There’s one undeniable fact about the human head – it sticks out of the top of your body and represents the first thing other people see when you come into view. In some cultures, it’s acceptable for the head to be completely covered. So, if you go to a strict moslem country, women will only appear in public wearing a hijab (a headscarf) or a burqa which covers the head and upper body. In other cultures, men must cover their heads, e.g. in Sikhism, men are required to wear a turban to cover their uncut hair. Such religious observances and cultural practices are useful if people’s hair begins to thin or fall out. The loss remains hidden. In Western cultures, the majority of people are not obliged to cover their heads. Hence, the decision to do so is often taken as a sign they are beginning to lose their hair and want to hide the fact.
There’s been considered coverage in the press recently about Andre Agassi. He was one of the best tennis players of his generation and remains a celebrity of sufficient star power that he’s publishing a tell-all autobiography. As part of the prepublication marketing campaign, he’s been making one or two startling admissions. No doubt this will do wonders for the book sales figures. The most exciting is the story of his drug abuse. What? Andre Agassi a drug cheat? Well, the story goes that, as his hair started to drop out, Andre got depressed. Just think. Here’s this cool, long-haired athlete with women throwing themselves at his feet and then all his hair starts to drop out. At a stroke, his sex appeal is gone. So he did a little crystal meth, as you do when you get depressed, and then lied about it when the tennis authorities started talking about banning him. Then he cleaned up his act, shaved his head and wore his baldness with pride, marrying one of the sexiest women tennis players on the planet to prove his full recovery.
So what were his choices way back in time. There’s no way he could have worn a wig. Just imagine he’s serving for the title in a Grand Slam Tournament and his hair unexpectedly drops off. People are also going to notice if he starts having transplants. So he did the only thing possible to maintain his charisma. He shaved his head. Today, there’s a new option. Taken early enough in the hair loss cycle, propecia stops hair loss, may prompt some regrowth and maintains a “head of hair” for as long as you keep taking the drug. The World Anti-Doping Agency has not placed propecia on the list of banned substances so modern athletes can preserve their spectacular plumage with chemical support. This just leaves one question. Is Agassi now going to be prosecuted as a result of baring his soul. The answer is a little complicated. The statute of limitations has expired on the drug use so he’s safe there. But there could be possible consequences for lying to the tennis authorities. No doubt he had good legal advice before admitting this and so can laugh all the way to the bank as people buy his autobiography.