Lisa Markwell: It's worth it to spare the torment of a 'no hair day'

FreeView from the editors at i

Share

There's a football tournament on, I believe, but the only way in which this impinges on my life – other than the interest required professionally – is that it affords me the opportunity to study Wayne Rooney's hair transplant in close-up.

Will the heat in Ukraine affect the tufts of recent growth? Is the fact that it appears to be a bit blonde a sign from whence it came? I need details. Others may scoff at such a trivial matter but it is not trivial at all to those who are losing or who have lost their hair.

This is a rare moment of sympathy across the sexes. The fact that saggy, wrinkly, overweight men attract very little negative attention – while something as innocuous as Madonna's fiftysomething breast (which appears to be relatively fit for purpose) gets howls of 'put 'em away, love' that can be heard across the globe – is pretty unfair.

Women get the lion's share of appearance judgment; the one aspect in which this is reversed is hair loss. Slapheads are sneered at, comb-overs the cause of cackling. Women who routinely complain about 'bad hair days' have, by logical extention, 'good hair days'. They don't have 'no hair days.' And so there is balance: we have something that is ours. Men are assumed to be disgusted when faced with cellulite, women can look upon a face that has more hair up the chimney than on the mantelpiece with distain.

But wait. We guffawed when Elton John was an early adopter of the transplant and raised eyebrows at the £35k price tag on Wayne Rooney's procedure. In fact, for a famous person to change their visual destiny so obviously suggests desperation. And I know how that feels.

Admittedly it was temporary, but when, during chemotherapy, I lost all my hair, I looked upon balding men with a new understanding. To see oneself without hair is grotesque, a hall of mirrors/Portrait of Dorian Gray trick. For it to happen in one's forties or fifties is bad enough, but for a 26-year-old it must be devastating. I endured nine hours of fiddly, painful ministrations that wove real hair onto my sprouting tufts when cancer treatment was over, to try and look again like my old self.

So what if Rooney wants to spend thousands on treatment (although it makes less of a dent on his finances than on those of, say, Joe Bloggs, a baldie butcher in Bracknell)? What he's ended up with – on close inspection during the Euro 2012 tournament and on the sport pages – is a little bit quiffy, a little bit sparse and not entirely natural looking. The bald truth is that a little bit of vanity is what makes us all human – even mega-earning footballers.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The plan could lead to up to 15,000 people being operated on annually  

The obesity crisis affects the whole of Europe... apart from France

Rosie Millard
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month  

General Election 2015: Politics is the messy art of compromise, unpopular as it may be

David Blunkett
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'