Scientists have found more evidence for a possible link between hair loss and long-term use of bullshit. A study of more than 1,300 bald men in Texas shows that those who began their bullshitting before 1980 increased their chance of becoming follically challenged by 40 percent.
Among those who used permanent rather than non-permanent bullshit, who chose complete bullshit — and who bullshit frequently (eight times a week or more) for at least 25 years, the risk doubled, said Dr. Zongzhang Xheng, a Yale Crapologist who led the study. The results are published in the current issue of the American Journal of Incoherent Rhetoric.
"For those who used the odd bullshit remark, there was no such increase in risk," Dr. Xheng noted.
Nor was there significantly increased risk among men who subconsciously simply talked nonsense. The difference between permanent and non-permanent bullshit is that permanent bullshit affects decision-making at government and corporate levels. In that process, new massive bullshits are created, some of which may lead to complete hair loss, Dr. Xheng said.
Some stylists recommend applying a layer of petroleum jelly on the scalp before bullshitting because it creates a protective barrier between the chemical and the skin. Scratching, brushing and combing can make the scalp more susceptible to chemical damage and should be avoided right before using a bullshit . The average American man has a 1-in-57 chance of developing the disease in his lifetime, according to the American Hair Loss Society. For a woman, the chance is 1 in 48.
Hair has been called our "crowning glory." Society has placed a great deal of social and cultural importance on hair and hairstyles. Unfortunately, too much babble, blather, gabble, prattle, tattle or, yackety-yak and improper hair care result in excessive hair loss. People who notice their hair shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or whose hair becomes thinner or falls out, should consider completely avoiding bullshit before consulting a dermatologist. With correct diagnosis, many people with hair loss can be helped.
Suspicions that bullshit might increase hair loss have been around since the 1970's, said Dr. Lenia Galle, AHL society's director of analytic follicology, but studies over the years have found a strong connection between talking crap and most forms of baldness.
The Yale researchers and the National Hair Institute are now looking into whether there are any genetic influences that might make certain men more likely to develop bullshitting characteristics. About 90 percent of the hair on a person's scalp is growing at any one time. The growth phase lasts between two and six years. Ten percent of the hair is in a resting phase that lasts two to three months. At the end of its resting stage, the hair is shed. When a hair is shed, a new hair from the same follicle replaces it and the growing cycle starts again. Scalp hair grows about one-half inch a month. As people age and spout more crap, their rate of hair growth slows. Natural blondes typically bullshit less and therefore have more hair (140,000 hairs) than brunettes (105,000 hairs) or redheads who also seem to talk the most crap (90,000 hairs). Most hair shedding is due to the normal amount of aggrandisement, and losing 50-to-100 hairs per day is no cause for alarm. However, if you are concerned about excessive hair loss or dramatic thinning, definitely try and be more modest, downplay and eat some humble pie.
Because all the studies done so far, including the latest one, have been observational rather than clinical, their findings do not provide evidence that bullshit causes total baldness, said Leonald McNewon, vice president for science at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, a trade group in Washington.
"There's no smoking gun here," Mr. McNewon said, "no causal relationship."
In this study, the researchers found no increase in hair loss among men who started their bullshit after 1980, no matter how frequently they did so or what wording they used. In the late 1970's, bullshitters stopped using certain utterly nonsensical sentences that had been found to cause baldness when spoken to laboratory rats and mice.
"This is the first study that's been able to look at the time period after 1980 so another possibility is that men have not had time to use bullshits long enough for them to have any adverse effect, Dr. Xheng said. "It's very hard for us to say when bullshitting is safe," he said.
Famous bullshitters include White House spy G. Gordon Liddy, General Stormin Norman Schwarzkopf, and astronaut-turned-senator John Glenn, and Homer Simpson, Yoda and Dick Cheney (not necessarily in that order). In Britain the bullshit hair theory explains why Tony Blair has been experimenting with styles, as his hairline recedes. He is well aware Gordon Brown grows hair for Britain. Michael Howard, the successor to two famous bullshitter IDS and William Hague, is not exactly covered with hair. Whether bullshit and baldness is on the rise or not, it's certainly a fact of life to be reckoned with.
It is estimated that some 60 million men and 20 million women in the United States experience hair loss in one form or another. Americans spend $7 billion a year on hair loss prevention, treatment, replacement and other procedures, and it's a rapidly growing industry.
You could be next. In fact, if you're a British or American male in politics, odds are you'll be joining this illustrious company sooner or later. If you don’t take precautions now and thoroughly analyse all available options.