April 5, 2011

Rock musicians don't lose their hair

An earlier post on all you need to know about hair proposed that the evolutionary function of male baldness is to honestly signal his future commitment to his would-be first wife, rather than continue playing the field into middle and old age. I'm not talking about the receding hairline around the temples, but a steady march backwards, usually leaving just the lowest part of the back and sides with hair.

Via Ray Sawhill / Michael Blowhard, here's a look at 53 rock stars then and now to get a feel for what males look like who stay on the mating market for most of their lives. Some guys are wearing hats, but that doesn't mean they're covering up baldness -- Bob Dylan and Bret Michaels aren't balding, for example. Of the 40 males, I see 4 that are sort-of / sort-of-not -- Bruce Springsteen, Meat Loaf, David Lee Roth, and Iggy Pop. Only 4 look truly balding -- Tom Petty, Sting, David Crosby, and Neil Young.

Most of these guys are in their 50s or 60s, a good reminder that baldness is not an effect of aging. As I said in the hair post, loss of pigmentation is what signals age, whereas balding signals how monogamous your mating strategy will be in the future. Only 1/10 of rock musicians have male pattern baldness, and even they don't go against my overall point that those who stay on the mating market for a long time keep most of their hair. Those 4 are the not-so-womanizing ones out of the bunch, while the ones who've slept with thousands of groupies over their lives aren't balding.


  1. There's something to your thesis; coincidentally, Larry Auster made a recent off-hand observation that the great ones keep their hair, referring to Jagger and others.

    Having said that, I would not discount the likelihood that some of those male stars have had hair replacement inplants. Those can look completely natural except when the hair is wet.

  2. Bret Michaels pic: http://www.sugarslam.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/bret-2.jpg

    Per your post on weightlifting: I doubt he lifts weights, but his body is really hot. His stomach is perfect.

  3. I would predict that A) sexual behavior and environment doesn't influence hair loss. But B) the relationship is there and it's genetic. And C) that the relationship is not pleiotropic. It exists between families but not within families.

    The explanation is that monogamous ancestors could lose their sexual attractiveness faster than promiscuous ancestors (even though promiscuous ancestors actually aged more quickly). Rock stars have more promiscuous ancestors than the average person, which is also related to their greater creativity.

    I would predict less baldness among aging athletes for the same reason.

  4. Very detailed scientific studies have already answered all of your questions concerning: whether or not balding has anything to do with sexual behavior, whether or not age is a factor, and how balding came about. 1. Study actually shows that bald men are higher in male hormones, possibly making bald men the more promiscuous. 2. Of all the complex and miscellaneous genetic and environmental factors, age is the ONLY factor that really counts (you make fewer good hormones and more dht as you age). and... 3. Androgenetic alopecia (balding) was probably selected FOR in our evolution, as a full head of hair is pretty much the norm for mammals. You guys should totally read up on biology if you're thinking of making more theories about a biological process. #brightidea

  5. I would say that 90+% of anyone over the age of 50 that has a full thick head of hair is either wearing a wig, hairclub for men, or implants. Bret Michaels is totally bald and wears a wig under his bandana, Paul Stanley from kiss is completely bald, gene simons, Paul Rogers from bad company is a hair club for men member, both Richie Sambora and Bob Jovi are both hairclub for men members, and wig wearers. It's all fake guys.


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