MORE THAN EVER, TODAY’S MOVIE STARS MAKE MORE OF AN EFFORT THAN HOLLYWOOD’S “GOLDEN AGE” STARS TO CONCEAL THEIR HAIR LOSS FROM THE PUBLIC.
Recently, HairLossDotCom ran an article called “Hair Wearing Hollywood Stars” that looked mostly at movie stars of the past who disguised their hair loss on screen. This, clearly, is a situation that still exists today.
As a matter of fact, it could be argued that Hollywood stars today make even more of an effort to disguise receding hairlines, thinness and outright baldness than did the men who filled the silver screen in its so-called Golden Age.
Why should this be? Well, there are several reasons. First, men in general – not just Hollywood stars, but everyday Joe’s – are more likely to be taking steps to disguise hair loss in order to feel more confident and comfortable in their daily lives.
Sixty years ago, a Jimmy Stewart or a Humphrey Bogart could afford to have sensational hairpieces created especially for them and styled and cared for by experts who knew just how to perpetuate the illusion that this hair sprang naturally from the stars’ heads. But the average man couldn’t afford that kind of toupee or service.
“There are plenty of actors who are rumored to ‘wear hair’ in some form or other. The question isn’t ‘Should they?’ so much as it is ‘Should we care?’”
In addition, alternatives like hair plugs and transplants were not really heard of. It wasn’t until the 1950s that grafting was tried as a means of treating baldness, and it would still be more than two decades before the process started to gain popularity.
Modern technology and artistic innovation offer more celebrities more hair loss treatments than before
Gradually, however, as the country became more prosperous and as the demand for toupees and hair restorative techniques grew, these options became somewhat more affordable. More and more men sought solutions to their hair loss problems. And as the common man’s desire for hair systems increased, it became even more important for a star to maintain his “hair illusions.”
At the same time, however, society was undergoing a change that brought about what could be called the “Paparazzi Era”. We became more interested in learning about the real person beneath the carefully crafted facades of celebrities. We wanted to know what they ate, what they wore, whom they slept with, what they looked like without the careful ministrations of the make-up artist – and whether or not they wore hair.
This is understandable. Hollywood is all about creating fiction. With rare exceptions, films are never intended to be taken as real. Yet they create a fictional world that is itself a kind of hyper-reality, which blows the stars into such larger-than-life characters that even as we admire them we want to catch at least a glimpse of their Achilles heels.
Not all celebrities are trying to hide their hair loss
Movie stars, of course, don’t want this to happen. Their careers are their lives, and their careers are built upon their public images. So as the paparazzi have become more and more aggressive in giving the public what it wants, the stars have become more aggressive in doing anything they can to guard their secrets.
Naturally, this isn’t true of every person. Patrick Stewart, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Jackson and others freely sport a very liberating bald look. Billy Zane, who has better things to do than play cat-and-mouse with photographers, is also a member of that club. But many others have to work hard to cover up any receding hairlines or bald patches.
- John Travolta, who was “outed” for hair loss issues not too long, has been given a hard time. Maybe that explains why he’s adopting a totally bald look for an upcoming film.
- Nicolas Cage’s hairline has receded and grown any number of times, leading many to suspect that the “National Treasures” star feels the public “treasures” a full head of hair on its leading men.
- “Entourage” star Jeremy Piven’s career has had its ups and downs, as apparently so has his hairline.
- Kevin Costner entered the world of conspiracy theories in “JFK.” Have photographs showing a changing hairline been doctored by an unknown assailant?
- Hair plugs, toupees and extensions are said by some to be part of the worlds of stars such as Matthew McConaughey, Brendan Fraser and Ben Affleck.
- Pierce Brosnan’s 007 might want to investigate whether SPECTRE is behind the sudden downward expansion of his hairline.
- And after “The Da Vinci Code,” it’s hard to argue that SOMETHING isn’t going on with Tom Hanks’ hair.
There are plenty of others who are rumored to “wear hair” in some form or other. The question isn’t “Should they?” so much as it is “Should we care?” If wearing a toupee or getting hair plugs makes them feel more comfortable with themselves, or makes them feel more capable of giving better performance, shouldn’t that be their right?
On the other hand, it could be argued that by covering up their balding states, these celebrities are perpetuating a view of men with hair loss as in some way inferior.
What do you think? Which other stars show signs of “hairline changes?” And do movie and TV stars have a right to their own “comfort zone” when it comes to revealing or not revealing their hair loss? Or do they have a responsibility as role models to “come clean?”