Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Before They Were Bald

Andre Agassi

There are some things that have been proven to get better with time. Wine. Cheese. Cindy Crawford. But some, well, some just get balder.

It’s a plight that a great many men have fallen victim to, this thinning up top. Or, should we also say, many great men. And for a select lucky few of them, these physical recessions have had no accompanying effects on their professional lives. In fact, in some cases, it could probably be argued that an increasingly exposed dome only contributed to further career successes.

Not that we’d wish such follicular challenges on anyone. We’re just saying there are worse things.

So now join us as we take a look back at some of history’s greatest “cue balls”—before we had the pleasure of calling them that—after the jump...»

The Five Best Toupees of All Time

It’s been two years since Andre Agassi shocked the world by admitting that his flowing locks of “image is everything” hair were, in fact, a toupee. And while we’ve battled trust issues ever since, we’ve also gained a lot more respect for gentlemen who successfully pull off (or avoid pulling off, as the case may be) a man wig.

Man’s insecurity about hair loss can be dated back to 1 BC, when the Roman poet Ovid wrote: “Ugly are hornless bulls, a field without grass is an eyesore, so is a tree without leaves, so is a head without hair.” Not the most eloquent poem we’ve ever read, but given the subject matter, a bit of syllabic clumsiness seems apt.

While our suggested course of action in almost every hair-thinning scenario involves a Propecia prescription and a tightly trimmed cut, today we’d like to celebrate, in photos, the five best toupees of all time.

Burt Reynolds, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Ted Danson and Andre Agassi.»

Defending Baldness

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Truly, today is a great day for humanity.

In easily the most earth-shaking discovery of the 21st century, scientists appear to have stumbled onto a cure for baldness.

Specifically stress-related baldness in lab mice but, you know, baby steps. And on the off-chance this actually pans out and the current generation of youths never has to face down the sheer-pated scourge, we’d like to weigh in while there’s still time.

We’ll miss it. We swear.

Don’t get us wrong; there are plenty of guys with a real genetic gripe, gracefully fighting the good fight with shampoos and fedoras. But then there are the Picassos of the world, wearing their clean skull with pride and scoring one for the Aging Male everywhere. We can’t help but feel a pang of loss at the prospect of a world without them. We’d prefer this problem be solved with style rather than science—and we don't mean hats. Whither Ed Harris?

Introducing the World Cup All-Bald Team

  • Shawn Donnelly

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This is the latest installment of The World Cup According to Kempt™, our series on the stuff that really matters at this summer’s tournament in South Africa.

As we were putting together the World Cup All-Hair Team, it hit us: we should do a similar list for all the bald/shaved-head guys at the tournament. (Call it a moment of brilliance.) After all, for every phenomenally coiffed Argentine defender in South Africa, there is a hairless-pated Dutch forward. So here it is, the World Cup All-Bald Team. Give it a look, and who knows, maybe these guys will inspire you to take a pair of clippers to your own scalp.

See the All-Bald starting XI»

Wigging Out

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Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if the Wall Street Journal is kidding.

Take, for instance, their latest style dispatch, aptly titled “Toupee Test.” The fact that the phrase “Hair Hat” is used in the subtitle seems to suggest that they know no one who cares enough about style to read newspaper articles about it would ever consider following through on a wig purchase. But the piece itself is a fairly straight consumer report comparing the fiber density cost and return policies (don’t think too much about that last one) of fine retailers such as Best Wig Outlet, Lori’s Wigsite and Wigs.com. Clearly someone, somewhere is thinking about buying a wig

For the benefit of the uncertain, we’ll offer a bit of contrary wisdom: Don't. Please. Embrace the donut and you’ll be a better man for it.