What Do Successful Men Over 60 Really, Really Want in a Mate?

Pretty much everything.

There is a certain aesthetic to which women who date – or aspire to date – successful men adhere. It is very specific.

Adjectives used to describe the look are as follows: “Long, lean, timeless and elegant.”

Think Else Hose:

In order to achieve this look you must first be structurally proportionate and blessed with facial beauty.

Then you have to diet, which looks a lot like that of Jennifer Lopez when she’s touring.

Think 1350 total calories per day. All organic, non-GMO, gluten-free blah blah blah, plus exercise.

If you don’t look the part, men aren’t buying.

So, #1 is appearance.

If you want a rich man you have to put in the work.

Remember, you’re the one chasing him. if you don’t like it, use your own millions to buy someone you like.

#2 is proper grammar.

If you haven’t mastered the Queens English, you have no business at galas and cocktail functions. In bed, you can go back to the streets where you came from.

#3 is attire.

You should already know the name of every clothing designer on the planet because he’ll expect you to dress the part after you’ve burned up his credit cards.

#4 Sexual fluidity with a certain uncontrollable darkness, or dark side as it’s often referred.

What this means is that there has to be something about you that he cannot completely conquer, which keeps him off guard and curious.

#5 is interests, as in, you have to have some beyond him or he will assume you have less value than he thought you did after he checked off the last 4 items. 

Successful men want reflections of themselves in the women in their lives, so imagine yourself a successful, powerful man in thigh-highs and you’re on the right track.

When you Hit Your 60’s, You Have to be Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough…

Researchers at University College London found a direct link between major health problems like heart disease, strokes and diabetes, and the amount of exercise done.

Those who regularly undertook moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week were much more likely to be “healthy agers” than those who remained inactive.

People who became physically active during the eight-year monitoring period were three times more likely to be healthy agers than those who remained inactive.

And those who engaged in regular physical activity for the whole eight years were seven times more likely to be healthy than those who did no exercise.

The authors wrote: “Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing – absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good mental health.

“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life.

“The results support public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity.”

………………

This week in the gym was a tough one for me.

I officially entered my 60’s last week and I didn’t take it well.

We stayed home, cooked, huddled together with the dogs and cats and waited for the 24 hour period to pass.

This was not the me I used to know.

That person would raise a middle finger to the wind and pull a gym PR.

This time it was different.

I felt depressed, vulnerable and perilously introspective.

Some call it rumination, a synonym for clinical depression in my book.

Instead of getting over it, I tried to walk through it.

The first day in the gym I suffered a nose bleed in the middle of my dead-lifts.

That blew my day because the bleeding wouldn’t stop.

The next day in the gym I suffered a a bout of hypoglycemia, which made me nauseous, forcing me to leave the gym to eat.

Then I started feeling these out of body experiences, coupled with extreme fatigue.

Yep, I was officially old and falling apart.

Life had it talons in me and I was completely and utterly fucked.

So I called my therapist who then told me that what I was experiencing was a late stage midlife crisis.

I’m beyond midlife by 15 years.

I think of it now as a late 3rd quarter reckoning.

I needed more facts to get through this, but I needed more hardcore facts to get through this so I called my Internist.

Blood work good. Arteries clear.

So what the hell was it?

I booked a 90 minute massage, talked to my girlfriend [who assumed I was losing my mind], then finally had a heart-to-heart with myself.

My nosebleed was caused by a strong anti-inflammatory that I happened to take the morning of a tough workout. Not advisable according to my physician it thins the blood, which can lead to nosebleeds under the pressure of heavy weights.

Note to self: If you want to take this drug, do so after a workout when blood pressure isn’t through the roof [with 450 pounds or more in my hands].

Done. No more nosebleeds.

Blood glucose levels fall when people like me don’t eat enough.

Was I not eating enough?

Not even close.

Subconsciously I have been cutting calories because I prefer to be extremely lean.

But it’s impossible to achieve the look I would like without the help of anabolic steroids, which I don’t take.

So I started concentrating on eating more, eating better, fueling my body in a very conscious and proactive way.

Suddenly, no more blood sugar crashes, fatigue gone, and I felt like myself again.

Funny how that works.

I bring all this up because a lot of things happen below the surface in men like me who feel like adolescents in the bodies of older men.

We’re forced to grow up again and again.

And that’s okay because constant maturity has never been a strong-suit of mine, and reality checks are just part of what keeps me going.

As most people know at this stage of the game, denial is the mother of misery.

How to Defy the Laws of Aging

Christie Brinkley, 62

http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/celebrity/11-stars-over-50-who-are-defying-the-laws-of-aging/ss-AAlgyk0?li=BBnb7Kz

Anyone who’s had any exposure to people of means knows that any physical resemblance to average people is a stretch.

For example, it is not uncommon for 50-year-old women to look younger than her actual years.

No lines, exceptionally fit, tanned and polished to perfection.

This takes time, money and the right culture group to keep them motivated.

And believe me when I tell you, what they have to lose by not keeping themselves in exemplary condition far outweighs the alternative.

Having said all of this, as a veteran of these byways, I can spot a 50 or 60 year old women a mile off.

Sure, they look great for their age, and certainly better than their less well off contemporaries. But make no mistake about it: they still look 50 or 60.

So while Ms. Brinkley looks great for her age, she is still 62 no matter how great she looks for 62.

The same applies to me, by the way.

We look great by comparison to others, but we’re still where we are no matter what any plastic surgeon has to say about it.

How Does Billy Bob Thornton, 61, Do It?

Billy_bob_thornton

Baby Boomer, Billy Bob Thornton, was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 4, 1955. He is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3757208/Why-beauties-fall-Hollywood-s-unlikely-lothario-Billy-Bob-Thornton-charmed-Angelina-Jolie-Amber-Heard.html

In the above article you’ll read all about how Billy Bob managed to nail so many beautiful young women.

But as I have always said, women don’t see a whole lot with their eyes unless it involves themselves or other women.

This is because women for the most part are drawn to the darker mysteries of intellect, power, success and surrender – usually in that order.

I know. Shocker.

“Billionaire Executive, 56, Dates 22-Year-Old Woman.” So What?

373C67AD00000578-3740712-image-a-36_1471220471228

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3740712/Billionaire-real-estate-executive-56-divorces-wife-15-years-date-22-year-old-Harvard-student.html

This is decidedly a “non-story.”

So why did I publish it?

To make yet another in an eternally long string of identical points, that wealthy older men who date much younger women are simply leveraging assets the way everyone does at every stage of life.

Young men leverage youth, beauty and the prospect of future success while older men leverage success, maturity and appreciation, among others.

It’s all asset management, consciously or otherwise, but usually consciously.

Then, and only then does everything else matter.

It’s no different than everything else in life.

We leverage what we have at our disposal and for those who come up short, you see comments like the following:

“I hope she gets half the money”

“Oh god, lol! What a joke!”

“I’ll date ya, man. I’m not a female, but for the amount of cash you are willing to throw around, a little experimentation is ok.”

“It’s good to be rich…..It’s then you only see that ALL women have a price tag !”

“Rich men can be the biggest fools when it comes to women. They might have loads of cash but fail to own mirrors.”

If everyone could afford their fantasies, they wouldn’t blink.

Now you know a little more about the people commenting, both men and women.

Psychology and the Retirement Nest Egg

heart-moneyMost of us Baby Boomers have launched retirement calculators a thousand times. Almost every financial institution has one, and invariably, the ones we tend to go to offer the most optimistic outlooks on how much we can spend until the day we die.

The problem is that no one knows exactly when they’re going to die, or if they’re going to die for those of us who’ve opted for cryogenic sleep.

Nonetheless, there is still an annual charge for keeping a body on ice, perhaps for a thousand years or more, so there’s that.

So here’s the dirty rotten obnoxious and existential nightmare-provoking truth: You probably won’t outlive your money.

As I stated in my book, Urban Dystrophy, The Perverse Truths About Mid Life in the Big City, a starter portfolio is $5,000,000.

I know I know. How the hell are you supposed to save $5,000,000 on a $500,000 annual salary over the course of 25 or 30 years?

After taxes somewhere in the 39% range, you’re only taking home somewhere in the $300,000 range.

If you own a home that costs $1,000,000, you can expect to pay $25,000 in property taxes and after a 20% deposit, approximately $60,000/year on a mortgage.

Now add electricity and other related home expenses and you’re down to $200,000 — and you haven’t taken a vacation, bought a single meal or paid a single car note.

Back out those expenses and with luck you have approximately $150,000 left over.

If, however, you have 2 kids, you have basically nothing left over.

So, for the past 25 years you’ve made $12,500,000 and don’t have a dime left in the bank.

Even if you were frugal enough to contribute $75,000,000 a year to a retirement account [for 25 years], you would still only have $1,875,000 in contributions, plus investment interest at an average of around 5%, so $2,800,000 – $3,000,000.

Seriously?

If you retire at age 65, that’s not even close to enough for anyone I know.

The reason for this is because you want to live the same way you did before you retired, which means you’ll need a few million more to generate the income you need to avoid running out of money before your time is up.

For most men I know who give a crap about living well in retirement, the number is around $7,000,000.

At a 5% return, you’re still at 350k/year.

If, however, market crashes, feel free to put a bullet in your head because being broke isn’t worth the struggle for older people.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY

Most men my age validate themselves based upon their relative financial security.

And while every psychiatrist on the planet will call bullshit on this because it’s about as unhealthy a perspective as one might have given the vagaries of money.

But nothing is going to change it unless you plan to join a monastic congregation in Burma.

Money is kind of like a living thing that follows you around wherever you go.

When it doesn’t, you have a big fat fucking problem.

Walk into a car dealership, new prospective home…or hell, the Apple store, and see what happens when the money monster isn’t with you and smiling.

Then you know true meaning of nausea.

The reason you feel the hubris of filthy rich older men with the tans, snow white veneers and $3000 suits is because they’ve beaten the system.

They’ve overcome whatever life can throw at them, shy of a brain aneurysm, stroke or stage 3 cancer.

In other words, they can ride out the highs and low of the stock market, or pay marginal tax increases and still live their lives without making any changes whatsoever.

This is where you want to be, but unfortunately, probably won’t be.

The media is always talking about wealth; who has this or that.

Magazines feature $5,000,000 homes like they’re normal abodes for anyone who’s led a reasonably successful life.

But this is a lie.

The only way to afford a home like that is to inherit it or sell something.

Salaries don’t pay for homes in that price rage.

Investment capital does.

Psychologically, this is a massive hurdle for otherwise success older men facing retirement.

You look down the road at the rest of your life and you don’t see the picture you’ve been sold…and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

Many men lose their younger girlfriends and/or wives to cut backs in lifestyle.

The ones who don’t tend to be with women their own age who have little to no value on the dating market, who and just sty put.

On top of all this we have a government hell bent and determined to tax out of existence everyone in the middle to upper middle class – including the bottom end of the top 3%.

This is because there are more of them than there are people with $100,000,000 or more who don’t feel any tax increases whatsoever.

So now we have an oligarchy and you’re on the wrong side of it.

WHAT TO DO

1] Figure out how much you absolutely, positively need to live the way you want to live and carve your expectations accordingly.

2] Accept that fact that as you near the end of your life, your retirement savings will be nearing the ends of it’s life.

3] Add 5 years to your anticipated lifeline and then hope and pray you don’t outlive it.

4] Find someone in your personal life who can handle stock market turbulence.

5] Don’t marry a gold-digger unless you’re in the $100,000,000 demographic.

Confessions of a Recovering Middle-Age Exercise Addict

6c261afc-e516-11e5-9142-f1bda08aded3Yea, I was there.

Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale.

The following is a true story and the world I describe is an accurate portrayal of addiction in motion.

~~~

While not a standalone DSM-5 disorder, exercise dependence is closely associated with individuals who struggle with eating disorders, for example.

Many use exercise as a way to compensate for binge eating (bulimia nervosa) by tacking on extra activity to compensate for all the empty calories. It’s not like they’re gorging themselves on chicken breasts and broccoli for God’s sake.

Those with anorexia [extreme caloric limitation] use exercise in a compulsive way to control their weight.

Medical complications from exercise dependence are legion: Cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes, absence of menstration, stress fractures, osteoporosis and other overuse injuries.

While some don’t suffering clinical eating disorders, they may still engage in compulsive exercise, spending excessive time engaged in physical activity in the name of health – or to ward off uncomfortable feelings – clinical depression high up on the list of usual suspects.

Typically, these individuals feel guilty when they miss a workout and experience signs of withdrawal, like irritability, anxiety, or depression when their exercise schedules are compromised.

In my world [successful middle-aged urban men], this is considered normal and healthy.

I’m joking of course.

The following are the most common signatures of exercise addiction among older men:

1] If I don’t work out all the time I’m going to fall apart like everyone else my age.

2] If I skip a day, I feel like crap…both physically and psychologically.

3] Though I’m in denial, existential pain is a bitch, and working out 5 hours a day is healthier than heroin.

4] I want people to be proud of me, respect me, give me something I can no longer find within myself, like youth. 

5] My marriage is falling apart. What do you expect?

6] I may be gay after all…at 40 or 50 or 60 or 70…

7] When people ask me why I’m always at the gym, I tell them “what else do I have to do?” In addiction-speak: My world is devoid of balance.

Okay, you get the point. 

So which exercises are most closely associated with addiction?

ANYTHING INVOLVING EXTREME ENDURANCE, LIKE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNING, SWIMMING AND CYCLING.

As everyone in their right mind knows, strength training in combination with flexibility work, cardiovascular conditioning for no more than an hour at a time, combined with a weekly recovery schedule is the healthy way forward for all aging athletes, not 10k runs in 90 degree heat…week after week after week.

And people wonder why most top athletes drop out of Hell Week of SEAL training – and these people are already top athletes in their early 20’s.

I know. Reality is a bitch.

~~~

I used to be one of those people, training 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, and nothing whatsoever to talk about but diet and exercise.

We tend to feed the addiction through camaraderie with other addicts.

In psych circles it’s known as codependency.

But whatever you call it, my little party was about to end.

One week after my 49th birthday, I awoke from a fitful night’s sleep with a raging fever of 102 with extreme inflammation from head to toe.

I knew right away that Tylenol wasn’t going to cut whatever this was,  so I dragged myself to a nearby emergency room where I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis [extreme muscle tissue breakdown that results in the release of a protein (myoglobin) into the blood], which can and will damage the kidneys if not contained.

Fortunately for me, I caught it just in time.

After I was stabilized, my personal physician and I had a heart to heart. he told me in no uncertain terms that I had to stay out of the gym for 30 days, get a personal trainer…and, if necessary, see a psychiatrist before it was too late.

I didn’t ask him to elaborate. I didn’t need to.

After a couple of weeks, the inflammation began to subside, but now depression took it’s place.

I felt like I was climbing out of my skin.

In drug addiction parlance, it’s referred to as the DT’s [drug withdrawal tremors].

While the actual symptoms are different, the downward spiral isn’t.

~~~

When I started with my trainer, the first lesson I had to learn was moderation.

This didn’t mean that my training wouldn’t be tough, but that it would take into account every aspect of what it means to be human.

1] I’m no longer 21.

2] Recovery is a critical component of performance. 

3] A balanced life is a life well lived. 

4] I will never be perfect, nor will anyone else. 

5] Life gives and takes, but mostly takes when you don’t respect its boundaries.

~~~

How did this happen to me?

It happened to me the same way it happens to everyone else: Over time exercise becomes a reliable escape from existential pain. 

You don’t have to take a pill or go to a therapist or even engage in discussions that lead to that rabbit hole of self awareness.

All you have to do is run, swim, bike, lift…crawl if you have to.

But nothing about extreme athletics is normal for anyone not involved in professional sports; particularly hitting the middle years and beyond.

After pulling through this nightmare myself, while at the same time losing close friends to exercise anorexia, I guess you could say I’m a bit resentful of the denial.

~~~

ARTICLES WORTH READING:

http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/special-issues/athletes/long-distance-runners-high-risk-to-develop-eating-disorder

http://breakingmuscle.com/endurance-sports/endurance-training-is-bad-for-your-heart

http://www.businessinsider.com/is-short-intensity-exercise-better-than-endurance-training-2015-1

I could go on and on and on and on.

But I’ve known junkies who’ve wanted to kill me over a conversation, so for many, this is an exercise in futility.

Why Rich Older Guys Can’t Find the “Right” Women

sugar-baby-travel

The reasons men of means have difficulty finding true love has everything to do with them, and nothing whatsoever to do with the relative health of their investment portfolios.

~~~

The following is a conversation between yours truly and one of these men.

By the time you’re half way through it, you’ll understand the dilemma.

“John” is a nom de plume.

JOHN

“I just met this woman who is perfect! Perfect body, nice skin, teeth…and she has a perfect ass. A little flat on top, but I can fix that.”

ME

“Where did you meet her?

JOHN

At a really nice steakhouse. She was at the bar having drinks with a girlfriend.

ME

Is she from here?

JOHN

I think so. She’s in school.

ME

How old is she?

JOHN

33

ME

So she’s getting a graduate degree or something?

JOHN

I don’t know all of that, but she is really into fitness and wants to workout with me at the club.

ME

I’m sure she does. What does she do for a living? Does she have a job?

JOHN

Yea, she’s in medical sales or something like that. She’s really smart.

ME

I bet.

~~~

So this is how it all starts.

There’s a checklist that runs in the blood.

You’ll notice the same list in 22-year-old men who don’t have resources and children that must withstand their poor life choices.

Such men can ebb and flow with the tides, relatively unscathed.

But when an older man of means gets caught up in what feels like a rip current, it can drag his entire life straight to hell before he has time to repair the damage.

The point is older men of means have a tendency to forget their age and financial station relative to the women they choose to date.

In their minds, they’re still at Stanford, and the women are on a field in front of them carrying lacrosse rackets.

This is the delusion that settles in like virus and hides out in their spinal columns for the duration of their lives.

It’s incurable, but it can be contained.

Unfortunately, containing it is akin to death to many, so it just does what the hell it wants until there’s nothing left to do.

I can’t tell an older man that his choices are ass-backwards. He doesn’t want to hear it.

What he wants to hear is that a beautiful young woman of unknown origin and lifestyle will love him for who he is.

He wants it to all the be same way things were 30 years ago.

This is the psychopathology.

This is also why these men rarely – if ever – find the “right” women.

They don’t exist anymore than the person they were 30 years ago exists.

Now they’re standing at a steakhouse bar in the middle of a massive metropolis, hallucinating.

And who takes advantage of their hallucinations?

You guessed it.

5 Bullet Points of Note

1] Never choose a woman based solely upon her appearance thinking you can fix the rest of it. In her mind, the rest is not broken. You are.

2] If a woman in a steakhouse says she’s in school at 33, she is in class where you’re standing.

3] Your fantasies are public knowledge, which means that the women you meet have your number.

4] Line items are fine, but not particularly practical.

5] Imagine your world without money and then place that template over the women in your sights.

“Lyin’ Eyes” Reinterpreted

Don Henley was 28 when he and 27-year-old Glenn Frey wrote Lyin’Eyes.

The year was 1975.

The story goes that they were in their favorite LA restaurant/bar Dan Tana’s where they watched beautiful young women hitting on rich, older married men and decided to write about it.

From the vantage point of men in their 20’s, I can certainly understand their passionate disdain, as they felt entitled to the attention by virtue of youth alone.

Nonetheless, fast-forward to today’s urban world and I will comment on each verse from the perspective of an older man:

Henley/Frey

City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won’t have to worry
She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style

Comments:

City girls know exactly what they doing, which is why many of them are among the 1% without so much as a G.E.D., or discernible profession. 

Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is only
Given to a man with hands as cold as ice

Comments:

I have yet to meet a gold-digger who was unhappy in a 10 million dollar home. Not one. Furthermore, most don’t care what’s in a John’s heart, or even that he has one, as long as she gets to travel. Put another way, it’s a symbiotic relationship.

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town

Comments:

Most gold-diggers cheat. So what? As long as the John doesn’t find out what difference does it make? She’s still faithful to the arrangement.

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin eyes

Comments:

Most men I know set specific parameters like anyone running a successful enterprise. Applicants sign employment contracts and live within the parameters. 

On the other side of town a boy is waiting
With fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
She drives on through the night anticipating
‘Cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel

Comments:

There will always be a boy somewhere waiting for pretty much anyone, anytime. It’s obviously not enough, so she parses.

She rushes to his arms; they fall together
She whispers that it’s only for awhile
She swears that soon she’ll be comin’ back forever
She pulls away and leaves him with a smile

Comments:

Unless he figures out how to make a bundle, he’ll only be a fleeting screw. Of course, most young guys who make a fortune when they’re young tend to go through women like water, so now who’s crying?

She gets up and pours herself a strong one,
And stares out at the stars up in the sky.
Another night, it’s gonna be a long one.
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry.

Comments:

This is the funniest thing I have ever read. Her head is sitting in a $20,000 french armchair with a glass of champagne. Nice try, though. 

She wonders how it ever got this crazy.
She thinks about a boy she knew in school.
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool.

Comments:

Lazy? Are you insane? Women like this work their butt’s off to live like this. What? You think money just falls from trees?

My oh my, you sure know how to arrange things.
You set it up so well, so carefully.
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things?
You’re still the same old girl you used to be.

Comments:

Most insightful verse in the song. I’ve never known a gold-digger to change his or her stripes. 

As young men, even they could see that people are what they do.

Hair Loss Triggers Depression in Older Men [and women]

older-man-with-hair-loss-data

Fact: 75% of all men will suffer some degree of hair loss by age 60.

Fact: 50% of all women will experience some hair thinning by the age of 40, three-quarters by the time they are 65.

This is particularly bad news for Baby Boomers who make up the 51-70 demographic [1946-1964].

According to Dr Asim Shahmalak, Britain’s most respected and best-known hair transplant surgeons, hair loss can have devastating psychological consequences.

“Men and women alike, although it is mainly men who suffer, go through a series of psychological stages when their hair thins, he says. Broadly speaking these can be characterized thus: Shock – Denial – Anger – Depression – Acceptance, not dissimilar to any other life-changing episode.”

He goes on to tell the story of Mark Oaten, then a rising political star, who became mired in a sex scandal.

“Mr Oaten did not condemn the media, nor point to the pressures of life in the Westminister bubble, as he might reasonably have done and many before him have.
Instead, in an unusual and highly thought provoking response, he laid the blame for his behavior squarely at the door of a mid-life crisis occasioned, he said, by the loss of his hair.”

I’m not making this up.

Writing at the time in a compelling dispatch for the Sunday Times, Mr Oaten identified the loss of his hair as the trigger behind the increasing anxiety in his personal and professional life as an MP.

“Any television appearance would result in a barrage of emails, not about the issues I’d raised but about my lack of hair,” he admitted.

“Whether supportive or not, they all asked what had happened to my hair.”

He went on, “It’s perhaps not surprising that I became more and more obsessed by its disappearance. For me it was a public sign that my youth had ended.”

The loss of hair for men and women can be deeply traumatic. And trauma, however hard to gauge, can influence both happiness and behavior. No one should underestimate the affect hair loss can have.

‘Baldy’, ‘slaphead’, ‘bone dome’, all harmless banter, right? Hardly. The language of the schoolyard extends well beyond the boardroom.

I’m hardly one to argue in favor of political correctness, but people need to get a grip on the essential vulnerabilities human beings carry, especially things like hair loss, over which they have no control.

Self-confidence is of paramount important to well being. And once that confidence goes, it can be hard to regain, leaving both professional and personal life badly exposed.

According to Dr. Shahmalak, patients readily admit to worrying constantly about their thinning hair and tell him about the impact on their social lives:

“Innocent comments can be misinterpreted, the eyes of their friends seem drawn to their temples, everyone else has a full head of hair. Why not them? I don’t exaggerate.”

In a society where image has become so important, hair is crucial.

It also can be tougher for modern men than for previous generations because of the high number of mid-life relationship break-ups and divorce. This coupled with greater independence for women, and men are now under pressure to keep looking younger in later life.

This scenario isn’t without crosscurrents, however.

Having very short hair is often seen as more masculine – and there are some suggestions that baldness is linked with heightened virility.

There are plenty of poster-boy role models for the nervously-thinning male.

But if people fear the worst about getting bald, it can become part of a wider mid-life crisis, says business and social psychologist, Michael Gutteridge.

If a man has strongly identified with his appearance, then losing his hair can feel like a threat to his identity­ as it means he stops looking like the person he thought he was. This is more than just vanity.

 Dr Gutteridge says that it’s becoming increasingly common for business leaders to have cosmetic surgery, reflecting their need to send a visual message that they are still young and energetic.

Politics comes to mind.

Did you know that in the United Kingdom, no bald headed party leaders have won a general election since the television era began, perhaps reflecting the potent cocktail of associations that connects hair with power, attractiveness and vitality?

Even businessman and presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made reference to it when he stated, “it’s extremely important for all men to maintain a good head of hair.”

As for his hair, I’ll abstain from further comment.

 The Future Looks Good

Barry Stevens, general secretary of the Trichological Society, says in the foreseeable future there will be an effective way of preventing baldness using “tissue engineering” and cloning technology.

This would mean cultivating hair-growing skin from an original sample, which would be grafted back onto the scalp.

“This isn’t pie in the sky, there are tens of millions being pumped into research into this,” says Mr. Stevens. But once an effective technique is developed, he forecasts that this will become a massive industry.

I could have guessed that myself.

Mr. Stevens has been working in the hair industry for four decades and he is strongly dismissive of much of the hair loss merchandising on the market, particular products that claim to “re-grow” vanished hair.

Hairr transplants work for some people, he says, but little else is worth the money.

 “People are getting conned every day, charged thousands they can’t afford, going to hair clinics where they’re sold magic pills and creams that don’t work. I’m sickened by much of the industry, it is corrupt, full of charlatans.”

“If there were a safe and effective drug for re-growing hair it would be available from doctors, rather than adverts in the backs of newspapers,” he says.

But there is certainly a massive market for such hair revitalization, with an estimated 5.5 million websites dedicated to hair products.

This is because even though men might say they don’t care, losing hair can take the scissors to their self-confidence – and they’ll spend a great deal of money trying to turn back the tide, says Mr. Stevens.

It might not be apparent for many years, but the 100,000 hairs on a youthful male head begin to reduce in number almost as soon as men reach their teenage years.

The rate and extent of the hair loss is governed by genes, and Mr. Stevens says it’s a myth that men should look to their mother’s family for an indication of how their hair might recede.

Like hair color, patterns of balding can be inherited from either side of the family and from several generations back,­ which is why brothers can have completely different amounts of hair.

But what should a balding man say to a hairdresser? Honesty and a good close crop. The comb-over or any other cunning coiffure is not going to fool anyone.

Comments from men around the globe taken from an article published recently in the BBC:

I used to have long hair all my late teens and twenties and early thirties. So to discover it thin on top and receding a little, I have now shaved it with a razor. People are used to it now, but deep down I hate it and am depressed about it. I don’t want long hair for my age, but just a good head of hair so I don’t have to shave all the time. I don’t like any photos with me in, so I guess it’s a major problem with me. I have less confidence and think I’ll remain single.

Andy, Scotland

I used to have long flowing locks a la Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain in the ’90s now at 29 I’m a virtual skin head. I put it down to too much hair dye, late nights and a diet of fags and black coffee in my late teens and early twenties. I used to get far more abuse walking down the street because of having hair than I do now. A bald head makes you look well’ard!

Rob, Norwich

Isn’t hiring rent boys rather an odd way to assert your masculinity?

Chandra, London, England

Had a ponytail for a long time, then my hair began thinning on top. Created my own ‘Millenium Dome’ at the start of 2000, clipping it short all over and bald on top. Raised cash for charity too. It’s much easier to look after, I can trim it myself without small-talking with hairdressers about holidays, and it doesn’t bother me at all, though it gives my mates much amusement. Also it’s something to rub when you need to think hard! But you need a baseball cap when it’s very hot or cold. Anyone going bald – just get over it, it’s no big deal!

Jason Mills, Accrington, UK

I have two sons 20 and 23, both lost almost all their hair in their teens as did their grandfather. It hasn’t affected their attraction to the opposite sex, so I think these precious males have to accept that they just aren’t as attractive in middle age as they were in their youth – with or without hair.

Janet Georghiou, Windsor

As a balding man of 25, the concept of having a’solar panel for a sex machine’ on top of my head certainly appeals!

John Ferguson, Edinburgh

I’ll admit that I am slightly torn about the issue. Although part of me would love to salvage the few strands of hair left on my head and even get a few extra ones, at the end of the day, this ugly mug I was born with is mine, whether I like it or not. And I am not entirely convinced that a full head of hair would magically transform me into any kind of Adonis.

Steven, Shrewsbury

I was bald by the age of 21. Many women find it sexy, I find it convenient to clean-shave once a week rather than pay ridiculous amounts of money to have a hair-cut once a month. Never got me down, since I was never a stud so I have built my confidence based on my brains, not on my looks. Never really liked my hair anyway since it was curly and unmanagable.

Elias Kostopoulos, Athens, Greece

I’ve recently joined the bald gang as I approach 30. I had long hair for over 10 years, something crucial to a fan of heavy metal, but like life, it’s something to accept, deal with and move on. Buy yourself some hair trimmer and get with enjoying life, you ain’t dead yet!

Dave, Southampton

I started to lose my hair when i was in my early 20’s. I used to have a great head of hair and first noticed it thinning at the front when I was 21. By the time I started Uni at 23 it had become noticeable. Friends and family were kind saying it was my imagination. It really upset me and i used to wonder why it had started so young with me. I was always conscious of it and it nearly destroyed me. One day at around 27 years old i shaved it and i felt relieved. I did not have to hide it any more and was out in the open. I do think that it has harmed my chances with girls. I am not bad looking and never had to try too hard. Now I’m bald I have to try ten times harder than I used to. I have to develop all kinds of strategies. Its hard work!

Richard, London

I have two sons. One 48 years with a mass of hair. The other 39 years with a bald head. Their father/uncle/grandfather/grandmother/aunt/myself all have very thick hair so for some reason my youngest son has different genes. I must add that he has not had a problem with his lack of hair, unless he hides it well.

Doreen Whittaker, Surrey

I started losing my hair very early on, in my early 20’s. It did have a depressing affect on me, as I thought that I was no longer as attractive as I had been. Looking back, I can’t believe what an arrogant and vain prat I was. The turning point finally came when I bought some electronic clippers and shaved it all off. I felt better, there was no chance of me resorting to a comb-over and my self-esteem went up again. I’ve never looked back since then. And I’m getting married next year!

Marc Jones, Chingford, London, UK

I agree that we must be honest about baldness. You can’t really fool anyone. Sure it is great to have a full head of hair, but most men don’t after a certain age. I’ve seen all sorts of silly cures here (Malaysia) and nothing works, snake oils and all sorts. The key is to look at yourself in a positive way … be bold and bald … some find this attractive! It is also far more comfortable, a close crop makes me feel better than a length of locks. There is plenty of successful bald men, just stay away from british politics though.

Bill, Malaysia

It’s perfectly acceptable for a man to lose his hair, whatever his age…. provided he keeps what’s left very short. The men that attempt to cover it up, just highlight the fact and draw attention to it! A lot of men look more attractive with a shaven head.

Rachel, Southampton

What an absolute load of tosh, using losing ones hair as an excuse for insecurity. I started losing my hair in my early 20’s and just accepted is as part of life. It’s caused no crisis the conscious effect it had was it made me go for a shorter hairstyle. Now some 30 years later that I’m almost totally bald I just have my remaining hair cropped every few weeks. People who have ‘issues’ with hair loss are, in my opinion, using the hair loss as an excuse for a deeper insecurity.

Paul Ostermeyer, Milton Keynes, UK

My partner has a bald head and looks better now than he did as a youngster. I find it very attractive in a man. It’s a bold statement and although not always a choice for men, gives them more masculinity to their image. If your bald, don’t cover it up. There are lots of women like myself who adore the look!

Angela Ross, Sandhurst Berkshire

At 49 my hair is still long and thick. I have the most negative comments about it from balding or bald males. Do I care – nah!

Martyn Hlman, York

Summary

 In my world, having a full head of hair pales in comparison to having a full load of cash. Financial security renders the issue moot. And while having both is better, I have never once heard any woman complain about her husband’s hair loss when travelling on a private jet.

Furthermore, when assessing a dating candidate, most women I know look at a man’s financial shape, followed closely by his physical condition, and pretty much ignore the rest.

In the end, they just don’t care enough to make a difference. In fact, a little hair loss may be just what the doctor ordered as it will make whatever the woman feels a bit insecurely about balance the scales.