comb-overs and rugs? So 1981. The rest of us fall somewhere between the Fabio type and Tom Cruise's new blunt-cut hair-don't.

Can't say I'd ever given all this much thought, but I started to after getting a speed-dating invitation from a company that sells shaving products for men. Marketers, take note! This was the second recent promotional event by the brand; the first was a comedy night with all-bald performers (and surprisingly few jokes about hair loss).

Here I could test my own notions about everyday attractiveness, not just the big-screen kind. I brought along a friend who'd pointed out a handsome bald guy at the gym once, so at the very least I knew she was open to dating a man without a mane. Turns out neither of us really has a preference.

One of our speed daters, though, was having none of that broad-minded talk. With a leer in his eye, he asked why we liked bald men, figuring he was in the company of fetishists. Just by showing up, he thought he'd score.

I hated to disappoint him -- well, not really -- but I would admit to no such fixation. He was visibly unconvinced, and as he slithered along to his next victim, I couldn't help thinking that all he was missing was the trench coat.

That creep included, it was a group probably not unlike any other in the random world of dating in L.A. There was an actor, several "writers," a few computer guys, an entrepreneur, a life coach and a high school principal who invaded everyone's personal space. Some were engaging and normal, and some made that three minutes seem like an eternity.

It's enough to drive a girl into the arms of Tiki Barber. But can he cook?

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