This blog post isn’t for everyone, but if you think about it, no blog post is. Baldness is 81 percent heritable and the remainder may be due to hormonal factors, medical conditions, and medications. Men are mostly affected, which is why we hear so much about “male pattern baldness,” but women are also affected. By age sixty, and this surprised me, 80 percent of women will have “noticeable” hair loss—and this is the part that raises a red credibility flag with me—according to Relevant Research, Inc., an arm of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. I guess I haven’t been paying close enough attention.
My own baldness has caused me to think about this matter for decades, but I haven’t written about it until now. I started with a hair deficit earlier than most, with a receding hairline as a child. Others in my family exhibited this pattern, but I had more of it than my older brother Nolen Robert and Daddy.
Anyway, I now turn my attention to the pros and cons of baldness that have been on my mind at various times for several decades. Oddly, I have not seen many of these pros and cons in print before, evidence of my deep and candid thinking.
7 Advantages of Being Bald
- Baldness eliminates the need for shampoo and conditioner.
- Baldness makes showering easier and faster, saving water and money.
- Baldness makes barber services become less important and they may be eliminated completely, saving time and money.
- Baldness makes it easier to justify wearing great hats. I don’t know how many hats I have, but I have a lot, and some of them are great hats in my humble opinion.
- Baldness makes height measurements at doctors’ offices become more accurate over time due to lack or absence of hair padding on top.
- Baldness among men often makes them more attractive to women. Ellen says that about me, and she has never known me any other way than bald.
- Baldness, when complete, means never having a bad hair day. There’s just no hair to be bad, or had for that matter.
7 Disadvantages of Being Bald
- Baldness, when complete, makes pates that serve as landing strips for flies. This is personally annoying to me.
- Baldness in cold weather and overly air-conditioned rooms can make people more vulnerable to discomfort and over-exposure. Winter is arriving in Austin, and I can hardly wait for the heat to return.
- Baldness makes people suffer more from sunburn in hot weather, unless they have proper hats at the ready.
- Baldness causes amateur photographers to often complain about the excessive glare when taking pictures of bald people. This is the basis for those “glare” jokes that make the bald people a tad self-conscious.
- Baldness in people who bump the top of their heads on hard objects like the underside of stairs and low-growing tree branches suffer more scrapes and pains than haired people.
- Baldness leads to nasty cuts and scrapes on heads that sometimes attract unwelcome attention from overly sympathetic observers.
- Baldness puts guys at a disadvantage if they want to be a Rick Perry lookalike. Mr. Perry, governor of Texas longer than anyone else in the state’s history, has impressive hair. The late Molly Ivins, who was on the opposite end of the political spectrum from Mr. Perry, once remarked that he has a head of hair that every Texan can be proud of.
Now I have mulled over these pros and cons more formally than ever in my own mind. You are the first to benefit from these deep thoughts on baldness, a type of thinking that people with hair do with considerable difficulty. Fully-haired guys are just not as lucky as they think.