If there’s one thing that unites the male species, it’s the horror of going bald. Or worse, going bald before your time. What is it about thinning hair that provokes such primal emotions, and can even drive men to buy fake hair pieces? It’s all about age and virility of course, and that ever present lust for respect. And what would a world with no bald men be like anyway? Would it be more peaceful, less insecure?
We may be on the cusp of finding out, if reports of a possible new cure for baldness come about. According to this report in the Telegraph newspaper, scientists think they’ve isolated an enzyme called prostaglandin, aka PGD2, which instructs follicles to stop producing hair. Apparently levels of PGD2 were up to three times higher in balding men, than in those with hairier pates.
The theory is that big pharma can create a topical rub-on cream that inhibits this PGD2 inhibitor, and presto we’ll all get beautifully bushy heads of hair. One slight hiccup is that PGD2 also helps in widening blood vessels to keep blood pressure lower and improve flow, so by trying to knock it out to improve baldness we could end up with lots of guys keeling over from ‘unexpected consequences’, but hey, isn’t that just medical progress all over?
Before you all rush out celebrating, it should be noted that the report’s lead author, Dr George Cotsarelis, has a bit of a history in claiming breakthroughs in this area. Back in 2008 he went public with a possible cure that came about from healing wounded mice with stem cells. No products seem to have arrived yet from that research path, but the good doctor is clearly undeterred.
The fact is that everyone is chasing this rainbow, because the winner will inherit untold riches and the love and adoration of Porsche owners across the globe. We’re not holding out any major hopes until some dude drops a bottle of pills and/or lotion in our hands with a cast iron $1 million guarantee that it will work with no side effects. Don’t hold your breath.