Pam and Colin Colin Janit asked:
I am quite bald in the centre of my head all the way towards the back. My question is: How come the hair on the rest of my body has not diminished as it has on my head?
To stop Rosalind Davis pulling her hair out trying to get to the bottom of this, she asked Professor Robert Foley, from the department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge to help her out.
Robert - We do lose hair from our heads and from our bodies throughout our lives. You only have to clean a shower out or a bath out to realise that thatís true and, of course, we donít really notice or see the loss of hair on our bodies because the hair is miniaturised , very small and itís not very dense, the loss is virtually invisible. In addition, of course, itís replaced so we donít see a long term effect either on our bodies or our hair. If we turn to the bigger, and obviously more important question is the permanent loss of hair. In other words, going bald and there, there is a particular pattern to it. It is men, rather some men, who go bald. Why some men become bald is partly a matter of genetics. There seems to be quite strong evidence that there are genes, and those genes are on the X chromosome, and that produces a sex-linked pattern of inheritance. So that men inherit their baldness from their motherís father.
Rosalind - Surely though, as a species, we would have all evolved to keep our glossy locks.
Robert - It might well be that baldness has actually got some evolutionary advantage. Not many men feel that, but there have been studies showing that bald men can be seen as more attractive, often because itís associated with longevity, with success, wisdom, knowledge, maturity.
Rosalind - Okay, so if you are wise and mature but also, unfortunately, bald. Is there anything you can do?
Robert - In terms of doing anything about it, all one can really say is ďbuy a hat and be happy.Ē Thatís almost certainly a signal of long term survival-ship as anything else.
I have no real evidence but I have a theory that baldness is linked to lack of vitamin D3 in your ancestry and going bald would enable future generations to obtain more D3 through letting the skin absorb more by revealing the very most prominent part of the body to sunlight. It is also noticeable that in the the very few parts of the world that get adequate D3 in their diet, then baldness is almost unknown. It is also noticeable that darker skinned people from warmer climates seem to be losing their hair as they go from generation to generation, just a thought. Nev, Tue, 1st Dec 2015