Bald is Beautiful

Photo Courtesy of Nigel Brooks | Houston Dynamo

Photo Courtesy of Nigel Brooks | Houston Dynamo

Somewhere long ago, we as women grew up thinking men going bald signified really old men, like our fathers. Sure they were wise, and great providers, but sexy-I-want-to-touch-your-hot-body-hot? As if!

Our dads and grandpas were bald — how on earth can that be sexy?

Some world-class hot-bodied athletes sporting bright orange jerseys are changing all that. It’s true — Bald is Beautiful.

At least it is when the Houston Dynamo are behind it, shaving their heads to help give cancer the boot. For the fourth straight year, the Dynamo held a shaving party to raise money for children’s cancer research. Added bonus? Some of the young cancer patients got to shave the hair off the soccer standouts themselves.

This year’s campaign is voluntarily led by second-year forward Will Bruin. After he finished the “main event” (as he called it) of getting his head shaven at BBVA Compass Stadium Tuesday, he chatted about the very worthwhile campaign and a cause that’s become very near and dear to his heart.

Having participated last year in a Bald is Beautiful campaign led by former Dynamo player Mike Chabala, Bruin took it upon himself to become the face . . . er bald head . . .  of the cause.

“During the past year, I have found great joy and have met some remarkable people during my visits to local children’s hospitals,” Bruin said. “One such person I met was a high-spirited young lady named Rosa. Unfortunately, Rosa passed away recently, and while I only knew her for a short time she always felt like a friend that I have known for much longer.

Photo Courtesy of Nigel Brooks | Houston Dynamo

Photo Courtesy of Nigel Brooks | Houston Dynamo

“Visiting with children like Rosa has made me thankful for the opportunities I have been given in my life and has motivated me to make a difference.”

Rosa used to refer to Bruin as “the cute soccer boy” who’d light up her days. That’s the same way plenty of women all over Houston feel about the well-built Midwesterner.

“It’s so awesome. I love going to the hospital and being a part of these people’s lives,” Bruin said. “It puts a smile on not only their faces but mine also. It’s awesome to see the patients I’ve made relationships with through the years and to have them come out and shave my head as part of the cause — it was really fun for all of us.”

Then, it was time for Bruin to go bald.

When asked how he felt about his new hairstyle, Bruin was clearly in good spirits.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “I can feel the breeze going through my hair again, but I’m going to have to put sunscreen on it! For the past three or four months I guess you could say I’ve been growing my hair out for this cause.

Photo Courtesy of Nigel Brooks | Houston Dynamo

Photo Courtesy of Nigel Brooks | Houston Dynamo

“I guess to be fair, I wasn’t really growing it out because it’s so thick I had to get it trimmed every once in a while. But I did it so people wouldn’t really notice (the previous haircuts). This is a big deal for me and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

While Bruin is happy to go bald, he admits it isn’t necessarily the best look for him.

“Well, I didn’t shave today so I have a shaved head with kind of a beard-thing going on — this is a new look for me. I might not recommend it to anyone,” he said.

As for on the field? “I hope it makes me more aerodynamic for Thursday’s game,” he said.

Bruin wasn’t the only Dynamo to go bald. Joining him in parting ways with their locks were all-star goalie Tally Hall, defender Bobby Boswell, 19-year-old goalie Erich Marscheider, midfielder Colin Clark, midfielder Brian Ownby, goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley and head athletic trainer Theron Enns.

Dynamo fans can support the campaign by donating directly to Dynamo Charities on behalf of Bald is Beautiful (be sure to reference “2012 Bald is Beautiful”), with all donations benefiting the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund. Those who participate will also have the opportunity to have their heads shaven at Thursday’s home match against Real Salt Lake.

For a donation of $10 or more, fans can support the cause and help find a cure for children’s cancer. Additionally, fans can purchase the Bald is Beautiful ticket package for $49.99. The package includes two tickets to the game, two Bald is Beautiful T-shirts and the opportunity meet Bruin following the match.

For more information, check out the Bald is Beautiful website.

This article was featured on Culture Map, Houston’s Daily Digital Magazine in the sport’s section.