Hey, Guys: Ladies Care Far Less About Your Receding Hairline Than You Do

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Another day, another infomercial playing on men's hair-loss insecurities. I think it's time we came out and said: this is an industry for men, by men:

I have known a lot of men who were obsessed with losing their hair. They monitored hairlines, they studied the manes of maternal ancestors with rapt attention, they applied Rogaine. And in every single one of these case, their wives or girlfriends didn't care nearly as much.


Yes, biologically, I guess everyone likes lustrous, shining mops. Certainly we like our POTUS to have a full head, just as they have to be unusually tall. Says one Dr. William Rassman,

History has shown that when men got sick (tuberculosis over the course of human history) they lost hair and died early, so when selecting a mate, women picked men who had good hair, because in the search for a husband they could not have a man would would die on them (not good for long term futures and babies). This had a great deal to do with prejudice against balding men. Men when they are in their 20s don't yet have enough confidence in their manhood, so losing hair seems to exacerbate the balding problem.

If you believe this theory, thank the those creepy TB tests for female indifference to hairline.

I did a little Internet sleuthing, expecting to turn up all kinds of shallow dames declaring that they wouldn't date bald men, but even in the wilds of the web, this didn't seem to be the case. "hair is nice, but when it comes down to it, women respond to personality," wrote one commenter to a 35-year-old considering a hair transplant on an answers site. "bald head, schmald head. we don't care," said another. "be a nice guy and don't cheat. that's what we like." Several mentioned Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart, and Jason Statham.

And yet, to read the code on men's hair-growth commercials, every man is a Samson whose "confidence," potency and youthful vigor are directly tied to his locks. Sure, it's an industry, and like a lot of industries, it plays on insecurities. But I think it's up to us as women to help change this perception and spike the advertisers' guns a little. People are going to feel the way they feel, and clearly, for many men, this is a sensitive issue. But men are the ones obsessed with hair - women's and their own - and much as society might try to project male thinking onto us, we've frankly got other things to worry about.



And once again, this would be less of a fraught issue if most societies would accept the idea that individual sexual preferences vary. A lot.

Me, I prefer long thick hair. I know women who love men with close cropped military cuts, women who love bald men, women who love men who're blond, women who love men with dark hair, women who love curls, women who don't...it varies.

The anti-baldness industry for men strikes me as having a lot in common with the anti-ageing industry. Create a fear of something that if it's going to happen there's no way to stop it, reinforce that fear, and watch the money roll in.