There was a time, not long ago, when a man having no hair on his head was a “condition.” In most cases a condition that caused mental discomfort to one degree or another.
Of course, for many men that is still the case.
“Miracle” hair growth creams and ointments — that don’t work — are still purchased. Home “remedies” are given a try. Silly-looking and easily detected toupees are worn by some men. Expensive hair transplanting procedures are undergone by those with the desire and the money.
But as time marched on, being bald made a shift from being a source of emotional pain to something acceptable — and fashionable. As is usually the case, the music industry, Hollywood and the sports industry played key roles in the development of the new reality.
BACK IN 1969, Isaac Hayes attracted a great amount of attention, and raised plenty of eyebrows, with his landmark album, “Hot Buttered Soul.” There he was on the cover with his hairless dome on full display. He was bald and he was proud.
The bald head of actor Yul Brynner had long been familiar to movie-goers and the general public. But he was an anomaly, whereas Hayes was at the forefront of what was to eventually become “a whole new thing.”
Another actor who played an important role in the acceptance and popularity of bald heads was Telly Savalas, whose “Kojak” detective series generated strong ratings throughout its 1973-1978 run.
MUCH MORE recently, singer Aaron Hall, former member of the hitmaking trio Guy that emerged in the late ’80s, practically gushed during a 1992 interview when discussing the virtues and advantages of being bald.
How the conversation drifted from Hall’s successful solo career to an in-depth discussion on baldness is a story unto itself.
“Once you go bald, you will never go back!” enthused Hall, adding, “The women will go crazy!”
The interviewer, whose hair was disappearing fast, was considering making the all-the-way-bald move. Pleased with the interest, Hall then proceeded to offer a detailed explanation of how to take care of a head without hair. It involves hot towels, witch hazel, a safe electric shaver such as the Gillette Fusion, and aloe vera gel. (It’s a simple and fast procedure.)
Bruce Willis looked on the lighter side of going bald (by choice), saying in his ego-driven, humorous way, “Fortunately, I have a nice, round head. What you don’t want to do is shave and find out you have one of those pinheads.”
GRANTED, the shape of the head is a consideration for some men, whether being bald is for style or due to genetics. But once the needed level of courage has been worked up, the decision will most likely prove to be liberating.
Most bald men who chose to be bald or have learned to just accept reality, would not re-grow hair even if they could, which might include believing that a product like Rogaine really does work as well as its ads proclaim. These men are now comfortable.
It has much to do with self-acceptance and prioritizing, determining what is really important and what is not. Plus, for those who have taken matters into their own hands, there is no longer a need to go to the barbershop.
The benefits of being bald, including money saved, can be substantial.
Bald heads are everywhere today, as the pictures that accompany this story illustrate.
By choice or otherwise, bald is an okay thing. In fact, it is beautiful.