Cure for baldness - Market research proves that castration is the only cure

This startling headline appeared in the Marketing Research column of Cosmetic World News. It describes the results of a market research study carried out by the Australian Consumer's Association  -  that only eunuchs never go bald. They conclude further that despite almost universal acceptance of the futility of trying to prevent or cure hereditary baldness charlatans abound offering medicaments and treatments. Usually the only hair raising thing in these offers is the price. Modern preparations have not progressed much further than some ancient recipes.


For instance, an old English recipe to make hair grow comprised boar's grease, ashes of burnt bees, ashes of southernwood, juice of white lily root, oil of sweet almonds and musk made into an ointment and applied every day to the balding patch which “have been shaved on the day before a full moon.”

A French cure involved cooking green walnuts with lard and crushing the result to make an ointment which was then massaged into the scalp every night for a week.

Or, "if you are already far gone," as it says in the book "Grannies'Remedies", you can revive some hair roots by brushing your scalp until it is red and glowing warmly then rubbing into the roots a lotion made from eau de cologne, tincture of cantharides and oils of lavender and rosemary.

A mail market research survey was carried out by the Australian Consumer's Association to which 161 people replied.  No indication of how many did not reply. four of the replies were from women. 81% realised that their hair was thinning before they reached 35-years of age. Of the hair problems reported dandruff, itchiness and very oily scalp were the most common. Most realised that baldness is inherited. One wrote, "I am very disappointed in my father." 28% had tried various forms of treatment, including visiting hair clinics.  None reported any form of visible success. One sprayed his hair with "a sticky, black, ink-like substance" which was very difficult to remove from his scalp. He subsequently developed warts on his balding scalp which had to be removed surgically (the warts, not the scalp)

Concluding the market survey, the market researchers point out that there are two ways to prevent baldness, one impossible and the other impractical. You can either choose parents who are not balding and who have had ancestors who have retained their hair into old age or, if you are male, be castrated early in life.

The use of marketing research never ceases to surprise even the most hardened market researchers.

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