Have you ever wondered “Why humans become bald?” Hair loss is mainly hereditary, meaning it’s a trait passed down across the generations. However, many people today aren’t too fond of hair loss and becoming bald; yet, the trait still thrives. Heavily ingrained throughout evolution, there are many theories as to why this hair loss trait is still active today. Keep in mind, these are just theories, but they’re also some of our favorites.
Amongst many tribes and villages, there tends to be a group of males that the tribe looks up to for answers, guidance, and intelligence. These men are usually the Elders of the group/village, and most notably, are bald. As a sign of wisdom, the trait of baldness was passed down throughout the generations to highlight the “Wise Men” over time.
In nature, the male of the species is usually the one doing the courting for a female partner. Sometimes they show off their colors, or whistle a tune; some capture large prey, whilst others beat up their own to show dominance. These are all seen as signs of attraction, and in human society, a percentage of people frown on baldness as “unattractive.” However, back then, living a long life was rare. If a man lived long enough to go bald, then he must have good genes for longevity, and that is attractive.
Discovery of Fire
Back when fire was first discovered, many people like to think of the Caveman era where humans weren’t as smart and still covered in body hair. If this were true, once fire was discovered, it wouldn’t take long to learn how quickly human hair catches fire. It is possible that with this new discovery, body hair diminished over time, as did the hair on the head, to keep oneself alive and protected from such a helpful yet dangerous element.
Soaking Up Some Vitamin D
When a man starts to go bald, more of his skin is exposed to the sunlight. Naturally, one would think this is a bad thing. However, this also exposes man to a much larger percentage of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that absorbing solar ultraviolet radiation and vitamin D helps prevent prostate cancer. So, it is believed that balding is a trait or mechanism that evolved over time to protect against that particular disease.
This is probably the funniest one we read. It is theorized that when hunting in groups, at least one of the hunters were bald, and their head was heavily polished. This way, they could be used to blind predators during the hunt when preparing an attack. Not very likely, but an interesting concept nonetheless.
Trading Hair for What?
One interesting theory is about age and the deterioration of the body. As we get older, we become weaker, and yet we still wish to flourish with life. This concept theorizes that as the body aged, the need for hair was “ejected”, allowing the body to use less of its resources to grow healthy hair, and to focus its energy and resources on other traits such as physical strength and sexual potency.
Two other traits many females look for in a partner are “maturity” and “capability to nurture”. Females would naturally desire a male that is less aggressive and more nurturing for their offspring. This would definitely decrease the chance of infanticide, and the offspring would benefit from these males as a parental figure. The theory suggests that baldness and hair loss continue because such traits were seen as desirable to both genders.
In modern times, there are some stigma that go with baldness. One of those are that a guy is “tough,” “mean,” or an “all around bada$$.” It is also believed that a bald head gives a “don’t mess with me” vibe. In the old days, being with a male who could chase away predators without having to attack would also be seen as a very desirable trait to both genders.
“Survival of the Fittest”?
Going bald though may not give that bada$$ vibe to every predator out there though. Animals aren’t smart, but they know how to pick out the weakest one in a group. If they notice most humans have hair atop their heads, then they may assume those without it are weak, and therefore, easier prey. Whether or not that is true has yet to be tested, as we don’t think anyone is volunteering to be locked up with a deadly animal to prove a point about going bald.
What do you think of these theories? Do you agree with some? Do they just not make sense? Let us know which ones are your favorites, or if you have a theory of your own, share it with us below.