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Alain de Botton: Baldness Makes Men Look Like ‘A Fragile Librarian’


Swiss-British philosopher and writer Alain de Botton is no stranger to hair loss; he started losing his hair aged 20. Known for his witty books and ideas for self-improvement, De Botton shares his thoughts on baldness and what it means to him.

Alain de Botton on BaldnessMovie star looks?

“Just shave it off,” is the mantra that many men are faced with when impending male hair loss is on the cards. De Botton’s opinion is that the absurdity of the comb-over only leads to public ridicule, whilst images of celebrities who look even more attractive without hair are shown to encourage men to shave their heads, as if shaving off your hair will suddenly make you look like Bruce Willis.

He says: “Baldness has been spun by its supporters as synonymous with exaggerated potency, but the bald know that, far from having the vigour of a skinhead, most of them look like nothing so much as a fragile librarian.”

Facing hair loss challenges

De Botton believes we need to “develop a particular kind of wisdom” in order to face the challenges that baldness brings. It’s his belief that bald people are “best placed to appreciate hair” – because when we’re lacking something, this stimulates appreciation.

He explains: “Anxiety around baldness is really about a fear of lovelessness and loneliness. But the good news for the bald is that you can’t assume you can know what everyone else thinks of your looks.” Adding that there will always be those who like the way you look, whether you have a full head of hair or a balding pate.

Time will tell

Many of us may have grown up with parents who were bald, and we’ve learnt about love from them. As De Botton says, “Many people, even very attractive ones, grow up predisposed to think very generously of not-so-perfect heads.”

Baldness is something which will affect many men at some point; the odds increase in line with age, although for some it may strike earlier than for others. De Botton speaks more on this point, “However unfair the distribution of hair is today, time will eventually bring justice. No one ends up with too much hair, it’s just a question of waiting.

Whatever your thoughts on male pattern baldness, it’s a personal choice whether to embrace it by shaving it off, or take action to regrow your hair with a personalised hair loss treatment programme.

Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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