Is There an Evolutionary Benefit to Being Bald?

Is there an evolutionary benefit to being bald?Since the beginning of recorded history, thinning hair has been a concern for our species. The specter of hair loss is a familiar one to most people since the overwhelming majority experience some variety of it over the course of their lives. Is it possible that there is an evolutionary justification for it?

When Did Humans Start Going Bald?

Hair loss seems to have been with us throughout human history, as have attempts to cure it. The oldest example of medical advice for hair loss appears in the Ebers Papyrus from 1500 BCE.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician considered the father of modern medicine, is recorded as having worked on many cures for it. He even has a pattern of hair loss named after him. From Julius Caesar and William Shakespeare to kings and presidents, history is filled with examples of the struggle against hair loss.

Is Balding Part of Evolution?

While there is no proof that it is part of the evolutionary process, evolution has not weeded it out. Some scientists argue that baldness may have evolved as a sign of maturity from a later life stage associated with wisdom… just as the emergence of facial hair signals sexual maturity.

Is There an Evolutionary Advantage to Balding?

There are a number of theories that support this idea, but nothing definitively proven.

Vitamin D tops the list of possible evolutionary advantages. As ancient humans spread north, the levels of ultraviolet light decreased… causing vitamin D deficiencies. Some theorize that hair loss would have an evolutionary advantage since having more available skin exposed to the thin sunlight would boost the body’s vitamin D production.

A 1996 study also noted that thinning hair is usually associated with positive perceptions of maturity, gravitas, and wisdom. However, the same study also noted that it is also associated with impressions of reduced aggressiveness and fading physical attractiveness.

Are Bald Men Healthier?

It is hard to say. On the good side, a University of Washington School of Medicine study from 2010 made a positive link between hair loss and prostate cancer. Men who started seeing hair loss before the age of thirty experienced up to a 45% reduction in overall cancer risk. Unfortunately, a 2013 study published in BMJ Open found an increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increase in risk of coronary artery disease.

RHRLI Can Help You Defeat Hair Loss

Most people will experience some form of hair loss over the course of their lives. Here at RHRLI, we employ a variety of cutting-edge hair restoration techniques to restore your natural hairline. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about whether the ARTAS® robotic hair transplant system or one of our other hair restoration services is the best choice for you.

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