If you really think about it, the only reason we really like a head full of hair is because of its aesthetic appeal. Sure, it does come in handy when you are the victim of a blow to the head, but apart from that, hair is vestigial. And we discriminate hair based on where it grows; a head full of hair is appealing, but body hair is big no. Hair is fur that stopped growing as dense as fur in other animals did.
Despite how functionless hair is, we still seem to worry about losing hair. Again, it’s the aesthetic appeal that makes us want a lot of it; but only in a small part of our bodies. From being animals that had hair or fur all over our bodies, we now have hair only in certain parts of our bodies. Going by that logic, isn’t being bald a sign of evolution? From having some hair to having no hair at all.
Again, it’s the aesthetic appeal that gets us so attached to a head full of hair. It is part conditioning and part visual. But, what if a head full of hair was a sign of a malformity and baldness was how ‘normal’ human beings looked?
Let’s get this out of the way — Tirupati would be out of business in no time. An abode of the holy dedicated to glorifying a shaved head and commodifying hair will soon become a temple that will cater to a niche — the supposedly malformed with a head full of hair.
There wouldn’t be much discrimination when it came to how human beings were judged by other human beings; sure, a head full of hair did add a layer of sophistication to us depending on the length of our hair, but a bald head would be a sign of wisdom and all human beings, across the board, would be considered wise. Presumptions and predispositions would take a back seat because hair was the clincher when it came to reading a human book by its facial outer cover.
Cosmetic products that capitalised on insecurities of human beings attached to their hair would go out of business, which will be met with a lot of joy by most people, except the ones that ran the companies. Women in India will not be victims of conditioning — the shampoo product and the regressive attachment that Indians have for women with long hair.
The biggest hit of them all will be barbershops; not those old school saloons that still exist, but the new-age, hip and unnecessarily expensive ones will take a hit. Wigs will become more common because we would want to sport a look that is uncommon.
Am I channeling my inner insecurities in the form of a hypothetical? Not at all! Is my hair receding? Maybe; a little bit. Does it matter? Not in a world where being bald is the new head full of hair.
(The writer, also a creative producer with The Rascalas, loves to watch a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)