Bald facts of eggs and onions
Trials are under way at Manchester University on a baldness cure, following promising laboratory tests on 40 men. This took me back to being a teenager, working in that city and worried about hair loss.
It was the late ‘60s and I visited a ‘trichology’ centre’s mobile hair clinic by Piccadilly Gardens. However, I didn’t dare enter. The receptionists looked far too pretty to confess my concerns to. Instead, I looked up trichology in the Central Library and noted a baldness ‘cure’ from a dermatology book. In the privacy of my bedroom, this involved sponging yokes on to my hair then massaging the goo into my scalp. It didn’t make any difference, except to mum who wondered where all the eggs had gone.
In my 20s, while first working on this newspaper, an older colleague with a full head of grey hair advised, “Rub in onion juice every night, you can’t go wrong!”
He must have been pulling my leg, rather than my hair, as the only outcome was a whiffy odour which ruined my romantic life.
Finally, my dad – also follically challenged - offered a sensible observation. “If there really was a cure, son, why wouldn’t the royals use it?” He had a point and still has.
In my 40s, as part of a series for The Gazette, I tried the latest ‘wonder drug’ minoxidil, but that didn’t help either. Such treatments aren’t available on the NHS and can have side-effects or disappointing results. That’s why men undergo expensive transplantation surgery – or just have their heads shaved at the barber’s.
For those still hopeful, the Manchester project is led by Dr Nathan Hawkshaw who says it could “make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss”. Clinical trials will continue to test effectiveness and safety . . .
Still, in the meantime, eggs and onions are cheap.
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