Whilst you might still see the occasional toupee on an older gentleman, the majority of people have disregarded the need for a toupee. The toupee, once an essential for the disheartened balding man, has declined rapidly in recent years. And we couldn’t be happier about it.
You’ll struggle to find a man who openly talks about his toupee. In fact, you’ll rarely find a man even wearing a toupee nowadays, and if you do, you likely wouldn’t know it. Toupees have advanced dramatically in their appearance. With improvements in technology, it’s hard to distinguish between a toupee and real hair. However, this is only the case if you can afford an expensive option, as cheaper options tend to be of a lower quality.
The costs definitely add up
Much like Minoxidil and other baldness preventing practices, toupees aren’t cheap. In fact nowadays they’re cheaper than ever, but that still hasn’t helped their popularity.
After all things are considered, the average monthly price of a toupee can range anywhere between $50-300+ dollars a month. Now ask yourself this; would you pay $36,000 for 10 years of wearing a toupee? No, we wouldn’t either. It’s far easier to just accept balding and embrace it.
If you’re wondering why the costs are so high, it’s because modern toupees need a lot of maintenance. In fact, many toupee deals have a monthly maintenance scheme that you need to sign up for. Another issue with wearing a toupee is that you can’t just have one; having 2 or 3 toupees is a necessity. By having three toupees, you have one to wear, one being cleaned and another to be a spare.
Have toupees ever been in fashion?
Despite popular belief, toupees were never actually as popular as they’re perceived to have been. They’ve been used for comic relief since the early 1930’s, and were famously ridiculed in a Monty Python sketch in the 1960’s;
Whilst there are they did genuinely reach a small amount of popularity in the 60’s and 70’s, there’s no doubt that they have never truly been fashionable. They have always been considered as a ‘last resort’. One of the reasons that toupees became so popular is that in the mainstream film industry, actors were required to be handsome. Now, evidently nowadays we can realise that you don’t need a full head of hair to be handsome – a al Bruce Willis – but back in those days, it was a necessity.
Whilst toupees might have been popular amongst celebrities and those in the media, they weren’t for everyday folk. This is likely due to their high price and their often mocked status by many comedians.
The first real breakthrough actors to show us that a toupee wasn’t a necessity were Telly Savalas and Yul Brynner – the latter of whom shaved his head for his role in The King and I.
So… What really caused their (limited) popularity to decrease?
There are a few reasons that toupees have become less popular over recent years. Whilst it’s certainly a combination of things, it’s pretty clear what the primary reason for this is. The answer? Technology.
Yes, the expense of toupees is a factor. Yes, the fact toupees have been mocked openly in the media also matters. But nothing has had a greater negative impact on the toupee industry than technology. For those who really aren’t happy with their balding state, there are now better and more sustainable options than using a toupee.
Although hair transplants have been present for more than 70 years, the quality of them improved dramatically in the late eighties. This technology improves year upon year, making them a genuine option for people who wish to revive their former self. Although this method is expensive, it has genuine results.
Of course, another method of combatting hair loss is using minoxidil. When was minoxidil discovered? Again, in the late eighties Rogaine launched their minoxidil brand, which became instantly popular with men worldwide. Proven by scientists to help reduce the speed of hair loss, this too contributed to the dramatic decrease in toupee sales.
It isn’t for me to say whether I think a toupee, minoxidil or a hair transplant is the correct option for someone to choose. Whilst I would never advertise these methods, this is truly down to the individual to decide whether this will help satisfy them and improve their quality of life.
I can, however say that I am a happily bald man. I’ve never thought about trying any of these methods to help with hair loss, because in my eyes, it’s not something that needs ‘help’. It is a natural occurrence in over 50% of men around the globe. I’ve accepted it, and hopefully you will too.