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Be Proud, Baldies: It’ll Put Hairs on Your Head

I wanna go bald! It looks so much fun! It looks so good! And check out all the fit, devil-may-care young chaps that you get to hang out with! They drive around in convertibles too! (Now that they don’t have to worry about their rug blowing off.)

I am going bald already, of course – or rather, ‘thinning’. But I never realised until I saw this TV ad for Regaine currently airing in the UK that it could be a lifestyle. And such a cool one. There must be teenagers watching this ad with full heads of luxuriant hair and no history of male pattern baldness in their family for ten generations thinking: Do I have to wait until I’m actually, y’know, losing my hair to use this stuff ? Coz I can’t wait to…

Join the growing group of men using Regaine every day! Helping them feel at their best!

It’s not a product – it’s a movement! But one I probably can’t join. At least not the one shown in the ad: I’m not young or cute enough. And I’m too bald.

But I’m definitely drawn by the ambiguity of the line ‘Helping them feel at their best’. Is it Regaine or is it the new male convert to the joys of hair renewal who is going to help ‘the growing group of men using Regaine every day’ feel at their best?

It’s easy to make fun of baldness, and also of ‘hair renewal’ ads, which have sprouted up all over prime-time TV lately — in between all the ads for male moisturiser and body wash. But this ad is seriously aiming to banish the shame and the sniggering associated with hair loss by showing nice-looking chaps with nice lives – and really nice hair.

It’s another corporate-sponsored float in the endless metrosexual pride parade of 21st Century culture. Reassuring men that ‘vanity’ about their hair, like all the other kinds, is nothing to be ashamed of anymore. ‘Join the growing group of men’ who aren’t afraid to preen themselves on your TV and come out about their ‘hair renewal’.

Apparently though there is still quite a lot of shame about baldness. Unlike the chaps in the ad, most men are still hiding in the bathroom, crying over the hairs in their sink. According to a recent survey of 2000 men conducted for Regaine, 76% of British men don’t talk to their friends or partners about going bald. Despite the fact that 20% are more likely to worry about going bald than finding a long term partner (perhaps this is why the ad features no women), and 50% more likely to worry about hair loss than going bankrupt. Though maybe they’ll change their minds when they find out how much Regaine costs.

The fact that twice as many men worry about their hair line than their performance in the bedroom perhaps explains the quasi erotic intensity of the montage of bathroom webcam images of men fussing with their hair.

Tip: Grooming Guru