Is it me or is there an unusually large population of bald people in society? In some cases it’s the unfortunate result of illness and/or medication, and in others it’s a matter of genetics, but very often it’s a choice of fashion…really?   Who wants to be bald? Thirty years ago our fathers were seeking options to restore their hair; tonics, plugs, toupees, anything to avoid advertising their lack of locks. Many (usually the old ethnic ones) reverted to the old comb over (cause we all know how attractive that is – 4 hairs, 18 inches long, wrapped around the scalp like a Hershey’s Kiss and secured with Gorilla glue)

The puzzling thing is that more and more young men are voluntarily shaving their heads.  Why? Hair is youthful. And let’s face it, only babies are cute bald. Everyone else looks older with thinning or no hair, so why shave it off?  I think I have it figured out.

I believe hair loss, when not the result of medication or genetics, is largely stress related. Men, historically the main or only breadwinners, bore the full stress load of the family finances. (women stayed home and fried chicken or vacuumed in high heels and pearls – nothing to lose their hair over) So can we assume that the greater the stress the higher the mans’ income, ergo the greater the hair loss? (If that means that a bald man is a good provider, I’ll take 2 please) It should follow then that the opposite is also true, yes? (Show me a man with a full head of hair, and I’ll show you a slacker!)

Those who didn’t lose their hair (good genes) turned grey or white early. Look at all the past US presidents – they all came out of their terms totally white. (I can hardly wait to see what the current President elect looks like after his term. Actually I’d love to know what he pays his barber to keep quiet. For that matter, I’d love to be a fly on the wall to see what he looks like when he gets up in the morning – no wait, not in the morning – too close to breakfast for a visual like that….weak stomach)

I think men in their twenties today are stressed with launching their careers in an environment that demands more of them than ever before. This stress causes the hair to start to thin out on top, so to avoid looking like Friar Tuck, they choose to shave their heads completely. They claim it’s ‘easier to maintain’, or ‘cooler in the hot summer’; whatever excuse to convince society that they’re not going bald, rather they have ‘chosen’ to lose their locks for the sake of fashion or hygiene. Oh please, you’re not fooling anyone and what you save on shampoo, you spend on hats and razors.

Over the past several decades, women left the kitchen and entered the work force and if you look around you’ll notice more and more women are now experiencing thinning and/or hair loss. Stress is the only common denominator. Now, with gender equality (such as it is) women have taken on the stress once born by men alone, and now they too are feeling the physical repercussions. (we should’ve stayed in the kitchen – it’s a lot easier to whip up a meal than find a good wig!)

At the end of the day, and until medical research can find a way for humans to bear stress without physical repercussions, we may have to face a growing population of baldies. Soooo, I would discourage any young girls from pursuing a career in hair dressing,,, we won’t need them with this current trend. Barbers are safe because they can still trim men’s facial hair. Isn’t it odd that a man can go bald but still have a full beard? What is it about stress that only affects the top of the head – maybe cause it’s closer to the brains….it kills the hair follicles closest. (Actually, with the female Boomer generation, in the throes of menopause, there’s a lucrative business to be made by trimming womens’ facial hair, but that’s another topic…..)

If there’s anything positive to come from this growing society of the hairless it’s that it should open up some great entrepreneurial opportunities for hats and haberdasheries, and the share price of “Tilley” should sky rocket! (Just imagine, an entire population sporting Tilley hats,,,,, with socks and sandals of course…..oi vey!)

                                        bald-guy                    cartoon-comb-over

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