‘WHAT are you like?’ exclaimed my friend Jody, staring disapprovingly at my bonce. I’d just taken off my motorcycle helmet and what was left of my hair was standing up like pampas grass. ‘You look as if an electric eel slithered up your butt.’ he exclaimed. ‘For heaven’s sake stop clinging onto that lot.’
He marched me over to a mirror, and I have to admit I looked pretty awful. So, I spat into my right palm and tried to pat my comb-over back into some semblance of order. He shook his head and insisted that it would be a hell of a lot better if I were to rid myself completely of the badly-constructed bird’s nest that sat on my crown.
His words stung, but Jody, never one to mince words, was very rarely wrong. So, with considerable trepidation, I allowed him to take a pair of electric clippers to my head. When the shock of seeing myself shorn wore off, I actually felt elated. And when friends began saying ‘hey, I’m liking your new look,’ the anxiety that plagued me for years about the gradual loss of my hair simply evaporated. My obsession with applying lotions, potions, compounds and other useless quackadoodle products to restart my hair growth vanished completely.
When I allowed Jody to rid me of my hair in the late 1980s, there were far fewer bald role models than there are now. In my opinion, and that of many others, the sexiest was Yul Bynner, but generally speaking it was the actors and sports personalities with magnificent manes that most men wanted to imitate.
All that changed when, almost overnight it seems, bald became the racy new look a great many men of all ages chose to adopt, thanks to the likes of Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Patrick Stewart and Ben Kingsley. On the other hand, people with haystacks like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are now regarded with derision and even downright contempt.
From the immense amount of research that’s been done into baldness, two key findings have surfaced: men without hair, either through the natural balding process or by choice, are perceived as stronger and more assertive by both males and females. And men who start to lose their hair at a young age have 45 percent less chance of getting prostate cancer than those with a full head of hair.
There other advantages too. Bald men appear much younger than they are. Willis and Jackson are prime examples. Furthermore, while baldies are perceived by many as more masculine and powerful, studies show that men who insist on clinging to the remains of their hair are actually seen as weak and insecure. That is why experts recommend that balding men should bite the bullet and clipper or shave their heads.
And then there’s the important issue of money-saving. Why go to a barber if you can take clippers or a razor to your head at home? Shampoos and other hair products are also no longer required, which will save you even more dosh.
And the best bit of all? No more bad hair days.