The title of a recent scientific paper on baldness encapsulates its main thrust. The study is called: Willingness Toupee. That’s toupee as in the artificial hairpiece used to cover a bald spot.
The paper, written with tongue fully in cheek, examines the question of how much a fully bald or balding man would be willing to pay to put additional hair back permanently on his thinning noggin. The study concluded that to get from a cueball to a mop top, men would be willing to fork over at least $37,000.
That would buy a warehouse full of hair-loss products.
To get to this hair-raising number, the study’s authors surveyed 167 men, asking them to rate themselves on something called the Norwood Baldness Scale. This is a scale ranked one through seven, seven being someone with a head devoid of even one hair, and one being a thick mane.
Each participant was asked to imagine being offered a permanent hair-restoration solution that would move them down the Norwood scale from their baseline baldness. They were then offered the solution at randomly assigned price tags.
Using survey results, the researchers noted the average willingness to move down one place on the baldness scale was about $5,300. So, the study concluded, men would be willing to hand over nearly $16,000 to go from a Bruce Willis on the scale — the actor is a definite seven — to a Prince William, a solid four.
Alas, no such hair-restoration elixir is available. But stress and smoking are thought to thin the hair prematurely. So, cutting back on both might help. And they won’t cost a bald man a dime.
To borrow a pun from the study, balding men everywhere need to comb over the researchers’ results.