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Why Has Baldness Survived Evolution?

by Barb Tate

Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, humans have gotten larger, taller, and more intelligent. We have also lost quite a bit of our locks along the way. If we accept the idea that humans are derived from a common ape ancestor, we must consider the trait that seems to serve no one glaring purpose, but is prevalent in the modern day Home sapien: baldness.

The root purpose of baldness is inconclusive. For at least three thousand years, man has attempted to cure this trait. Ancient parchment in Egyptian societies depicts a baldness preventation recipe made of lead, onions, honey, and fat from snakes and lions. Modern humans invest countless dollars, hours, and amounts of stress trying to counteract the effects of male pattern baldness. Despite some exceptions, the loss of hair in today’s Homo sapien landscape is generally considered an inconvenience and a hitch in sexual attraction. Lack of hair on the scalp serves no amazingly useful purpose. Why has it remained? And what could it possibly have been useful for back on the savannah?

There are some compelling theories why baldness has lasted this long and why it has no plans of getting sifted out of the human genetic pool.

Been Around The Block

In contrast to today’s sociopolitical structure, the elder men in a hunter-gatherer society were regarded as highly intelligent and resourceful individuals. The median age of a person was just thirty years old, thanks to ravaging elements, threats from animals, and widespread disease. If you had survived to the point where you were going bald, the general consensus amongst your peers was that you were doing something right. You were highly experienced, savvy, and physically capable. This also meant that you were allowed first selection of women to romance. Sexual reproduction with the top females in a societal group may have guaranteed long lines of hereditary baldness.

Aside from the fact that they were ‘selected’, there are other factors that would suggest that ancient people actually considered balding men to be very desirable. This ‘look’ may have resonated positively with the women of the society due to a perception of social maturity and a non-threatening form of dominance that was both wise and nurturing. A woman may have been much more likely to settle down with this type of individual.

A D-Lightful Dome

Baldness might have served advantages in illness prevention as well, aiding in a longer life. As our ancient relatives traversed treeless planes under the scorching sun, those with a lack of hair were able to absorb a much larger amount of vitamin D. It may not seem like much, but hunter-gatherer societies were not settled and did not invest in architecture that wasn’t meant for on-the-go purposes. They were outside constantly. No hair meant a larger surface area for absorption. Vitamin D is crucial for maintenance of healthy bones, brain activity later in life, cancer and heart disease prevention, and a bolstered immune system.

Back Off!

Additionally, the surface area of the head may have acted as a type of defense mechanism or flare of strength and dominance. Consider the bright red, warning pattern of a Black Widow Spider, or the vibrant colors of poisonous frogs and snakes. Prevalent bright colors in the animal kingdom often translate to aggression. In moments of stress or conflict, a man’s bare, bald head that exhibits a large area of flushed red could have signaled attackers that you meant business.

It’s inconclusive if any of these theories truly served a strong enough purpose that would keep the gene alive for generation after generation. Baldness exists to this day, and even though it might have been a unique leg-up on the pre-historic planes, it remains an obstacle for men around the globe. If you’re interested in exploring permanent hair loss solutions, such as hair transplant surgery, contact us today! Hair Loss Specialists representatives can help you schedule a free, private consultation at a hair restoration clinic in a city near you.

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