Have you ever wondered why men go bald while women’s hair just keeps going? For as long as men have had access to mirrors, they have been fretting about their scalps going bald.
It was a particular obsession of world-famous Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, who tried everything to get his hair back. The wreath of laurels he wore like a crown was more of an attempt at covering up his shiny head (“Skin”).
By the time Julius Caesar met Cleopatra, he was almost completely bald. In a last-ditch attempt to save his mop, she lovingly recommended a home remedy of ground-up mice, horse teeth and bear grease.
His lover’s recommendation didn’t work. He lost his hair like many great men before and since, including Socrates, Napoleon, Aristotle, Gandhi, Darwin, Churchill, Shakespeare and many more.
Hair loss: Why men only?
Let’s get back to our question on why baldness is a male thing and the women just cruise away.
Alopecia (baldness) occurs when enzymes in our body convert testosterone into something called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
And it is this DHT testosterone by-product that attacks hair follicles by shrinking them and making them hard to live hence, causing baldness to the affected person.
These enzymes are hereditary and that’s why some people have them, some don’t. Moreover, the amount of these enzymes as well as the amount of receptors on a person’s head, determines how quickly one will experience hair loss.
But, why are women less affected?
Well, because dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a by-product of testosterone, and testosterone is the primary male hormone, women are not as dramatically affected as men, because their bodies simply don’t have a great amount of testosterone.
There you have the answer. It’s as simple as that!
The economics of baldness
Men spend almost N5 trillion (about $3.5 billion) on baldness cures every year. Can you believe that? That’s more than the entire national budget of some African countries or, as Bill Gates pointed out last year, significantly more than the $200m we spend on the control of malaria per year.
From revolting concoctions to expensive creams, tonics and shampoos, and last resorts of pills and surgery. The world now has it all.
Are bald men more powerful and sexy?
The shaven look has been a hit with philosophers, teachers and priests for centuries. Christian monks have taken this one step further – not only shaving their heads but doing so in a way that directly mimics the way men go bald.
It is speculated that baldness may have evolved as a signal of high social status – something some women find irresistible. Intriguingly, bald men were also viewed as significantly less aggressive. If you think about it, early human males would have been running around completely naked and completely hairy, so you can imagine a big shaggy head of hair, a big bushy moustache – all kinds of body hair – they would have been very kind of threatening looking, Going bald  may have been a way to separate mature, high-status men from hostile adolescents.
That’s probably why bald men are sometimes seen as more intelligent, dominant and high status; their shiny scalps may help them to seduce women or even save lives.
The Niger answer
The Nigerian solution to hair loss is probably the best in the whole wide world – just skin it!