With his long unruly gray hair, Jamie Jensen looks like a throwback from Woodstock.
Then, after a few rounds with electric clippers, he goes Bruce Willis bald.
It’s a December ritual and his only haircut for an entire year.
He buzzes it off himself over the green sink in his Mukilteo bathroom, using an orange plastic razor to get every shred.
“I take it down to zero,” he said.
He doesn’t even trim it for 12 months.
Jensen can afford regular trips to a barber. He’s an attorney.
This is his way of getting wild. And he got wild Thursday, his 57th birthday.
“This is pretty much a no-impact way to change my appearance,” Jensen said. “I could do a tattoo or a piercing but that’s not where I’m going.”
He’s lucky. Lots of guys his age don’t have the follicles to pull it off.
Jensen’s balding Ultimate Frisbee buddies know Christmas is near when his hair starts looking like Santa Claus. He doesn’t have the body fat to wear the red suit, and he doesn’t do beards.
Around the Snohomish County courthouse in Everett, he’s “that lawyer who cuts his hair once a year.”
He gets compliments on his thick wavy locks.
“I had a client who said she wasn’t sure she could have an attorney who had nicer hair than her,” he said.
He has mostly kept his hair long since graduating from a military high school in Minnesota. While practicing law in St. Paul, he would cut it short when the urge hit, which wasn’t often after he got into land development.
“When I was developing land, nobody cared whether I had long hair,” he said.
It was down his back when Jensen moved to Washington with his wife, Therese, in 2007 for the moderate weather. Therese has multiple sclerosis.
He cut his hair “insurance salesman short” to look for a job.
“My neighbor said, ‘Oh, good, you cut your hair. I can take you to my country club now,’” Jensen said.
He went, and the networking led to legal work. After setting up a solo practice specializing in real estate, he let the gray stuff hit his collar. He shaved it off on his birthday in December, and the habit stuck.
“It got be a trademark,” he said.
Jensen grew up in an era when dads told their sons to cut their hair. He tells his three grown sons not to cut their hair. They don’t listen.
“They always have very short hair,” he said. “They see Dad and they aren’t going that way.”
His daughter, Dana, 20, likes him both as hippie dad and bald dad.
“I like the change,” she said after Thursday’s scalping. “It’s different. It’s like an egg.”
Jensen considered donating his hair, but said it isn’t long or pretty enough.
“I’ve thought about coloring it blue or red or green for the holidays,” he said, “but I’ve never done it.”
There’s always next year.
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org.