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The Power of Hair

For centuries, hair loss has been an accursed symbol of a loss of virility and vitality. In the Old Testament, baldness is one of God’s favorite punishments. Samson’s strength vanished when Delilah discovered his pact with God and she ordered a servant to cut the Israelite’s flowing locks. More recently, take a stroll down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. How many bald presidents have there been? And who was the most recent? The answers are at the bottom of this article. But if you had a hard time finding one, that should strike you as odd. Consider, the average age for a president is 54, and 25 to 30 percent of men by 50 will have substantial hair loss. If there have been 43 presidents, than one should expect well over a dozen bald Commanders in Chief. But what if I told you there were only 5?

Hair has always and will likely continue to be a symbol of vitality and attractiveness in men. How many follicular challenged James Bond’s have there been? It has been rumored that Sean Connery started wearing a wig for the filming “From Russia With Love”, and that executives warn that Daniel Craig should get a hair transplant to combat his receding hairline if he wants to keep his job as Her Majesty’s most dapper agent. For certainty, no James Bond could compete with the blinding scalp of his nemesis Blofeld in “You Only Live Twice”. And I think it is impossible to mention Blofield without sucking Michael Myer’s, Dr. Evil into the topic. Dr. Evil (and his failed clone, Mini Me) not only didn’t have any hair, he ritualistically had his testicles shaved at age 14 by a Zoroastrian named Vilmer. In his words, “There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It’s breathtaking… I suggest you try.” While there may be some contention over men about Dr. Evil’s advice, most men would probably agree that having a full head of hair is better than its opposite. Mervel thinks so too. Who is your favorite bald superheroe?

Parade magazine tallied the results of our culture’s top crime stoppers with supernatural powers. Just about all have a beautiful head of hair except the arachnoid, Spider Man. Batman, (and Robin), Superman, The Hulk, Thor, and even an underwater dwelling Aquaman, have illustrious keratin filled heads. Having hair in itself may not give one the ability to stop a locomotive or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but it would probably help you land a date for Saturday night. Maxim Hair, a hair-loss treatment firm out of London, conducted a two-month survey where they posted two profiles on well-known dating Web sites. The image showed the same man and included the same details. In one photo, the man had hair. In the other, he was PhotoShopped to be cue ball-bald. Their results suggested that women dating on the Internet are five times more likely to contact men with a full head of hair, rather than those who are bald — or going bald with the hairy man got 108 responses and just 22 for the bald image.

As for the bald president? The five include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, James Garfield, and the most recent, Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, one should consider that Eisenhower was already a war hero and he was a half inch taller than his also-bald opponent, Adlai Stevenson.