Going bald, girls? Don't worry, it's distinguished

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The Independent Online
Look carefully next time you venture into the City. According to a Sunday newspaper yesterday you will see "thousands of young women" all apparently going bald. The reason? Their high-flying careers.

A study carried out by Dr Hugh Rushton, consultant trichologist from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Portsmouth interviewed 800 women, of whom about 30 per cent said they were suffering hair loss. The reason for this was said to be women adopting more aggressive and competitive working styles which medical "experts" say results in an increased sensitivity to testosterone, the male hormone which is already present, albeit in much lower levels in women.

High levels of testosterone have been linked in the past to hair loss. The number of women in professional jobs has risen by 20 per cent over the past 15 years. QED.

Look at 28-year-old Tracey Webb. She puts down her hair loss (she used to have long blonde hair, within two years she had to wear a wig) to "the stress of a demanding job in publishing and moving house three times in a year".

The implications, another trichologist warns, "can be serious" with three- quarters of women who suffered hair loss feeling less attractive. So the message appears to be clear: Don't go to work, girls: not only will you suffer stress, but, guess what, the boys won't fancy you any more.

If this is true that working women are going to be suffering more hair loss because of aggressive, traditionally male, working practices, then let's hope we can at least benefit from a few other masculine traits.

Let's have more cosy female-only clubs so that we can drink after hours and network. In fact, let's go out and get drunk with people we work with and not worry about the way we'll be perceived in the office afterwards. And be able to tell our partners: "Was verr 'portant had to shtay out ... Wash good for busness. Would've bin awfoo if 'adn't bin air." Then fall over, burp, and fall asleep on the couch. Girls, let's wear the same disgusting suits to work every day; and let's learn to lean over someone else's computer terminal and say: "Well it's obvious, isn't it? Press that button there and it'll work." And then, when it doesn't, let's be able to say: "Well I don't know what on earth you can have been doing to it. You've completely messed up the system."

Expect three Michelin stars if you manage to open a tin of baked beans for the family tea. (Usually ignore the fact that for the past 10 years your loving partner has rustled up a three-course meal out of a bit of salad, some sticky backed plastic and a squeegee bottle). In fact, sisters, let's run out of the house as soon as we hear a baby crying, turn green at the thought of giving birth, and look rather hopeless and confused if asked to distinguish between beige and taupe.

It can only be for the best. Because if we are going to watch our hair recede we can finally use the argument they've been using for decades - "it's not unattractive, it's distinguished". Let's all learn to pursue young whippersnappers half our age and have no shame. Let's spend all our time on golf courses instead of the office. Midlife crisis? I can hardly wait!