There’s just something unsettling about watching your hair fade, isn’t there? You’re not alone if you agree. According to studies, men rank going bald as one of their greatest fear about growing old. And this isn’t a new development. For centuries, men have been trying to find cures for fading follicles. The condition plagued the Ancient Egyptians, Julius Caesar, and Greek physician Hippocrates, whose proposed hairline-helpers ranged from pigeon droppings to castration.
For a genetic trait that’s seen across every ethnic group, it’s a wonder that evolution hasn’t nixed this terrible plight. But evolution, surprise surprise, may actually know what it’s doing. Because, as it turns out, there are plenty of reasons you should appreciate your chrome dome.
The Cause Of Baldness
You can blame the testosterone byproduct dihydrotestosterone for the degradation of your once luscious locks. The hormone is vital in developing genitals in the womb but too much of it causes hair follicles to shrink. The time when your hair starts thinning and follicles you lose depend on the DNA you received from your parents. But even if your old man lost his hair before he graduated college, that doesn’t mean you will too. In addition to genetics, everything from stress to diet contributes to hair loss. So keep yourself in check.
Bald Men May Have a Biological Advantage
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, and one of its leading risk factors is low levels of Vitamin D. This is where baldness comes in handy. While there’s proof that higher levels of DHT increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer, the immense sun exposure (literally Vitamin D’s largest resource) a bald head allows could counterbalance the excess and actually lessen the risk. So don’t wear a hat, and be sure to soak in that sun. Just remember to lube up with a lot of SPF. Ain’t no sunburn like a bald head sunburn.
They’re Viewed As More Dominant
Alpha males tend to have a little flare about them. Just look at a lion’s mane. Okay, that’s a bad example with the hair and all. But a sleek, aerodynamic head might be our version of that. Studies regularly show that men are seen as more dominant with a bald head rather than with a full head of hair (read: not a combover). Frank Muscarella, one of the many researchers to have tackled this issue, figures that baldness might have earned this implication of high social status when humans were still cavepersons. He thinks the bald men in his study were perceived as more dominant because “baldness is associated with the next stage of physical maturation, termed senescence.” Booyah.
And That Could Translate To Better Business Deals
Here’s a tongue twister for you: Would Jeff Bezos still be Jeff Bezos if Jeff Bezos weren’t bald? The answer? Probably. But that magic 8 ball he calls a head probably helped him get people to sign on the line which is dotted. Why? Well, a study conducted by the Wharton School of Business showed that in addition to being perceived as more manly and dominant, men with completely bald or shaved heads are often thought to be better leaders. There’s just something about a shorn cue ball that screams confidence.
Bald Men Can Usually Grow Some Kick-Ass Facial Hair
Your body has many different follicles (scalp, face, arms, etc.), but they’re all fed by the same hormones. That means that when you go bald, the excess grow-juice is rerouted to other areas, including your face, leaving you primed to grow a majestic cheek carpet. The dominance of a bald head mixed with the manliness of a full beard has become such a successful phenomenon that scientists are actually researching the reason for its rise in millennial aesthetic. It’s gotten to the point that some men are dropping several thousand dollars on beard transplants, so take advantage of your evolutionary gift and grow out that fuzz.
They Save More Money (And The Environment)
Men and women spend an average $59 per month on personal care products. And American men collectively spend an average of $1 million a year fighting male pattern baldness. Own your dome and you won’t have to waste your hard earned cash on hair waxes or barber shop visits (not to mention the in-chair banter). What’s more, that shiny head of yours doesn’t need to be washed as thoroughly. That means it kind of sort of helps prevent droughts and produce more almonds. Plus, your kids might not have to, like, see the world burn on their 40th birthday. But also, almonds.