Bald Matters – My take on ‘Taak’

by | Jan 29, 2020 | Social Trends, Sravasti's Blog

A new look at reasons behind balding in men

For generations, the father’s genes have been proudly imprinted on children’s achievements; failures are usually attributed to the mother. So, when men go bald, some people believe that the balding genes are headed down from the men on the maternal side, like a striker heads a football into the net. Maybe it is true. Many a grandmother’s beliefs, such as, the baldness gene is inherited from the mother’s side, are true. God forbid those whose fathers have bald maternal grandfathers and uncles, like my son. Poor things have two sides to tear their hair about. However, this article is not about beliefs. It is about my observation that stems from a vet’s advice regarding the grooming of our puppy. You may or may not agree to this.

I have never had a puppy before. When we adopted Marvy, our German Shepherd, she was already a 2-year old. Since Luchi, our golden retriever, has come into our lives as a 45-day old puppy, it has been a learning process for me. I am a mother of two children, thus, looking after the puppy is not very different, except that Luchi’s teeth are sharper than my children’s and she has to be sent to the lawn for toilet training.

Anyway, the vet advised us to brush Luchi’s golden mane twice a day for 5 minutes each or once a day for 10 minutes. The brushing has to be with forward and backward strokes. It helps in blood circulation; keeps the fur shining and tangle-free. While brushing Luchi, I thought that as girls, we are taught to brush our hair similarly. I have read somewhere that our hair needs to be brushed, forwards and backwards, 100 strokes daily to keep it healthy. From our childhood, we are shown ways to take care of our tresses. We are groomed to be beautiful, for men to appreciate us, but…

What about the men? They are not, particularly, taught to look after their hair or skin, or think about their looks when they are young. That is considered pansy. Maybe chapped lips, dry skin and dry scalp are macho. Spending even 2 minutes in front of the mirror is narcissistic. Massaging the scalp for blood circulation, from childhood, never occurs in the men’s brains. Maybe, blood doesn’t circulate enough to make them think. They do understand twice a month ‘champi’, though.

I, as a mother, am equally guilty of not combing my son’s hair as religiously as I did my daughter’s, until this thought dawned on me. Till now, I assumed that my husband’s thinning hair was, somewhat, rooted in his maternal uncle’s shining crown, apart from normal hair hygiene, dietary and hormonal issues. This is one crown men do not fight over. When they start losing hair, they start taking notice of the remaining ones. Then they scratch their balding pate and start frenzied attempts at retaining the mop. As taking care of hair from childhood is feminine, the fathers do not help, too, despite many of them suffering from hair loss, themselves. Those who do not suffer, are lucky.

I will now start combing my son’s hair a little more, if not 100, at least 25 strokes daily. It is difficult to make him standstill for longer. Whether he turns bald or not is yet to be seen but I do not mind taking a bold step in making him care. It may still be my fault, if he does become bald later on, as I have a family of bald men.


  1. This is entirely my observation and is not scientific.
  2. I have not watched any of the recently released balding related films yet.
  3. My words are not aimed to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s a purely humorous observation.
  4. ‘Taak’ is the Bengali word for bald; ‘champi’ is an Indian Ayurvedic massage technique.
Text and photograph by Sravasti Ghosh Dastidar