Article #1: Baldness by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
Baldness is far more common in men than in women, but it is estimated that there are more than five hundred thousand baldheaded women in the United States, the condition being far more prevalent than is commonly realized. Worse yet, the condition is apparently increasing. Among women who are not bald and who do not become so, the hair is often thin and short, lacking in both vigor and lustre. To compensate for such defects, women buy and wear hair pieces—switches, wigs, braids, chignons, pony tails, clusters, figure eights, etc. Although there is nothing half so becoming to the female face as thick, beautiful hair, fine, luxurious hair is a rarity. Doubtless most men would be astounded to know that many of the tastily arranged tresses worn by the women they see on the streets or that they go out with, originally grew on the head of another. As some wit has said:
“The golden hair that Gallus wears
Is hers—who would have thought it?
She swears ’tis hers! and true she swears,
For I know where she bought it.”
Medical men talk learnedly about “normal male baldness” and regard it as due to heredity, old age, and an excess of male hormones. The “remedy” is philosophy. There is no way to prevent it. Women will continue to resort to wigs and switches, for they cannot prevent it either. Works on beauty often provide their readers with “remedies” for baldness, although no such remedy is known to man. Hair tonics will neither prevent the development of baldness nor restore hair once it has been lost. Massaging the scalp, pulling the hair, the use of vacuum cups and ultraviolet rays do not save nor do they restore the hair.
In the days when beards were in style it was not uncommon to see luxuriant beards and bald heads. Even today, (Note—published in 1958) men who have bald heads are not bald-faced. Every man would prefer to lose the hair on his face, thus removing the necessity for the daily shave, than to lose that of his head. But no means of saving the hair of the head has yet been found. No means will be found until the genuine causes of baldness are discovered. No preparation will grow hair. Hair tonics and hair foods are frauds.
What, then, is the answer? Shall we accept the hypothesis of the “bad gene” that is alleged to be responsible for baldness; is baldness hereditary? Is the case against baldness and premature graying as hopeless as this indicates?” I doubt the existence of “bad genes” of all kinds. Howard T. Behrman, M.D., a leading medical dermatologist, and author of a five-hundred page medical textbook (1952) on the scalp, says that “there is an evolutionary tendency in the human race to grow less hair—women as well as men.
In 200 years, perhaps more—it may be high fashion in both sexes to have no hair.” He declares that “hair is only a vestigial ornament that no longer serves a real purpose. It used to have a protective function. But once we moved out of the trees we no longer needed it.” While thus exposing his ignorance and posing as a prophet, this loose-tongued member of the Homo Sapiens stood up on his hind legs and relieved himself of the following bit of cerebral excrement about the future of man: “The eventual human being, man and woman, will have no hair, a longer head, large abdomen and short arms and legs.”
Returning to Lamark and the inheritance of acquired characters and re-asserting the outmoded nonsense of use-heredity, he backs up his prediction that man will evolve into a caricature of his present self by saying: “It’s what you’d expect as man becomes more of an indoor animal, sitting on his rear more and spending more time pushing buttons.” This is the “easy method” of solving problems. It is that of the arm-chair philosopher, not that of the scientist who would approach the problem directly instead of deducing an explanation from a pet hypothesis. When the cause of the loss of hair is finally discovered, and it will be, it will be found that pathology and not evolution is at the bottom of the loss. Hereditary baldness will go out the window where a lot of other “hereditary diseases” went when their causes were discovered.
Behrman sees the increasing baldness among women today as an evolutionary change, aggravated, he thinks, by lack of proper care. He says that “women who have a tendency to baldness often find it increased after childbirth, because of a temporary loss of female hormones. Treatment with female hormones may bring back the hair, but not necessarily.” His thesis is that female hormones grow scalp hair and hinder body hair, while male hormones work just the opposite; they are supposed to be responsible for the growth of body hair and loss of head hair. Strange, if this is so, that head hair in the male is most abundant in youth, when the sex functions are at their highest, and absent after middle life, when the functions of the male sex glands are commonly less efficient. At any rate, the use of hormones to grow hair did not prove satisfactory.
Behrman says of women and their hair, that “they don’t brush it vigorously, or wash it as frequently as they did in the old days. Now they dye it, weave it, bleach it—and let it fall into a set pattern. They are afraid to disturb it until their next trip to the beauty parlor.” Besides being a gross exaggeration, this view of the need for washing and brushing the hair disregards the fact that washing and brushing the hair is not done among many savage tribes amongst whom baldness is unknown. Important as are these elements of hair care, their lack is not the cause of baldness. Waving, dying, and bleaching may help to produce baldness.
Brushing the hair, although it does cleanse the hair and distribute the oil through it, will not save the hair nor cause it to grow. The solution of our hair problems must be sought in some other and more fundamental direction Perhaps diet may hold a large part of the solution, but certainly not all of it.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Structure Of The Hair
- 3. Some Common Disorders
- 4. How To Care For The Hair
- 5. Establishing The Client-Practitioner Relationship
- 6. The McCarter Extended Detoxification Regimen
- 7. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Baldness By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Your Probing Mind By Dr. Vivian V. Vetrano
- Article #3: Cutaneous Medicine
- Article #4: The Body Beautiful By Max Warmbrand, N.D., D.O.
- Article #5: The Hair By J.J. Tilden, M.D.
- Article #6: Hygiene of Beauty By Tosca Mariani