A film tracing a man's hair loss journey has been described as an "unstoppable" force after a hugely successful opening weekend at the Indian box office.
Bala is a Hindi-language comedy, now also playing in the UK, which examines the insecurities of a young man, Balmukund 'Bala' Shukla played by Ayushmann Khurrana, who is losing his hair to Male Pattern Baldness.
Reviews of Bala in the Indian press have praised the "entertaining" film's "very important message" (Bollywood Hungama), "situations that are relatable" (The Times of India) and the way "it makes the right jokes at the time and leaves you in stitches more often than you'd expect" (The Hindu).
Filmed in Mumbai and Lucknow, Bala follows the star character's life over a number of years, from teasing one of his childhood school teachers about having thinning hair, to starting to lose his own.
It charts the lead's many attempts to hide his hairloss, and experiments with different hair loss products, including exploring hair transplant surgery and being given a wig by his father. Continues below...
As his sadness at seeing extra hair fall in the shower and caught in his brush, grows, Bala even tries traditional Ayurvedic hair growth remedies and mythical natural hairloss treatments, involving topically-applied turmeric and eggs - somewhat unsurprisingly - to no avail.
The movie also touches on skin-lightening and colourism in communities of colour, with both story-lines ultimately leading to a message of self-acceptance and positivity, reminding viewers that their appearance does not define them.
After a special media screening of the film in Mumbai, cast member, Yami Gautum - who plays Bala's love interest Pari, until she discovers his balding - told The Times of India, "I feel bald men are really cool. They look really cool. The idea of the film is to tell people that they should love themselves first, and only then can you expect others to love you."
For men like Bala who have genetic hair loss but would prefer to keep their hair, there are a number of recognised hair loss solutions available.
Male Pattern Baldness is a common, permanent, hereditary condition whereby hair along the top of the scalp, crown and hairline gradually thins over a number of years.
This is the result of an inherited sensitivity to the hormone dihyrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT. This binds to the hair follicles, slowly weakening the hairs and slowing down hair growth, with hair becoming thinner and thinner, until it falls out completely.
It can begin any time following puberty for those with the relevant genetic predisposition, and by the age of 35, approximately 40 to 66 per cent of men will have noticeable hair loss.
As long as the affected hair follicles are still active and capable of producing hair, even if that hair is thin, there are clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved Male Pattern Hair Loss treatments which can help in accelerating hair growth and preventing baldness.
These are high strength minoxidil, a dose-dependent medication which comes in a number of formulations and is applied directly to the scalp; the other is a DHT-blocking tablet, finasteride 1mg, which can be taken once per day by medically-suitable men aged 18 and over.
Additional hair growth supporting products, such as low-level laser therapy devices including HairMax's FDA-cleared LaserBands, which are used for a few minutes, three times per week, to stimulate the follicles, can also be used alongside these pharmaceutical elements. Food supplements, whilst not intended to treat hair loss nor replace a balanced diet, can also be useful in contributing to the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth.
Recommendations for an optimal treatment plan based around appropriate medications and additional products will be made by a dedicated hair loss specialist following a consultation, either in-person or online. These take into account a number of unique factors, including each individual's condition, level and pattern of shedding, and medical profile.
Belgravia cannot send treatments or products to India, but those based there can show their local doctor or dermatologist our dedicated hair loss treatment page, to see if similar options are available in their area. Some of the items featured are exclusive to Belgravia Centre hair loss clinics, but not all.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.