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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

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8 thoughts on “Be Proud, Baldies: It’ll Put Hairs on Your Head”

  1. Graham: The idea about baldness being a sign of virility seems to have been put about mostly by bald anthropologist Desmond Morris.

    As for male homosexuality: it’s generally postulated as being caused by too much masculinity and too little, usually by the same people.

  2. I read somewhere once that baldness and gayness is the result of an excess of testosterone. ( said the bald gay man happily)

  3. Iainey: The Gays have of course been adopting this approach to the problem of hair-dos for years. Beckham sometimes adopts it too – perhaps when he has grown tired of all his different fussy cuts. It can look very fetching, but depends on the shape of your skull.

    I’ve been having a No.2 on top and zero on the sides for years. But now that I’m thinning/receding I almost wish I’d sported a longer cut for a while when I could….

  4. In Liverpool, the men willingly shave their heads, even though they’re may not be receding or thinning. The running joke that they can’t be bothered choosing a hairstyle so they just shaved their heads. It’s an epidemic.

  5. William Hague, our current Foreign Minister, the one waging such a successful, masterful war against Libya, is a slaphead. He used to wear baseball caps:

    Which is one of the reasons I don’t. That and the fact that I can tell myself I’m not your actual, fully-fledged Slaphead. Yet. I’m just ‘thinning’.

    I do however have a floppy brimmed fishing type hat that I wear when I go somewhere that actually has sun. It makes me look like an Australian lesbian.

  6. As a completely bald man, which no amount of Rogaine was able to help, let me give you the skinny.

    Baldness IS a lifestyle. Much in the same way being a vampire is a lifestyle.

    As you no doubt discovered, Mark, the scalp is not ordinary skin. It’s a sensitive part of the body, which is why Father Nature left hair there to shield it as we evolved.

    It points at the sun. And it burns easily. Far too easily to be protected by sunscreen.

    Which is why middle aged men like me are forced to wear a hat. Since proper hats make us look like we’re wannabe ageing hipsters, we wear baseball caps, which make us look like pretend high-school jocks.

    You know what? If you walk down the street and notice a middle aged man in a baseball cap, he is not a baseball player. He is BALD.

    Baldness cures. It’s just another form of Male Enhancement.

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