The bald of Bruce Willis
08 Jun 2017 by Nev Haynes
“Do you think Bruce Willis would be bald if he could avoid it?”
This sentence was thrown at me many years ago, during a conversation about that curse of men that is alopecia, dissipating any doubts that we might have regarding its prevention.
In the case of men, alopecia or baldness occurs in 80% of cases by the action of male hormones or androgens on the hair follicle. At an age, men have a tendency to lose hair. Some before others. And those who suffer from alopecia are less likely to have prostate cancer. It is no coincidence that baldness mainly affects males, less frequently females. Not a few bald men who boast of their virility, which seems a myth without much scientific basis.
In the case of women, either due to stress or hormonal imbalance – such as menopause – alopecia can become even more serious, since it is not as socially accepted. Interestingly, although shaving the head in ancient Egypt had on the one hand an eminently practical reason, since it eliminated lice that could transmit diseases like typhus, was also considered a sign of purity in the case of priests, or beauty in the case of noble women, who also wore wigs, as can be seen in the paintings of the tombs excavated in the Valley of the Kings. The bust of the queen Nefertiti conceals with a lot of probabilities a shaven skull under her crown.
The reasons why the hair follicle weakens or deteriorates can be many: excessive seborrhea or dandruff, hormonal maladjustments, fevers or infections, physical reasons like pulls or the abuse of hair extensions, stress or dermatological problems, an inadequate diet – too low in vegetable fatty acids – to end age or genetic predisposition. In the face of such an amalgam of possible causes, it is difficult to understand why one combs a beautiful mane and others, on the other hand, awaken every morning with the “increasingly clear” ideas.
The question here is none other than to clear, if possible, doubts about whether alopecia can be avoided. Behind this aesthetic curse, since it cannot be considered a disease or illness as we know them, there is a juicy business that tries to alleviate the pains of those who see their hair disappear, clearing fronts and bald patches, affecting in all cases the self-esteem of the affected. Imagine an adult lion without mane. The king of the harem, the predator par excellence, the protector of the pack, bald like a billiard ball.
In the face of such an amalgam of possible causes, it is difficult to understand why one combs a beautiful mane and others, on the other hand, awaken every morning with the “increasingly clear” ideas
There are many clinics that promise to delay the process of hair loss, using chemical methods and stimulating the hair follicles with the most varied ointments or remedies. An assortment of shampoos, blisters, plasma injections, hormone treatments, coenzyme Q10, devices with laser technology, hair tonics and countless junks with exotic names or with a certain scientific flavor are proof that no one likes to be bald. Another thing is if these preventive methods really work. Read the fine print: “helps to prevent baldness”, “minimizes the risk of hair loss” or “contributes to hair strengthening”, always in cases of mild or moderate hair loss. In no case guaranteeing definitive results.
These treatments are obviously not cheap, but in some cases work. Again, Nature commands. It does not matter the money or the ingenuity that is used, since in many occasions there is no way to prevent or cure the inevitable. Unfulfilled promises are no longer promises and hence many turn to hair grafts, the only method that ensures repopulation of affected areas. And some do not even have that: Bruce Willis is bald and he is not an Egyptian priest.