On YouTube over the past week I’ve been bombarded with ads by Gillette regarding how Superman shaves. Canon from the books, Lois and Clark, and the animated series purports he uses a mirror to reflect his heat vision. I’ve never been a huge fan of that as he would have to trim his hair that way. How many times would he get super-sneezes trying to clean up his nose hair before he got it down right?
So I checked out the ad and thought for sure someone would agree with the way I had envisioned. Bill Nye’s theory was that he shaved by grinding his hair down like a power sander, which is laborious and doesn’t address his coiffure. Mayim Bialik suggests that he has an enzymatic lotion, which again, would give him Lex Luthor’s hair instead of that perfect spit curl. The final entry, from the Mythbusters, is that he uses the large hadron collider.
None of the experts got it – all of their theories are crap as they were paid by Gillette to think within the box of his facial hair.
Superman’s Hair Care Secret
The closest was Kevin Smith who looked at Superman’s vulnerabilities and ruled out kryptonite (based on the reference he meant green kryptonite – which is an important qualification) and magic (his logic of Superman having to study magic being sound, but he could acquire an enchanted razor from one of Earth’s practitioners). Granted, he could keep around a lead lined charm with blue kryptonite (renders him human during exposure) for days when he wanted to stop by the barber and get a shave or a trim, but why would he choose to subject himself to the possibility of a nemesis dispatching him in such a condition.
The first part of the equation is that Jor El provided for technology for his son in his transport. Canon stipulates that he has a Fortress of Solitude holding the scientific wisdom of Krypton. If you read Reign of the Supermen which came after the Death of Superman, you would have seen that that fortress included a number of robots that maintain his sanctum and service him.
The second part of the equation is an understanding of his superpowers. They are derived from his ability to metabolize and infuse his body with yellow sun radiation. During “Eclipso: The Darkness Within” Superman was cut off from the Earth’s yellow sun and had to rely on fruits and vegetables to regain a portion of his power. Like Daxamites, Superman is vulnerable to red sun radiation as it suppresses his yellow sun powers.
So the solution – a barber bot in the Fortress of Solitude with the ability to generate red sun radiation in a targeted manner. Need a shave, the red sun laser targets the follicles, rendering them mundane enough for a standard razor to cut them. The same goes for his nose hair and coif. Who is going to believe that Clark Kent and Superman are different people if they both show up with poorly shorn hair? In addition, his Fortress sensors should pick up any incoming threat with sufficient time for the cantaloupe pomade to be applied, so as to avoid duplicating Lex Luthor’s iconic look in the event of a super-villain assault.
Cover photo courtesy: Ben Northern