Random Facts About … Male Baldness, the Good, the Bad, and the Cover-Up


By David Martin

Our internet tubes this week could barely (!) contain all the information that came out about baldness. Although some men like being bald and some women love bald men, the usual male pattern (!) is to regret losing your hair and then trying to do something about it.

According to articles in discovermagazine.com and advancedhair.com men have been trying to prevent baldness at least since 1550 B.C. when the Ebers Papyrus recommended baldness cures that ranged from boiling porcupine hair and applying it to the scalp, eating the leg of a female greyhound, or swallowing a concoction of iron oxide, onions, honey, and snake fat. Hippocrates, who lived in Greece around 400 B.C. and is considered the father of medicine, became so upset about losing his hair that he recorded a surgical “solution” to baldness. He also noted that eunuchs in the Persian Army didn’t go bald if they had been castrated before they were 25. Castration as a preventative cure for baldness was considered, uhm, extreme.

Men have tried to keep their baldness under the rug (!, last one) by wearing hairpieces that range from so artful you truly can’t tell the man is bald to looking as if a small animal has expired upon the man’s head. The good hairpieces are purchased by rich actors, such as, according to Ranker, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Pattinson, Chuck Norris, Jude Law, and John Travolta.

Men known for and proud of their baldness include Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart, Michael Jordon, and, back in the day, Yul Brynner and Telly Savalas.

According to a men’s grooming website, Prim & Prep, a survey of 334 women about their likes or dislikes of bald men revealed this: in each age category, the percent of women who were neutral on the topic remained about the same, from 34% to 37%; in the younger category of women from 18 to 24, many more women found baldness unattractive rather than attractive (47% to 16%); this imbalance toward being negative about baldness continued until women reached their mid-30s; then, with women from 35 to 44, baldness was viewed as more attractive (44%) than unattractive (19%). With age comes wisdom.

One man who really, really needed his hair was the biblical Samson, who was so strong he could kill a lion with his bare hands. His enemies sent Delilah to seduce Samson and discover the source of this strength. He finally fessed up, his flowing locks were the reason he was so strong. Delilah let Samson fall asleep on her lap and then had one of his enemies come in and cut off his hair. The now-vulnerable Samson was captured, blinded, and put to work as a slave. He prayed to God that his strength be restored one last time and, with his power renewed, he brought down the temple of his enemies.

Women cutting off something that a man considers his source of strength is a story for another day … or not.

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