By Sam Reed
Updated Jan 16, 2019 @ 3:15 pm

Though we normally prefer to focus our time and energy addressing the endlessly exhausting unrealistic beauty standards imposed upon women, it's time we confronted another issue head on, pun intended: Male pattern baldness.

It happens to a lot of men (at least 50 percent of men experience hair loss by age 50, while 85 percent will experience hair thinning, according to one study), and it's perfectly normal. In fact, according to the one college biology course I was required to take for undergrad (and also corroborated elsewhere), baldness is caused by an inherited sensitivity to a by-product of testosterone. Scientifically, for better or for worse, testosterone is sexy. Balding, however, has not fared as favorably in the eyes of the public — hence the popularity of hair growth products, and hats.

With all of the fear and shame surrounding male pattern baldness, what's a young actor or public figure with a genetic predisposition hair loss to do? Hair plugs? OK, but pricey. Comb overs? One word: wind. The Donald Trump method of tossing a mysterious matter resembling sewn-together trimmings from the barbershop floor onto your head and calling it a day? Please, God, no.

That leaves the bold — er, bald — choice to, in the words of Elsa, "let it go." In 2019, a few more men are taking the plunge, embracing their God-given dome with open follicles. The majority of these men in the public eye are pop culture sex symbols because of their particular brand of Hot Dad ™, which is hinged on their baldness — think J.K. Simmons, Stanley Tucci (below), Sir Patrick Stewart or even John Travolta, the latter of whom made headlines earlier this month for unveiling a completely shaved head after his much-talked about 2016 Hair Plug Situation.

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Bill Condon And Alan Menken Arrive At Alice Tully Hall For The New York Special Screening Of Disney's Live-Action Adaptation 'Beauty And The Beast'
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

But though it's not the popular choice (yet) among younger men, a few are taking balding in stride — Prince Harry, for example. The 34-year-old, like his older brother, is slowly but surely losing his ginger locks, transforming before our very eyes into a dashing young Ron Howard.

Royal Balding
Credit: Getty Images
Royal Balding
Credit: Getty Images

Other (relatively) younger balding men include Dwayne Johnson, 46, and Jason Statham, 51. Let the record show that one of the two of these men was named People's Sexiest Man alive in 2016, so.

Royal Balding
Credit: Getty Images

According to a report from Grand Review research, the hair loss market is expected to become a $11.8 billion industry by 2024, and that makes sense considering 62 percent of balding men in a recent Spanish study said that losing their hair contributes to lack of self-confidence. But with Prince William and Prince Harry leading the charge, perhaps not everyone will feel compelled to deny their baldness.

After all, confidence is sexy, and confidence is a key part of owning your hairless dome. Don't just take it from me. Last week, The Cut published an article titled, "Why Would Any Man Not Want to Be Bald?" complete with this reflection from writer Edith Zimmerman: "[Baldness] is so attractive, it boggles my mind." We concur.

To be clear, this is not a knock against any man who decides, for their own reasons, to give hair plugs a try. To the 42 men that have shimmied their hairlines forward an inch or two, do you! But for those who are noticing that their hairs seem to be in retreat, at least consider letting them be. Hairline diversity is not a bad thing.