There are a number of theories regarding the causes of male pattern baldness. Some suggest that one’s diet and stress levels play key roles. Others feel that regular exercise will help keep locks thick and plentiful until well after retirement. Most would agree, though, that our genes hold the most sway, and if a man loses his hair then chances are his son, too, will have increasingly more face to wash as he ages.
Baldness affects some more than others, however, and a survey by Trip Advisor Japan has revealed the countries where male baldness is most common, with Japan found to have more bald men than any other Asian country.
The survey, which was conducted in 2011, is currently receiving a lot of attention here in Japan, prompting many to wonder what it is about Japanese men that causes them to lose their hair as they grow older.
It’s not all bad news for Japan, though. It is Europe, in fact, that is home to the largest number of balding and thinning men, at least according to Trip Advisor Japan’s data.
The Czech Republic take the top
bald spot in the survey, with an estimated 42.79% of Prague men found to be either bald or balding. Hair and scalp experts point to Czech men’s diet as a main contributing factor for their thinning hair, suggesting that their meat-heavy meals and a notable lack of daily vegetables, not to mention their penchant for sodium-rich food and sauces, leads to the loss of locks.
In fact, European countries dominated the entire top 10 ranking, with Spain (42.60%), Germany (41.24%), France (39.24%), and the UK (39.23%) making up the top five, with Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and Russia not far behind. The USA, meanwhile, came in at number six (39.04%) and Canada at number 10, with 37.42% of Canadian men feeling a little extra chill on their bonce once they reach adulthood.
But compared to Europe, Asian men’s scalps are positive follicle factories, with not a single Asian country appearing in the top 13.
A paltry 19.04% of males in Shanghai were found to be thinning, only 22.41% of South Koreans wave goodbye to their locks at some point in their lives, and more than 75% of Thai men keep their hair right until the end of their days.
Of all the Asian countries on the list, however, Japan came out on top, although we have a feeling they won’t be bragging about being the champs any time soon (unless they’re after freebies at a certain bald-friendly pub, that is). Chasing after Europe and North America to come in at number 14, 26.78% or a whopping 13 million adult males in Japan lose at least some of their hair during their lifetime, making the country the baldest in all of Asia.
The effects of hard work, many hours in front of a computer and diet have been offered up as factors as to why Japan’s men might have come out thin on top this time around, but we’re fairly sure that men in neighbouring countries spend just as much time staring at Excel spreadsheets and putting in the hours at work, so the jury is still out on what it is about Japan that makes so many men lose their hair.
Speaking as a fellow thinner (I’m just about hanging in there, but judging by the men on both sides of my family and my own rapidly thinning barnet, it’s a question when rather than if I’ll eventually find myself using more moisturiser than shampoo), I think it’s best not to worry too much about the old ‘do and to just let nature take its course. There are pricey hair tonics, classic comb-overs, and numerous painful procedures that promise to return a man’s scalp to its youthful best, but at the end of the day, if you’re going to lose your locks you might as well do it with a bit of style and dignity.
Besides, as Karl Pilkington here explains, it really is just nature.
That being said, if we had his haircut we might consider going for an all-over buzz…