Male pattern baldness follows from a one-two punch of genetic influence (probably related to more than one gene, and not necessarily from the maternal side) and hormonal changes in adulthood. Baldness in men is related to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, which causes old hairs on the scalp to be replaced by progressively shorter and thinner hairs in a predictable pattern, beginning at the temples and crown of the head.
A study in 2011 found that the root cause of male pattern baldness is that as we age, stem cells in the scalp lose the ability to develop into the type of cells that make hair follicles.
While many treatments for baldness are not proven to work, there are some things you can do to prevent hair loss:
- Avoid pulling hair into tight styles
- Brush or comb gently
- Don’t shampoo too often; don’t rub vigorously with a towel
- Avoid hot-oil or chemical hair treatments
Both Rogaine and Propecia both claim to prevent hair loss. Hair transplants are also popular. Or you can go with the flow: both men and women naturally lose hair as they age. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The fact that one can be genetically predisposed to baldness suggests that hair loss has (or had) some evolutionary advantage. Since mates are selected for genetic worth, a physical trait that boasts of some genetic edge is more likely to spread throughout a species. A shiny pate may indicate a man’s advanced stage of physical and social maturity. This could encourage increased status in a social group as well as less aggressive behavior from other males, as the bald man is visibly past the threatening stage of high sexual activity, and perhaps more likely to be a nurturer to younger groups as well. This could be a selling point to women looking to mate.
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- A No-Nonsense Guide Explaining Why Men Lose Their Hair
- Common Terms To Represent the Same Thing
- Hair Growth Phases
- Common Hair Loss Patterns Found in Men
- Causes of Balding
- What is DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) And Why You Should Care
- Truly Going Bald or Patchiness?
- How Men Try To Buck The Hair Loss Trend
- Active Forums for Anyone in Their Balding Journey
- The Early Signs of Balding and How to Stop Them
- Noticeable change in your hairline
- Noticeable thinning of your hair
- Excessive hair loss after showering or brushing
- What not to look for
- How to take action to stop your hair loss
- Why Millennials Are Losing Their Hair Earlier
- Millennials and hair loss
- How big a factor is stress?
- Millennials are more ‘hair aware’
- Why am I so anxious about going bald?
Most Common Cause: Male Pattern Baldness
Up to 95% of guys with thinning hair can blame it on this condition. It’s caused by genes you get from your parents.
Scientists think the gene may affect how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone called DHT, which makes them shrink. As they get smaller, the hair that grows back tends to be finer, thinner, and shorter. Eventually, it takes longer for hair to grow back. Then, the follicles will shrink so that no hair grows at all.
Male pattern baldness shows up in a telltale shape: a receding hairline with thinning strands around the crown of your head. Over time, that area will go bald, but you’ll still have a horseshoe pattern of hair above your ears circling to the lower back of the head.
Men with this trait can start to lose their locks as early as their early teens. In general, the sooner it starts, the greater the loss will be.
Other types of hair loss tend to happen faster than male pattern baldness.
Spot baldness, or alopecia areata, makes your hair fall out in smooth, round patches, but it usually grows back. The condition is a type of autoimmune disease, which means your body attacks itself. In this case, it destroys your hair.
Scarring alopecia is a rare disease that destroys your hair follicles and makes scar tissue form in their place. Hair will not grow back.
A No-Nonsense Guide Explaining Why Men Lose Their Hair
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn More. By Shawn Burns June 14, 2019
There I was, just fresh out of college on a cross-country trip to San Francisco, CA – Lombard Street (the curvy one).
But the first thing I don’t notice about this picture isn’t the 30+ lbs that I was carrying around with me, no, it is my fast receding hairline.
If you regularly visit Tools of Men, you know that I don’t shy away about my follicle free head.
But to get where I am today (confident in my hairline), took an immense amount of courage that I never knew I had in me.
There is no way to sugar coat it – balding sucks.
I started losing my hair before I could drink (seriously – I was 20).
While I regularly made trips to the local store to buy minoxidil-infused products, I knew that a thinner hair line was in my future…
…and fast approaching.
If you want to know more about that journey and how to shave your head, then you should check out this article.
However, to not veer too off track, the purpose today is to talk about the Why
Why did I lose my hair?
Why doesn’t other hair just fall out as well?
Why do other men get too keep their hair their entire life?
To answer the Why, I wanted to put together this comprehensive article that tackles all they common questions men may be wondering about their hair line.
Common Terms To Represent the Same Thing
First things first, balding is a beast known by many different names. Whether you say your hair is thinning or balding, same difference.
In the science and medical world, baldness is often known as Alopecia or Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL). Both of these terms encompass what it means to bald.
Hair loss is when you lose the hair in certain parts of your head or body. It does not cause any scarring or redness.
It may be due your genes or hormones, which we’ll talk about later.
Before I move on, it should be noted, however, that balding is extremely common. It affects around 80% of men and is a natural process many men are bound to go through.
Hair Growth Phases
To understand hair loss, you first have to understand how hair grows. Each hair follicle on your scalp is independent.
The hair follicles on your scalp and body all go through the same hair growth phases.
So what are these phases?
The three phases are anagen, catagen, and telogen.
What do these words and phases even mean?
Anagen is the first phase your hair follicle goes through. This is the active stage.
When you are growing out your hair, the follicle is in the anagen phase. The anagen phase can last as little as 2 years or as long as 8 years. This is all determined by your genes. This is why some people are able to grow their hair very long while others can’t seem to grow it past their shoulders.
When the anagen phase is finished, your hair stops growing. It enters into a short transition period…
The catagen phase. During the catagen phase, your hair gets turned into what is called a club hair. A club hair gets cut off from your blood supply to stop its growth.
Once the hair has been cut off from your blood supply, it enters the telogen phase. This final phase of the hair follicle, the telogen phase, can last around three months.
At this point, the hair follicle is a club hair and it is completely dead. You lose hair in the telogen phase daily. It’s actually completely normal and healthy to lose around 100 club hairs that are in the telogen phase a day.
Your hair follicles then repeat the process a few months later and start over in anagen.
Because each hair follicle is independent, you do not lose all of your hair at once. Your scalp is constantly going through all three phases of hair growth without you realizing it.
When you start to bald, your hair growth is interrupted. As you age, more of your hair follicles remain in the telogen phase longer.
They stay in this rest period causing your hair to fall out. When the hair follicles cycle back into the anagen phase, they stay in it shorter. This then leads to thinner and shorter hair.
Later on, I’ll talk more about why baldness happens and what it may do to your hair follicles. But for now… what are common ways to bald?
Common Hair Loss Patterns Found in Men
One of the most common hair loss patterns is starting to bald from your temples. This is when you start losing the hair at your hair line first. It can create an “M” shape out of your hairline.
Many men experience this pattern hair loss. This hair loss can be gradual but will start to show a receding hair line.
Another common hair loss pattern is losing hair from the crown of your head. That swirly part of your hair on the back of the head is where this type of balding starts. It may start off as more gradual or it can make your hair loss circular. You may have just a patch gone or all of the hair on the top of your head can eventually be lost.
Or, if none of these patterns describe your hair loss, you may have general thinning on the top of your head.
Causes of Balding
Many men’s hair loss can be chalked up to their genes. In fact, 80% of individuals who are balding can attribute their balding to their genes. Balding can be attributed to multiple genes.
While there is a gene on your X chromosome that helps predict balding, there are also genes on your autosomes that contribute to balding.
You may have heard people say that you take after your mother’s father’s hair patterns. This is because you receive your X chromosome from your mother.
Baldness that is attributed to your X chromosome is often due to your androgen receptors. Androgen receptors are a protein your genes code for. Your body uses your androgen receptors to activate certain genes on your X chromosome.
Androgen receptors take hormones like testosterone and DHT (which we will talk about here in a minute) and use them to activate genes.
It’s a little scientific and confusing but the basis of it is: research has shown that men who are balding have a different version of androgen receptors than non-balding men. In addition to the different version, men who bald also have much more androgen receptors.
Because androgen receptors work with the X chromosome, that is how scientists found out that some balding can be attributed to your mother’s side of the family.
Maybe you look at your maternal grandfather and see the same hairline. Or maybe you look at him and say, “He had a full head of hair until he died! I’m balding in my twenties!”
Well, that’s because while you indeed get your hair gene from the X chromosome (which came from your mom), there are other genes that affect hair loss as well. Research has found that much of balding can be attributed to your autosomes.
Autosomes are chromosomes that are not part of your XY sex chromosomes. You get your autosomes randomly from your parents.
So while your grandfather may have had a full head of hair, maybe your dad does not and you got your autosomes from his side. With autosomes, you only need one copy of the gene for it to affect you. Because autosomes are randomly given at the time of conception, this could explain why some people do not follow their maternal family’s hair loss.
Male pattern hair loss is something that is consistently being studied. We do know that genetic factors play a large role in balding whether it be from your X chromosome and androgen receptors or if it is from your autosomes.
But what if no one in your family is bald? What if you find yourself balding and it’s not a regular occurrence in your genetics?
Balding can also be attributed to hormonal imbalances. These hormonal imbalances can be blamed on two different hormones: testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
What is DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) And Why You Should Care
DHT is needed to give you your biological male characteristics like a deep voice and increased muscle mass. DHT is five times stronger than testosterone.
While you have a lot of testosterone in your body, only 5% of it is converted into DHT. DHT is classified as a sex hormone because it is produced within the gonads. While DHT is not inherently bad, it is balding’s best friend.
DHT is actually needed to keep your body hair. The hair on your chest, armpits, and everywhere else on your body needs DHT to grow. But on the flip side…
DHT is your scalp hairs’ enemy. DHT attaches to the hair follicles on your head and makes them shrink down. When these hair follicles shrink down, they stay in the telogen phase longer and the anagen phase becomes so short that soon your hair will not even grow beyond your skin.
Research does not yet know exactly why some people respond to DHT stronger than others. There have been hypotheses on this such as, an individual may have more DHT receptors, more DHT production, or more androgen receptors in the body.
There are some medications for balding caused by DHT. These medications attack the 5-AR which is the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. When someone has too much 5-AR, they may find themselves with an excess of DHT and balding.
Medications inhibit production of 5-AR and limit the amount of testosterone that is turned into DHT. While not a quick fix, these medications may help reduce the rate of hair loss, I’ll talk more about hair loss options later.
Truly Going Bald or Patchiness?
There are some instances where you may lose hair but you are not actually going bald. These are behavioral issues that once stopped, hair will resume its normal growth pattern.
One of these reasons for patchiness can be combing your hair too often or too hard.
When you brush through your hair with a comb, it causes stress on the hair follicle. While healthy hair follicles can handle being brushed every day, when the brushing is aggressive or rough, it starts to pull on the follicle.
You can end up damaging your hair follicle and the hair will fall out before it is ready to. It strips away your hair cuticles and causes your hair to be unprotected.
If you find yourself often brushing your hair or brushing through it rough, stop it. Get a brush with soft bristles that are easy on your scalp. Once you are gentle on your scalp, you’ll find your hair growth resumes.
If you are constantly running your hands through your hair, this can result in hair loss as well. By pulling on your hair, your hair believes it should grow closer to the scalps surface. This causes your hair to shorten the follicle length making it easier to pull out.
Also, our hands are not always clean. If you are running your hands through your hair that may have dirt or other substances on them, it can cause the follicles to get blocked from dirty pores and stop your normal hair growth.
While we men often don’t like to fuss with hair care products, what shampoo we use can greatly affect our hair health. If you grab the cheapest shampoo available, you are putting unnecessary chemicals in your hair. These shampoos are harsh on your hair cuticle and strip the hair of its natural protective oils. This will cause breakage in your hair and will weaken the follicle.
There are a lot of guys guilty of this next one… roughly rubbing the towel against your head when you get out of the shower.
Do you think this is good for your scalp? No!
That towel may dry your hair but it is also rubbing each hair follicle in the opposite direction. You are creating a recipe for disaster for your follicle health.
Rough rubbing with a towel when your hair is wet can rip out tangled strands and cause breakage. If you find patchiness all over your head or in your favorite spots to scrub, learn to be gentle with your scalp!
Lots of other things you do to your hair can affect the hair health and cause patchiness.
Are you using any heat on your hair like a blow dryer? What sorts of products are you using to style your hair?
Maybe you do a weekly hair treatment or you obsessively cut it. If you think your baldness is caused by a behavior, be gentle. Check all of your hair care products and then be soft with your scalp so you are not creating more breakage.
How Men Try To Buck The Hair Loss Trend
As time continues, more and more treatment options are available.
Maybe the most well-known treatment is minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Rogaine. Minoxidil can be prescribed or purchased over the counter. It works best for balding that starts at the crown of the head.
It is a successful treatment option for some men but needs to be used consistently for progress to happen. How it works is minoxidil widens your blood vessels and opens potassium channels which allow more nutrients to be given to your hair follicles. This allows hairs in the anagen phase to grow thicker and longer allowing for less hair loss all over.
Another medication treatment is finasteride. Finasteride slows hair loss and can improve hair growth by about 30%. This medication only works as long as you continue to take it. How it works is it stops the 5-AR from making testosterone into DHT. It reduces DHT by about 70% which allows your scalp to keep its follicle size.
If you are looking for non-medication treatments, you may look at getting a hair transplant. While one of the costliest methods, hair transplants can look very natural and are a quicker fix than taking medication the rest of your life.
Hair transplants are a surgical process that takes hair from a part of your scalp that has successful hair growth. This donor site will only leave a small scar that will remain covered by your hair growth. These hair follicles are then inserted into the balding areas of your scalp. This is natural looking because it’s your own hair that continues to grow.
Active Forums for Anyone in Their Balding Journey
The most important thing to remember is you are not alone!
Whether you decide to try to regrow your hair or shave it all off like bad asses Vin Diesel and The Rock, there are plenty of other guys in your exact shoes.
If you want advice, need someone to talk to, or to just feel like balding isn’t the end of the world, there are multiple online forums with people you can talk to. Check out Tressless, Sly Bald Guys, and Bald Truth Talk.
About The Author
Shawn is the founder and senior editor at Tools of Men, the leading style and grooming source trusted by men in 187 countries. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. He is an expert in all things men’s grooming related. His work has been mentioned on countless sites including The Wall Street Journal, NBC, AskMen, Vice, WikiHow, and the New York Times.
The Early Signs of Balding and How to Stop Them
Like most signs of aging, male pattern baldness doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, for most men, going bald is a long and slow process that can take anywhere from a few short years to several decades.
One of the keys to stopping hair loss is noticing the signs of baldness and taking acting as early as possible. Simply put, the earlier you take action to prevent hair loss, the more hair you’ll be able to save.
Unfortunately, identifying hair loss isn’t always easy. Many of the most common “certain signs” of hair loss you can find online aren’t reliable, making it easy to mistake normal hair loss (from non-damaged hair follicles, which will grow back) for male pattern baldness.
Luckily, there are some real signs of male pattern baldness that you can use to identify and deal with hair loss. Below, we’ve listed three signs that you should be aware of, as well as simple but effective ways that you can take action to prevent your hair loss from getting worse.
>>MORE: As men, we’re prone to many issues. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction?
Noticeable change in your hairline
The most obvious sign of balding is a noticeable change in your hairline that you can clearly see in photographs.
Baldness often begins in the hairline, with the flat or mildly receded hairline you previously had turned into a more obvious V-shaped hairline. For most people, this begins around the temples and often starts with thinning rather than total hair loss.
If you can compare two photos taken years apart and see that your hairline has receded, it’s an obvious sign that you’re suffering from hair loss.
One important thing to be aware of is that lighting conditions can affect the appearance of your hairline. Many people’s hair looks thinner in bright down lighting (fluorescent light is particularly bad for making your hair look thin, even when it’s perfectly normal).
This makes it important to compare photos with similar lighting conditions, not one photo taken in natural light and another taken in bright artificial light.
If you’re really concerned about hair loss, you can photograph yourself every few months in the same lighting conditions to see if your hairline is receding. Over the course of a year or two, you should be able to determine whether or not you’re losing hair around your hairline.
Photos are a great way to work out whether or not you’re losing hair, as they let you take a look at yourself from another person’s perspective. If you notice hair loss, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.
Noticeable thinning of your hair
Not all people go bald from their hairline. Some men experience what’s called diffuse thinning — a type of hair loss that either affects the entire scalp or specific areas like the crown — resulting in baldness that starts from the back or top, rather than from the hairline.
Just like a receding hairline, the easiest way to spot diffuse thinning is to compare photos from different time periods. If you notice that your hair looks thinner now than it does in photos taken several years ago, there’s a chance that it’s the result of male pattern baldness.
Since you don’t normally take photos from behind you, the easiest way to compare the level of thickness in your hair over time is to take photos every two to three months in your bathroom mirror.
If you notice the hair around your crown thinning every year, it’s worth taking action to prevent any further loss.
>>MORE: Does hair loss medication work? Get the skinny on finasteride.
Excessive hair loss after showering or brushing
It’s normal to lose hair when you shower, brush or comb. On average, people lose around 100 hairs a day, meaning that the four to five hairs you notice in your hands after shampooing your hair aren’t anything to be concerned about.
However, if you start to notice an excessive amount of hair falling out throughout the day, there’s a risk that it could be the result of male pattern baldness.
Before you panic, it’s important to know that temporary hair loss can happen and that shedding a lot of hair for a day or two isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. Hair loss can occur due to many causes, ranging from travel-induced jetlag to sunburn, weight loss or fever.
This type of hair loss is usually temporary, meaning you’ll notice a larger number of hairs in your hands and on your brush for a week or two. You might also notice loose hairs on your pillow in the morning.
If you notice a large amount of hair loss every day for a long period of time, you should seek out help. After all, it doesn’t take as long as you’d think for a modest amount of daily hair loss to turn into a receding hairline or a visible bald spot on your crown.
What not to look for
The three signs above are good indicators that you should think about taking action to stop your hair loss. However, there are also commonly repeated “signs” of baldness that aren’t as reliable for identifying hair loss. These include:
- An itchy scalp, which is usually caused by dry, irritated skin or excessive amounts of sebum, neither of which contribute to long-term hair loss.
- Thin looking hair after you swim or shower, which is more often a result of your hair clumping together and revealing your scalp than real hair loss. To accurately check for hair loss, it’s always best to compare photos of your hair when it’s dry and unstyled.
- A widow’s peak, which is a dominant genetic trait and not an indicator of hair loss or susceptibility to hair loss.
- A few hairs on your pillow or bar of soap, which are completely normal and not a reliable indicator that you’re losing an abnormal amount of hair.
- A white ‘bulb’ on hair that falls out naturally. This just indicates that the hair was in the telogen phase when it fell out, and doesn’t mean that it won’t grow back as normal.
- A bald grandfather on a certain side of your family. Scientists still don’t know exactly how male pattern baldness is inherited, and a bald father or grandfather is no guarantee that you will also go bald.
>>MORE: Masturbation versus your hairline. Fact or fiction?
How to take action to stop your hair loss
If you’ve noticed hair loss and want to stop it, one of the most effective ways is to block DHT — the hormone that causes hair loss — using a combination of finasteride, minoxidil and a DHT blocking shampoo.
The most effective hair loss treatments, such as 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride, are designed to stop further hair loss. This means that the earlier you start taking them, the more of your hair you’ll be able to preserve.
In some cases, drugs like finasteride and minoxidil can cause you to regrow some of your lost hair, although there’s no guarantee that this will happen.
Our guide to DHT and hair loss explains more about how hair loss treatments like finasteride work, and the potential effects you can expect from starting the treatment.
You can also complete an online consultation with our doctors to learn more about what’s causing your hair loss and how you can stop it.
Why Millennials Are Losing Their Hair Earlier
Have you noticed that younger people seem to be losing their hair a lot sooner? It may not be your imagination.
New research found that people in China in their 20s are going bald sooner than any generation before them.
The data was anecdotal from a self-reported survey of 4,000 students at Tsinghua University in Beijing, but researchers said 60 percent of the young study participants reported they were losing significant amounts of hair.
While 25 percent of respondents said they didn’t notice the hair loss until they were told by friends or family, 40 percent responded they were quite aware of their receding hairlines.
Researchers also reported that the students least likely to report hair loss were studying science, math, and automotive engineering.
Millennials and hair loss
Although balding is typically associated with advancing age, an increasing number of millennials in the United States say they’re experiencing hair loss.
Dr. Andrea Hui, a San Francisco dermatologist, said that both men and women as young as 18 years old are asking her for help in combating hair loss.
New York hairstylist Angelo David told the New York Post that an increasing number of his younger clients are expressing concerns with thinning hair and receding hairlines.
Hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, and stress are among the known causes of hair loss in young men and women.
However, diet can also strongly influence hair health.
The growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets could be contributing to millennial hair loss.
Research conducted last year by Dr. Emily L. Guo, a resident physician at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, indicated that severely reduced protein consumption as well as deficiencies in zinc, vitamin D, and other nutrients can negatively affect hair growth.
How big a factor is stress?
Stress can affect the growth lifecycle of your hair.
Usually, your hair grows, then stops growing, and finally falls out.
These steps are called the anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen phases.
The anagen (growth phase) of a human scalp hair lasts from two to six years. After the growth phase, hair enters a short catagen phase (a few days) when the follicle shrinks slightly.
That’s followed by the telogen phase when the hair remains stable. Finally, hair enters the exogen phase during which it falls out.
This is a continuous process and it’s normal for someone to shed between 50 and 100 hairs every day.
Doris Day, MD, of Day Dermatology & Aesthetics and author of “Beyond Beautiful” believes that stress is a significant factor causing millennial hair loss.
“Stress can interrupt the hair growth process by moving hairs out of the growth phase prematurely. This can cause higher amounts of hair to fall out,” Day told Healthline.
Stress-induced hair loss has been demonstrated in mice exposed to loud noises. In this study, stress led the rodents’ hairs to enter catagen prematurely.
Another study involving monkeys found a greater likelihood of hair loss in test animals with higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
According to a report from the American Psychological Association (APA), research indicates a connection between age and stress. Millennials say they feel isolated or lonely due to stress while maintaining an average of five “close friends” with whom they can relax, discuss personal matters, or call on for help.
APA researchers discovered that members of generation X and millennials reported higher levels of stress than older generations. They also seem to have more difficulty successfully coping.
Day said that millennials’ hair maintenance may also be contributing to hair loss.
“Excessive bleaching and dying can seriously damage hair,” she said. “The weight and tension of hair extensions can also weaken hair follicles, causing more hair to fall out.”
Millennials are more ‘hair aware’
Day considers the increasing focus placed on appearance through the media as another factor that makes millennials more sensitive to hair changes.
“It’s normal for people to experience some hair loss in their 20s and 30s,” she said, “but greater exposure to celebrities and the media create a greater desire for thicker, more attractive hair than earlier generations experienced.”
“Anyone concerned about thinning hair or balding should see a dermatologist to discover what can be done,” Day added. “There are medical, nutritional, and other interventions that can help.”
Why am I so anxious about going bald?
I suspect that beneath the depleting follicles I’ve discovered something that runs deeper, a more revealing and unpleasant truth about the male psyche. It’s about vanity and ego, pure and simple.
The popular image of modern man is of someone who is fashion-conscious, with impeccable grooming, and most likely surrounded by a cloud of whatever fragrance is top of Esquire’s must-have list this month.
But like many men, this is not an image I generally identify with. I’ve written before about my lack of interest in fashion, something I believe is shared by a great number of men – real, normal men whose appearance and lives have little in common with high-end style.
Vanity is something from which, until recently, I would have claimed exemption. But after the prolonged periods I’ve spent over the past few months trying to manipulate clumps of hair into various positions to create the illusion of a full-bodied fringe (a pathetic display for anyone unfortunate enough to have witnessed), it’s safe to say I have the capacity to be as vain as the worst of them.
So where does this vanity come from? Like lots of men I know, I’ve had slight variations of the same hairstyle since I was about 14 years old (and to call it a “style” at all is pushing the linguistic boundaries somewhat). Clearly, the fear of going bald extends way beyond not being able to maintain a specific look – it’s about how attractive I feel to the opposite sex.
Because, no matter how much us regular, down-to-earth men reject the latest trends, the primal desire to attract women is always present, whether it’s a desire we act upon or not. It’s arguably the one constant in the ever-changing nature of masculinity. The popular notions of what’s stylish might be alien to us, but in our own way we always want to remain appealing to the opposite sex. That’s the one thing most of us have at least a little vanity about.
Whether women find baldness attractive or not is another question entirely (some do, I’m told) and one rooted in male insecurity rather than reality, I suspect. Chances are, unless I resort to the comb-over, wig, or balding roadie look, most women won’t even notice, let alone care.
And as a friend told me recently (one who’s actually bald, I should point out, not just having an ego-ridden panic attack about the threat of it), there’s no use worrying, because there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it, unless I want to spend obscene amounts of money rectifying the situation.
When it does finally reach the point of no return, I’ll hopefully be at peace with the fact that ultimately it doesn’t matter – the only real problem is, like so many others, I’ve been cursed with a masculine ego that’s as fragile as it is full of itself.