You run your fingers through your hair, and hair comes out between your fingers. Not good. This is how it starts. A few hairs will progress to many. The hair comes out when brushing, combing, or washing. It’s like a switch flipped, and suddenly, there is visible scalp. While not fully understood, male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia if for the scientifically inclined) involves a hormonal and metabolic change. This is why it strikes without warning. Luckily, it isn’t painful. If it were, there would be a cure by now, but like most men’s health issues, it gets relatively little attention other than by fringe scientists. Medically, it is a benign condition. Some believe that it is a male form of polycystic ovary syndrome–something chicks get that is sex hormone related–that may have medical consequences such as diabetes. Some studies show that it has a correlation to heart disease. Psychologically, it is certain that baldness can devastate a man. It is a reminder of mortality and the fading of youth. More importantly, it signals the end of the easy days of picking up young women. Winter is coming. I’ve compiled, therefore, some hard truths on baldness and a little hope.
Hard Truth #1: Bald men are less attractive.
Take a photo of any male celebrity who women deem “hawt.” Photoshop off his hair. Does he look better? Nope. I guarantee that male celebrities known for being bald (Bruce Willis, Jason Statham) would be far more attractive with hair. Note also the dearth of bald male celebrities. Kind of like the paucity of fat female supermodels. (There is one disgusting piggy deemed a supermodel by the clowns–Tess Holiday. If you google it, you’ve been warned).
Hard Truth #2: The internet is full of lies from women and blue pillers clowning about Hard Truth #1 that will ruin your game.
There are many folks in the hair restoration/pickup/dating advice community who will tell you that hair doesn’t matter to women. That’s clown world advice. Don’t listen to it. I’ve witnessed it first hand. Take some time to inventory the most successful men with women that you know, and I guarantee they all have flowing locks or well-gelled spikiness into middle age. Also observe the men who were once good with women that you know. They are probably fat and bald now. A fat and bald guy can’t get laid in a monkey whorehouse with a stalk of bananas.
Many will say that it’s just the bald guy’s insecurities working against him. Wrong. A man knows his true worth better than anyone else. If he internalizes his worth, he can see past what others think of him. The Bald Effect is a phenomenon independent of self-esteem. A smart man understands the how the world works. It takes only looking around for a minute to see that women are less attracted to bald guys. Shit. It isn’t rocket science.
Hard Truth #3: If you go bald, you will have to work harder to get the same amount of lays as your hirsute colleagues.
A minority of women have immediate attraction to a bald guy. In my pickup experience, that first few moments of meeting is when the woman’s hindbrain decides if she’s going to fuck you. A bald dude has to ramp up his number of meetings because he will not get the same rate of primal attraction that a hirsute man gets. I estimate that about 1/3 of women will have primal attraction to a bald guy. This means that if man batted 0.200 with a full head of hair, he will drop to 0.067 as a bald guy. To get the same number of hits (lays), the bald man has to go to bat three times as much. For four lays, that’s 60 approaches instead of 20.
Hard Truth #4: Baldness is incurable at the present time. Nothing has been proven to truly regrow hair.
That’s right, it is as incurable as herpes. Unlike herpes, everyone will know you are bald. There is at least one product that says it regrow hair (minoxidil), but careful scrutiny of their research methods shows that they have no real proof that the hairs regrown are the hairs lost or just dormant hairs. Also, don’t fall for the clickbait with the guy who was totally bald and regrew his hair. He had an immune disorder called alopecia areata. They gave him a cancer drug that torpedoes the immune response. It is totally different from androgenic alopecia.
Hard Truth #5: A cure isn’t coming anytime soon. Scientists have no consensus on the mechanism of disease.
Some scientists believe baldness comes from DHT, a form of testosterone that may cause hair follicles on the scalp to shrink. Yet, for some reason, it makes hair grow on the rest of the body. Some believe that DHT, instead of shrinking the follicles, make the follicles grow and provide a greater surface area for bacteria and fungi to grow which initiate an immune response killing the follicle. Others have convoluted ideas about inflammation, etc. Scientists essentially don’t have a fucking clue. Like most science these days, it all depends on who backs the scientist. The scientists with funding/ties to the pharma company that makes the DHT blocker will back the DHT theory. Likewise, the scientists with funding/ties to the inflammation reduction drugs will back that theory. None will work the bacteria/fungi angle. No money to be made from patents. Without some basic scientific research, a cure will only come from coincidence and as a byproduct of something else. Only things considered serious public health problems get public funding for unprofitable basic research.
Also, this is a men’s health issue and men aren’t reliable block voters or a protected class, so there will be no political reason for public health funding, no races for a cure, no pink in the NFL, etc. I promise that if women start to get it in great enough numbers, it will, like breast cancer, become public enemy number one. Women may start to go bald in greater numbers if they continue to accept the clown propaganda that they should participate in sports, drink like a man, swear like a man, and compete in the career world like a man. That raises testosterone, which is implicated in hair loss. Yes, women go bald too. That’s why the condition went from being “male pattern baldness” to “androgenic alopecia.”
Hard Truth #6: Most hair transplants look like shit.
How long does it take to spot a hair transplant? I can spot one in about a minute. My intuition/subconscious will spot it first. “Something doesn’t look right about that guy.” The days of baby doll plugs are gone, but bad surgeons can really fuck up a good procedure. There’s a guy at my gym who has a desperate transplant. He was norwood 6 almost 7 when he got it. I can tell because the surgeon left a crescent moon of bare skin between his occipital scalp and where his thin transplant patch begins. He also has a blaze of bare skin down each side between his transplant patch and the sides of this head. It looks bad. There’s a also I dude I know who got the full frontal transplant leaving the bald spot in the back. That looks better, but still not great because of the width of the receding hairline left by the surgeon.
Pearl of Hope #1: Most women can rationalize their way past a man’s baldness if the man has something else going for him (amazing physique, money, status, etc.).
See also Hard Truth #3. The bald guy has a higher barrier to entry into the game. In pickup situations, if there is a bald guy and hirsute guy in the same set running the same pickup game, with all other factors being equal, the hirsute guy will get the lion’s share of the woman’s attention. The bald man must work harder, but not too hard. Overgaming to the point of try-hard will put her off more than being bald. I think this is the great lesson of this post. The bald guy must accept that he will get blown out of sets by his hirsute friends/wingmen while not being butthurt about it. That said, with good game and a good lifestyle, the female hamster will rationalize the bald but masculine man into a physically attractive man. The bald man must work hard on his body, career/business, and social circle to make it. This is the same advice for any other man, but the hirsute man may get by with less than the bald man.
Pearl of Hope #2: There are treatments that will delay the progression of baldness.
The key word is DELAY. If you start showing signs of baldness, get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment immediately. Look up the Norwood scale of baldness. You want to start treatments in norwood 2 beginning to go on to norwood 3. After that, you don’t do yourself many favors. Once lost, hair will not grow back. Here is what is known to work:
- Low level laser light therapy: Like most baldness treatments, scientists can’t agree how it works. Some think it’s just the warming effect causing more circulation on the scalp. Others think the laser radiation breaks up DHT (hormone implicated in baldness). Not FDA approval on efficacy. Just safety. Typically sold as a cap or helmet. Takes 20 minutes a day to use. Costs $500 to $800 to purchase cap or helment.
- Needling/Derma Roller: Literally pricking the scalp with needles. It hurts. Luckily it’s once a week. No FDA approval on efficacy, but there is one scientific paper showing an increase in hair growth when combined with minoxidil. The key is to just do it once a week. Do it more often and you’ll cause scarring and chronic inflammation. Best stacked with minoxidil. Costs about $50 for roller.
- Minoxidil: A blood pressure drug that causes hairs to grow. In original blood pressure trial, they noticed it grew hair, so they re-purposed it. Again, no scientific consensus on how it works. Most folks tolerate it well. There are responders/non-responders based on genes. Applied topically and inexpensive. Probably the first line of defense. FDA approved for safety and efficacy. Sold over the counter. There are gray market formulations with high concentrations (10% and %15). These are probably illegal in the USA so caveat emptor. Costs about $15 per month.
- Finasteride/Propecia: Originally used for swollen prostates. It blocks DHT conversion. Again, the side effect was less baldness/more hair from the original clinical trial for prostate problems. This drug can be pretty serious. It monkeys with hormone conversion (Testosterone to DHT but who knows what else it affects). So much so that women and children can’t handle the tablets. Causes impotence and depression in some men (How Faustian!). The upside is that it only happens in less than 2% of men. Some of them, however, never recover. FDA approved for safety and efficacy. (If that will help you sleep at night). Cost depends on pharma coverage, but expect to pay $10 per month for generic.
- Duasteride/Avodart: Not FDA approved for baldness, but shown clinically to be more effective than finasteride. It blocks two types of DHT conversion enzymes instead of just one like finasteride. There is no long term safety study on this drug. It requires a prescription, and you will have a hard time finding a doctor to write it off label for baldness. You will pay a premium for this drug because it is on patent. Your pharma coverage won’t get it without prostate diagnosis.
- Platelet Rich Plasma with Acell: Doctor takes your blood, spins its, mixes it with a porcine bladder healing matrix and injects it into your scalp. Costs about $750-$1250. Your mileage may vary on results. Not FDA approved. It’s purely off label. The papers published don’t control well for the needling effect v. the needling plus PRP, so I kind of hesitated to mention it as a treatment. The pictures I’ve seen show definite results. Research this one on your own.
While there are treatments that vary in effect from person to person, stopping treatment will allow the disease to progress. In some cases, the treatment itself will quit working. These treatments can be stacked for maximum effectiveness. I.e. a regimen of minoxidil with finasteride and derma rolling may work for better for you than just two of the three. Experiment and find what seems to work best for you.
Pearl of Hope #3: Cutting your hair tight will diminish the baldness.
Nobody really noticed how bald Jason Statham was for years because he wore a very tight hairstyle. If you are Norword 4 or 5, this will work until you hit 6. Use Pearl of Hope #2 to keep from going to 6 if it’s worth it to you.
Pearl of Hope #4: Tanning and head shaving will diminish the baldness if you are past Norwood 5. If you are black, nobody will notice if you just shave your head.
Darker skinned men fare better than milky whites with total baldness. Nobody makes much fuss over black dudes who shave their heads unless it is to say how good they look. This is because the dark skin keeps the eye on the face instead of the whole head. If you are white and can tan, do it. Don’t use a bed though. Get a high quality spray tan. The UV light from the bed will cause aging and sun-related skin diseases (keratosis/cancer). If you are ginger, you are fucked. If you shave your head, you’ll look like a big, pink walking dick.
Pearl of Hope #5: There are a very slim minority of women who have a strong preference for bald men.
I have no scientific basis for this, just experience and observation. Every single woman I’ve had with a preference for bald men had either a totally bald father or an absent father. I know that it reeks of confirmation bias, but please be observant and report back. That is how science begins. Unfortunately, the absent father ones are good only to lay, not for commitment. They never work out as girlfriends. They are always needy and possessive because they need daddy to hang around and experience severe anxiety if he doesn’t. Not saying that with darkness in my heart, just being practical.
Pearl of Hope #6: With great due diligence, a high-quality transplant is possible.
It’s expensive and painful, but a hair transplant can work. It all depends on the surgeon. Avoid new entrants in the field. Do research and ask hard questions. The internet is your friend. Don’t be afraid to take the doctor’s time to ask the hard questions. Be realistic. A full head of hair is not possible with a transplant. It is merely surgically moving hair around for the illusion of more hair. Go for a more natural look rather than a try-hard head of hair. Restoring the front realistically as though you moved from Norwood 5 to Norwood 4 is a better bet than trying to go for a Norwood 2 with thin coverage. Expect to spend between $10,000 and $25,000 for a good transplant depending on how much hair you need to move around and type of procedure. Take a cooling off period after you schedule the surgery to make sure it’s the right doctor. Remember, a bad surgeon will make you look like (Gasp!) a clown.
Going bald is not the end. Be realistic, however, on what it means to you and your game. The bald man has an uphill battle in most situations. The prospect of working harder is never fun, but doing so makes an all-around better man. Be wary of treatments. No matter how much a head of hair matters, overall health and having a working member is more important.