Baldness and Idle Thoughts

Published by: Dolly on 29th Jan 2018 | View all blogs by Dolly

A thought crossed my mind, followed immediately by another, which asked: ‘Was the thought, just in front of this one, important or not? And if so, why?’ On the other hand, it might not have been important at all; probably wasn’t, as I can’t remember what it was. Then again, that’s the sort of thing thoughts do, isn’t it? They pop up, one after another, and most of the time they are generally mundane and drab, then one appears that contains a subject you didn't expect, because it came out of nowhere, and was the furthest thing from your mind, which happened to me when the word baldness made an appearance.

Now, the thought of baldness was secondary to the initial thought which concerned Joanna Lumley. Yesterday afternoon I was on my way home from visiting a friend. Out of idle curiosity I turned on the car radio, only to hear Jo Wiley inform me that one of her guests the coming week was the incredible Joanna Lumley, which took me by surprise, as I was unaware that Joanna Lumley was incredible. When did this happen? What amazing event catapulted an actor, and TV personality who does travelogues, into being incredible? I don't recollect any news item concerning this miraculous transformation. It was at this moment that the subject of baldness popped up.

Why this should be is a mystery, as I wasn't thinking about hair, or anything to do with it, I was still thinking about Joanna Lumley, and why she had suddenly become incredible, but there it was. Baldness. This of course, generated a new direction of thought, and brought to mind some of the weird and wonderful 'cures', and the lengths that some men went to when they realised they were losing their hair, which seemed to be prevalent in the 1970's.

Now I realise, that for some men, this can be a touchy subject, and I apologise if I upset anyone, although nowadays there are a lot of men with shaved heads, which means no one can tell if they are bald or not.

However, in the 1970's, the situation was different. There seemed to be some sort trauma attached to being bald, or going bald, resulting in men thinking they were going to lose their virility, or worse. Strange cures sprang up. This ranged from different types of head massages, shampoos and lotions all guaranteed to restore your crowning glory. The most bizarre of these was chicken shit, that's right, chicken shit! For some strange, and weird reason, it was generally believed that if you rubbed chicken shit into your thinning and receding hair, it would generate rapid growth, thereby thickening the hair. I seem to remember a couple of newspaper articles endorsing the practice, and there was some enterprising soul selling jam jars full of it on Preston market. Needless to say, it didn't last long, but for a short period of time, some men believed it enough to try it out!

Alongside this were the daft wigs which were the wrong colour and never fitted properly, and comb overs, hair parted above the ears. The most ridiculous of these that I came across was in a bakery as I waited to for a sandwich. The person in front had parted his hair on the back of his head, a couple of inches above his collar, and combed all his hair forwards, in a vain attempt to cover up the offending bald bits. However, the most bizarre belonged to someone I worked with, who was bald on the top, but let the sides grow long, and with the help of a comb and some hair lacquer, sculpted a masterpiece, which, it must be said, looked a bit like a walnut whip. Unfortunately, it was more like a cap than anything else, and if the wind happened to gather in strength, would rise up and down. In the end he had a haircut and looked a lot better for it. Once again, if this offends, I apologise.


The things that pop in your mind, and out of nowhere as well!



  • Hilly
    by Hilly 6 months ago
    Apart from the fact that I also think Joanna Lumley is incredible and I am not bald, I do agree about the stigma that has stuck to bald men. My partner had long hair when I met him but the thinning on top started to make him look like he was part of an ageing 70's rock band, rather Status Quo. When we moved abroad, a new life, with new expectations, he had a buzz cut. Best thing he's ever done and maybe this summer, he'll go the whole shaved part too. Maybe with a Viking tattoo? Who knows.
    One thing I do know, is that bald men nowadays are sexy. I'm sorry but a bit of Vin Diesel or Bruce Willis brightens up your day.
    And more importantly, the dreaded comb over will be relegated to the past, where we will only remember it in our nightmares.
    Not sure about Chicken shit but the walnut whip sounded amazing. At least he did it with panache!
  • Dolly
    by Dolly 6 months ago
    Hi Hilly. Regarding the walnut whip. It must have taken some considerable time for him to create his masterpiece in the mornings. Due to the amount of lacquer used it became a solid mass, a bit like a plate I suppose. A sudden gust of wind would lift the whole thing up, and plop it back down again, However, if there was a persistent, gentle breeze, it would lift the whole mass up and hold it there, just above the head, a bit like a hovercraft! Hoverhair! In the end it landed on the barber's shop floor, and he walked out looking years younger! Nowadays, it all gets shaved off. That way, no one knows whether you're bald or not.
  • mike
    by mike 6 months ago
    Dear Dolly
    Can you get a freeview channel called ;Talking picturesTV It is no 81 on the free view channels
    They broadcast many restored films of the fifties and sixties. They have recently shown films featuring Adam Faith and Cliff Richard. A few days ago there was one about a wannabe sixties pop group starring a young David Hemmings.
    My best reads lately were not written by Jonna Lumley but someone who must be a friend of hers 'Celia Imrie' They are light farces. I am not sure,l but I did wonder if Wodehouse had been an influence. Joannna Lumley fell a bit out of favour - but but only in London., This was because she put her name down to support a London building project which, thankfully has been cancelled. But I don't know the details.
    Long hair and beards are back in fashion but baldness seems to be fashionable too.
  • Dolly
    by Dolly 6 months ago
    Hi Mike. Yes I can get Talking Pictures TV and do watch it. I quite like to odd short pieces. there's one on at six this evening called Keeping Britain Tidy In 1962! There was one on recently called Refuelling Your Wartime Two Stroke Motor bike! As you say, there have been a number of films recently with a nostalgia value. I particularly like looking in the background of these films, you can get a good idea of what London looked like in 1956 say. There's one on this afternoon called Seven Days Till Noon, which I have seen before, and which I think I will watch again, so I can remember how London looked like in 1950!
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