Oh, that sinking feeling you get when you look in the mirror to see a patch in your hairline that you’re certain was not there yesterday.
Even if everyone claims they can’t tell the difference, you know that it’s a slippery slope from one hair falling out, to admitting defeat and asking your hairdresser to shave off that final tuft.
So if you’re feeling self conscious about going bald, no matter what age you are, here are seven things you need to know.
1. Male pattern baldness affects half of men by age 50.
When you’re feeling particularly self-conscious, it can seem like everyone around you is sporting a full head of thick hair, and no one else is suffering the dreaded hair loss. But you are not alone.
According to the NHS, male-pattern baldness affects 50% of men in the UK by the time they reach 50 years old.
2. Genes are to blame for your baldness.
Take some comfort from the fact that baldness is mostly out of your control. That’s right, no matter how much scalp massage you get or how much money you spend on expensive shampoo, baldness is built into your genes.
A study identified nearly 300 genes that contribute to the condition. So being able to outsmart your hair follicles with matcha, chia and green tea may not have much impact.
3. More specifically, your mother’s genes.
And it’s not just any old genes. Whether or not your genetics are going to be working in your favour when it comes to baldness will depend entirely on your mother’s chromosomes.
Saskia Hagenaars, who worked on the study, said: “It was interesting to find that many of the genetic signals for male pattern baldness came from the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers.”
4. Bald men are not more virile.
There is a popular theory that because bald men have high levels of the male hormone testosterone (scientists suspect this is probably correlated to early onset baldness), that they also have greater sex drive and fertility.
Although we agree that Jason Statham is enough to increase anyone’s sex drive, sadly this is just an old wives’ tale, and there is no proof to back it up, according to the BBC.
5. But bald men are more socially dominant and powerful.
You might not be more virile, but bald men are scientifically proven to come across as more socially dominant and powerful. Dr Frank Muscarella, told Mail Online: “[They] were consistent with the idea that baldness evolved to signal a form of non-threatening social dominance.
“There is a large body of literature that shows that although women like physically attractive men, they are also very attracted to signs of high social dominance.”
6. Baldness is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
We don’t like to kick you when you’re down, but there are also studies that have shown balding men are 32% more likely to suffer with cardiovascular disease than those with a full barnet.
Researchers in Tokyo analysed the findings of six studies, with a total of almost 36,000 men.
7. But bald men are seen as more successful.
All things considered you might not see hair loss as the best card to be dealt, but a study from the University of Pennsylvania found that men with no hair are seen to be more successful than their hairy counterparts.
There was one caveat though: men have to be completely bald, not just patchy or a receding hairline. So bald men do have the last laugh afterall.