Mind, culture, influence, high status in society… The image of bald men shines like their bald crown. They are perceived as charismatic and important people. In addition, baldness can save a life.
The old fear of bald people
Back in Ancient Egypt, 5,000 years ago, ointment from hedgehog needles, oil, honey, gypsum, ocher and pieces of nails was advised to men affected by this disease.
Later, at the beginning of the 4th century BC. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, tried to overcome his baldness with a mixture of pigeon droppings, horseradish, cumin and nettle. Apparently it didn't work because a form of baldness was named after him. Cleopatra once advised her beloved Julius to apply a mixture of horse teeth, pieces of mice and bear fat to his head in order to breathe new life into his hair. Finally, the Vikings smeared goose droppings on their bald head. However, it is doubtful that all these works made their hair thicker.
Be that as it may, today there are many remedies for this predominantly male disease, which is officially called "androgenetic alopecia." Preparations, nutritional supplements, lotions, implants… In total, more than 3 billion euros are spent every year on the fight against baldness in the world. And this is more than the budget of Macedonia and, as Bill Gates noted, the funds allocated to fight a much more dangerous malaria. And the game may not be worth the candle, because finasteride, used to combat alopecia, has many side effects, such as impotence.
It is worth noting that hair loss is perceived by a man as a real tragedy, a symbol of unattractive aging. The Romans attributed it to soldiers wearing helmets, Aristotle to sexual relations, and the French demagogue Saburo to a microbe in 1897 (his theory was refuted). Ultimately, no one is immune from baldness: all ethnic groups are affected.
Today we know what causes hair loss. It is caused by dihydrotestosterone, the biologically active form of the male hormone. Its production is associated with the development of the male genitalia. Unfortunately, it also contributes to the occurrence of prostate cancer. And that is quite often observed in bald men. Therefore, it is believed that they have a higher content of testosterone in their blood, and, therefore, they are more masculine. What is not true is stated in one BBC article. At the same time, they had increased hairiness on the arms, legs and body.
Be that as it may, baldness may be more useful than it seems. According to some scientists, it may be a physiological reflex that allows you to compensate for the harmful effects of dihydrotestosterone on the prostate. For example, hair loss promotes skin exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, a source of vitamin D, which a 2015 study found to help treat prostate cancer. Perhaps nature is smarter than we think? “Thus, baldness would help many people get more UV rays and thereby produce more vitamin D,” says study author Peter Kabay from St. Stephen’s University (Budapest). This would explain the fact that women without a prostate are much less prone to baldness. That is, baldness can have good sides.
Public perception of bald people
And it doesn't stop there. From a social point of view, a man with a bald head becomes the object of many positive stereotypes. First of all, because baldness is almost exclusively a feature of men, explains Frank Muscarella from Barry University in Florida (USA): “If in nature males have physical traits that females do not have, this creates an additional effect of attraction.” To verify this, the psychologist conducted an experiment in 2004 involving 101 men and 101 women. They were all shown photographs of men with and without hair.
As a result, bald men enjoyed great sympathy with women: “They called them more intelligent, influential, educated, wise, honest and amiable, having a higher social status. Such character traits are associated with wealth and maturity.
The second study of this type was conducted by Albert Manns and also showed that bald men are perceived as taller and more massive. In general, bald people are considered self-confident, mature and calm people who know how to lead and insist on their own.