Thursday, May 17, 2007

Does male pattern baldness need a "cure"?

The Guardian reports today that "Researchers hope that a treatment for hair loss may be within sight after healthy hair-producing follicles were regenerated in adult skin in mice."

I can understand why some bald men want to grow their hair back. I can appreciate that in some cases there is some cause for baldness other than genetics, which needs correction.
However, to talk about male pattern baldness needing a "cure" is just ridiculous.

As writes:

Most men are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness. It is the effect of hormones on the hair follicle that produces male pattern baldness. Testosterone, a hormone that is present in high levels in males after puberty, is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

In other words, the very hormone which gives males much of their maleness is responsible for baldness. It's passed down on the male side of families. It is one of the few things which men inherit which women generally don't.

So it doesn't need a cure, right? I can accept that some men want to reverse nature. But I don't.

Just a thought: Sean Connery versus Cliff Richard. Any contest? I think not.


  1. If people wish to then fine. Let them.

    I'd call it a cure, as it negates or reverses the effects of a condition. Its not a serious condition (for most people anyway - some may see it as one), but a cure may still be discovered.

  2. Thanks Tristan. As you saw I have no objection to people pursuing hair. It is the word "cure" I have a problem with. Would we say that a "cure" for grey hair has been found? Grey hair, apart from the gender exclusivity, is just like baldness - it is connected with one's genes and comes on with age. I have certainly never heard of anyone saying there needs to be a "cure" for grey hair.