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Prematurely Bald

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Be it via alopecia or a similar condition, really early onset male pattern baldness, some sort of accident... it's not as though high school wasn't already hard enough, now you're losing your hair a few decades early.

Some may try to hide it with combovers, some may go 'au naturel' or just shave all their remaining hair off to stop looking patchy, but it will often be a sore spot. A few will embrace it and not let it get them down.

A prematurely bald head is not to be confused with a shaved one (unless, as mentioned above, the man shaved his head because he was balding anyway).

See also Bald Head of Toughness. Contrast Charlie Brown Baldness, where a character has hair that's drawn as being (almost) bald. When done with a small child, or a teenage girl, it's usually case of the Littlest Cancer Patient. Compare Prematurely Grey-Haired.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Yukimitsu Manabu is already losing his hair from stress in his second year of high school. At the start of the Kanto tournament, he starts styling his hair differently, and it isn't nearly so apparent. According to a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot segment in the manga, he's had a ridiculously high hairline since birth.
    • Unsui Kongo's head hair has been stubble his entire life it seems, and Agon lampshades this, "Still as bald as ever."
  • Kagerou Usui in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has it even worse than most: Though his comb-over covers his bald spot, no one notices him, to the point where he can shout in someone's ear and the listener will wonder what just made a noise. However, whenever his bald spot is exposed (usually after he's gotten accustomed to being invisible and while he's doing something embarrassing, like reading porn in the classroom), people suddenly all fix their gaze on him. They then proceed to punish him, mock him or both.
  • Makoto's father in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! is already bald by 35. He fears he'd go this way as well.
  • Saitama of One-Punch Man became bald as the result of his Training from Hell some time between the ages of 22 and 25. Superalloy Darkshine is likewise bald because of his intense training, even though he is 27 years old.

    Comic Books 
  • Professor Xavier from X-Men lost his hair in his late teens, as a side effect of his mutant powers.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: Mortadelo lost all his hair to one of Doctor Bacterius's experiments. Filemon combines this with Hair Antennae.
  • Superman:
    • How Luthor Met Superboy: The Pre-1986 version of Lex Luthor lost his hair as a teenager, when an experiment in artificial life went wrong. He blamed Superboy for this -and for the failure of his experiment and the destruction of his lab- and swore revenge.
    • A similar story was used in The Adventures of Superboy and it's at least alluded to in Smallville.
  • In the 2000s Black Lightning took on a bald look. Green Lantern John Stewart claims that it is a "negative combover", saying that BL is going prematurely bald, and shaved his head to disguise it.
  • In Robin (1993) Tim Drake's friend Ives, who is still in high school, losses his hair due to follicular cancer and its treatments. In Red Robin it starts growing back when the cancer is in remission.
  • Herr Starr, the main (human) antagonist of Preacher went bald as a child due the to trauma of a group of bullies carving a star shaped scar into his face.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the X-Men Film Series:
  • Harold is a 2008 indie comedy film about a 14 year-old with early baldness and the challenges it brings.
  • In The Life of Oharu, Jihei's wife, who is middle-aged, has lost almost all her hair due to illness. She wears an elaborate wig and begs Oharu to help her fix it and keep the secret from her husband.
  • The Day After: Many people lose their hair as a result of radiation poisoning, including the women.
  • Marty alludes to this in Back to the Future. Seeing Mr. Strickland 30 years younger, but bald nonetheless, he comments to Doc, "Geez, didn't that guy ever have hair?"
  • It's hinted in Superman Returns that Luthor went bald at a very young age. One of the things his father had told him when he was a kid besides the speech about real estate, and "Get Out!", was "You're losing your hair."
  • Revenge of the Sith: Darth Vader, who was only 22 years old at the time, had his hair burned off during his immolation on Mustafar.

  • In the series Les Six Compagnons, one of the heroes is called "Le Tondu" because he lost all his hair as a child to an unspecified illness. He usually covers it with a beret.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Michael Garibaldi's hair noticeably thinned over the course of the series, with him being completely bald by the end of the fourth season. This was chalked up to Garibaldi being exposed to a chemical that caused all of his hair to fall out.
  • Sam Drucker in Green Acres and Petticoat Junction mentions he started balding in high school.
  • Ted from Scrubs began balding at 14.
    • Turk may or may not suffer from this as well. In one episode, he admits that he shaves his head because he's going bald, but in another he rebuts it.
  • Lex Luthor in Smallville lost all his hair as a small child because of the meteor shower that occurred when Clark Kent arrived on Earth.
  • Misfits has a teenage girl who is bald due to alopecia. The storm gives her the power to temporarily inflict the state on others, albeit only partially conciously (she can't help but do it to the boyfriend who dumped her when he found out she was bald every time she sees him).
  • Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation kinda-sorta flip-flops on the idea. The series itself showed that Picard had a full head of hair during his time in Starfleet Academy, and was thinning out about ten years before he took command of the Enterprise-D, but Star Trek: Nemesis suggested otherwise (or at least he was bald in one photo).
  • Stan Sitwell from Arrested Development has alopecia. Lucille Bluth keeps calling him an alpaca, probably because she's either too drunk to pronounce "alopecia" or just doesn't care.
  • In an episode of Babylon 5, we find out Security Chief Garibaldi(!) is bald due to black-market shampoo.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • When Kurt Angle first debuted in the WWE in 1999, he had a full head of hair, but by the time he won his first world championship only a little over a year later, his hairline had receded dramatically. In 2002, Kurt was placed into an angle with Edge that culminated in a Hair vs. Hair match which Kurt lost. Kurt (in Kayfabe) didn't take being shaved bald too well at first and covered it with a hairpiece held in place by amateur wrestling style headgear. After a couple months he got sick of it and embraced his newfound baldness.
  • Claudio Castagnoli tried to work a partially bald look, but his hairline eventually receded so far he just decided to start shaving it.
  • After being shaved bald by Kurt Angle, who infamously shot the man with a tranquilizer dart, The Big Show (who, like Kurt, was starting to lose his hair anyway) decided he was going to stay bald to always remind himself what Angle had done.
  • Genki Horiguchi of Dragon Gate debuted with a surfer gimmick and a long mane of hair that started falling out only a year into his career. Jokes about the baldness led him to a Face–Heel Turn. Later he learned to channel the rage he felt at the H-A-G-Enote  chants into fighting spirit. Once he turned face again, the fans started chanting H-A-G-E to cheer him on.
  • Hulk Hogan started losing his hair in his twenties, and was bald as an egg by his mid-30s.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has clarified that his shaved head in WWF was due to this, as his hairline had been receding since his WCW debut. He briefly sported a buzz cut during his first few months as the Ringmaster, but he didn't like the look of it and decided to just get rid of his hair altogether.
  • The Rock's hairline had been visibly receding since his debut (when he was 24), and by The New '10s, he just started shaving his head altogether.
  • John Tenta, better known as Earthquake, was almost completely bald on top by his late-twenties.
  • Arn Anderson was balding in his twenties. That combined with his beard and slightly pudgy build, he looked like he was in his forties. He's changed very little since then, so his age has caught up with his appearance.
  • Paul Heyman began to lose his hair in his mid-twenties.
  • Drew Hankinson, better known as Luke Gallows had male pattern baldness since at least his Festus days. He just shaves it all off now. His partner, Karl Anderson, also qualifies.
  • Like Kurt Angle before him, Baron Corbin was fighting a losing battle with his prematurely receding hairline and shaved his head as part of his new "Constable Corbin" character.
  • When first seen on TV without his mask on in 1999, Rey Mysterio Jr., who was 24 at the time, had thin hair that was combed forward and a bald spot in the back. He would shave his head later on and even after donning the mask once more in 2002, some of his masks leave the back of his head exposed, showing that he has kept his head shaved since.
  • Alex Wright had a noticable receding hairline despite being very young (he was only 18 when WCW signed him). This led to him adopting a mohawk after being repackaged as Berlyn and later shaving his head completely after the gimmick was dropped.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • During the majority of Season 2 of The Most Popular Girls in School, 17-year-old Mackenzie Zales has to deal with the risk of going bald; she loses hair every time she curses, and there was already a noticeable bald spot on the side of her head at the season's start. It's overcome by the beginning of Season 3, however.
  • Julia Goldberger from Ollie & Scoops is of the receding hairline variant. She used to have a full head of hair as seen in "Student of the Month" but it got fewer and fewer every month. It's implied that the stress she puts on herself (and her ponytail) might be the cause.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The prequel On The Origin of PCs makes it known that premature baldness runs in Roy Greenhilt's family. Roy shaved his head in college. It is never specified whether he shaves or is naturally bald in the comic's "present".
      • Roy mentions that he still shaves his head in the in-character preface to Book 4, but, again, the strip is currently in Book 7.
    • While not directly stated, dwarven cleric Durkon has said he's been bald for "40 years," and is currently 55, meaning he went bald as a teenager. Given that dwarves live longer than humans, this means he went bald even younger in relative terms.

    Western Animation 
  • Codename: Kids Next Door
    • Numbuh One is ten years and old and completely bald. Somehow, the Delightful Children are responsible, and this is Numbuh Five's Greatest Failure.
    • Mr. Fibb mentions in "Operation: C.O.W.G.I.R.L" that he started losing his hair when he turned fourteen.
  • Doug is drawn with few hairs but implied to have a full head in the Nickelodeon series, but the Disney series openly acknowledged in the episode "Doug's Hairy Situation" that Doug was losing his hair at 12, and had him come to terms with it. His neighbor Mr. Dink is also revealed to have lost his hair when he was Doug's age and wears a combover.
  • It's been shown that AJ in The Fairly Oddparents is naturally bald. In "Fairy Idol" and the "Wishology" trilogy, he expresses desire to have hair. "It's a Wishful Life" reveals he would have a full head of hair if Timmy was never born...somehow.
  • In the Grossology episode "Hairless Whispers", Abby is the first victim of Frederick Follicle's hair loss ray and more people follow.
  • The main goal of Gerald Bald Z, the young protagonist of Perfect Hair Forever, is to obtain... Perfect Hair Forever.
  • In an early episode of The Simpsons, Mr. Burns reveals that he lost his hair during his senior year at Yale (although flashback scenes are, shockingly, not always consistent).
    • Flashbacks are generally consistent with the idea that Homer had a thick head of hair in his teens, had it thin out over his twenties, and was almost completely bald by his mid-thirties.
    • One episode of The Simpsons showed Bart going bald some time in his late 20's/early 30's.
    • Jimbo Jones, one of Springfield's prominent teen bullies, has been shown to be bald under his cap.
  • Benson from Regular Show is shown bald as a child in "Think Positive", yet he also had hair as a child in a photo in "Saving Time", and as a teen/young adult in "Expert or Liar". So he must have lost his hair, then grown his hair back, then lost it again. Benson is a gumball machine, though, so the artists are probably just inconsistent on whether or not he ever had Non-Mammalian Hair.
  • In T.U.F.F. Puppy, Birdbrain has stated on occasion that he is prematurely bald.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
  • American Dad!:
    • It is revealed in the episode "Chimdale" that Stan is actually bald and has been wearing a wig since he entered college. His baldness was a side effect from an experimental drug he took to cure his acne he suffered through his teen years. He later got hair plugs in "Comb Over: A Hair Piece".
    • Avery Bullock was shown as a child in "Fellow Traveler", and was balding with white hair even then.
  • South Park:
    • "Weight Gain 4000" shows that Mr. Garrison had male pattern baldness and gray hair even as a young child. However, this would be contradicted in "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut", when Garrison is shown with a full head of brown hair on the night that Cartman was conceived (though it could be a wig).
    • Minor classmate Jason White appears to have a receding hairline at the age of 10.
  • The Mighty B!: In "Name Shame", Portia finds out Bessie's middle name and reveals it to the world, not knowing that saying it aloud brings bad luck. When she says it, her hair falls out.
    Portia: These aren't even extensions!
  • Superfriends: The Challenge of the Superfriends episode "History of Doom" emulates Lex Luthor's Silver Age origin of losing his hair in his adolescence as a side effect of Superboy's efforts to save his life when a lab experiment went wrong, but changes Luthor's experiment from creating artificial life to concocting a formula that would have removed Superboy's weakness towards kryptonite.
  • Tales from the Goose Lady: Randy is bald at the age of ten, which the Goose Lady cruelly mocks him for in "The Ugly Duck-Thing".
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: In "Battle of the Stands", Chum Chum reveals that Yo's hair is actually a wig and she's bald without it.
  • Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Flashbacks show that even as a young boy, his hairline was receding.

    Real Life 
  • There is a condition called alopecia that can cause baldness in children and teenagers. A rare female example is the stand-up comedian Renee Hicks, now with her hair grown back and spelling her name René.
    • Matt Lucas also suffers from alopecia, and he's used his baldness to his advantage, playing a wide variety of characters on Little Britain using wigs and makeup.
    • Icelandic actor Tómas Lemarquis (best known for his role as Caliban in X-Men: Apocalypse) lost all of his hair including eyebrows and eyelashes at age 13.
    • Anthony Carrigan, best known these days for playing Victor Zsasz on Gotham and Kyle Nimbus on The Flash (2014) doesn't even have eyebrows due to alopecia.
  • Alopecia aside, if a boy is genetically predisposed to hair loss, hair can begin to thin out in his mid-teens. The primary cause of hair loss is an abundance of a specific type of testosteronenote , so for many, it can begin as soon as puberty ends and his hormones level out.
  • Chemotherapy for cancer often leads to hair loss (and not just on the scalp), as it attacks rapidly growing cells.
  • Patrick Stewart lost his hair at the age 19. He said in an interview that after a friend's husband held him down and she took off his toupee and burned it, he accepted it. He said that it actually helped his theatrical work, since having no hair meant that he could easily wear a wig appropriate to whatever character he was playing on stage.
  • Kenny Chesney began balding at age 19.
  • The Other Wiki mentions Jason Alexander beginning to lose his hair at 16.
  • Donald Faison shaved his head in the film Clueless because his hair had already begun receding at age 18.
  • Until he shaved his hair off, Doug Walker had a noticeable receding hairline and bald spot by his early 30s.
  • Michael Chiklis, whose hair was already noticeably thinning prior, lost what remained of his hair due to a makeup malfunction. After shaving his head and applying grease paint (for a part in You Can't Take It With You), he failed to remove the paint, and it killed his hair follicles.
  • Julius Caesar was reportedly bald as a knee by 30, and it was a really sore spot for him, as by the Roman superstition baldness was seen as a sign of the gods' displeasure. No wonder that he had to overachieve, with all the mockery that usually brought.
  • Jamie Hyneman said in one interview that he started shaving his head as a response to premature hair loss. (Then he realized a shaved head gets cold and donned his trademark beret.)
  • David Cross has been as bald as he is now since late 20s, at least.
  • Sean Connery lost his hair at age 21. He wore a toupee in his James Bond flicks.
  • Bob Fosse started losing his hair in his 20s. He claims this is where his love of hats came from- part of his work's Signature Style.
  • According to Sir Terry Pratchett, the Pratchett men go bald in their twenties to get it over with. Hence the nice hat.
  • Don Rickles lost them in his early 20's.
  • As seen in this 1895 mugshot, Vladimir Lenin was practically bald by 25. For contrast, here's how he looked at age 21.
  • Brian Eno was already visibly thinning in his Roxy Music days, while he was in his early 20s.
  • YouTuber BlastphamousHD lost most of his hair in his teens and shaves his head as a result.
  • James "Murr" Murray from Impractical Jokers mentions in the episode "The Butt of the Joker" that he started balding at 20.
  • Former child actor Steven Anthony Lawrence was pretty much bald by his mid-twenties. That combined with his unique features and facial hair, make him look about two decades older than he is.
  • Serial Killer Raymond Fernandez suffered a blow to his head while serving in the US Navy during World War II that caused him to lose his hair.
  • Two American Football players, quarterback Y.A. Tittle (played for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers) and cornerback Bobby Boyd (played for the Baltimore Colts) had gone bald well before the age of 30.
  • Steve Burns of Blue's Clues fame. You can see him gradually losing his hair over the course of his tenure on the show. In fact, his premature baldness is a part of the reason why he left, as he thought he would look too "old" for the kids watching. His reappearance on the successor Blue's Clues & You! shows him wearing a detective-style fedora on top of his shaved head.
  • Porn actor and YouTuber Johnny Sins explains in a vlog how he started losing his hair in his early 20’s. He started shaving his head around the age of 24, a look he has kept ever since.
  • Youtuber Wade Barnes Suddenly started losing his hair in the mid-2010s, and by 2021 he is already nearly bald save for some sideburns.
  • While not quite bald, Heath Ledger's hairline had receded considerably during his mid/late twenties. He was only 28 when he died, but looked to be at least in his mid-thirties due to his hairline.
  • Beach Boys frontman Mike Love was already noticeably receding when the band formed, at which point he was only 20 years old. Within a decade, it'd gotten so bad he was forced to wear a combover and by his forties, he was more or less completely bald on top, hence why he's been wearing hats to cover it up for almost fifty years.
  • Michael Jackson's hair caught fire in 1984 due to a pyro malfunction while filming a Pepsi commercial, leaving him with a rather large bald spot due to scarring. Michael would cover the damage with hairpieces, but aging, harsh chemicals used to maintain his Jheri Curl hairstyles and failed surgical procedures to repair his scalp caused the bald spot to enlarge. This resulted in Michael wearing longer hairpieces and tattooing the front of his hairline in order to hide the hair loss. Upon his death, Michael's autopsy would reveal that he had very little of his natural hair left in his final days.
  • Maurice Gibb, the youngest of The Bee Gees, was the only Gibb brother who didn't sport long, flowing hair having lost most of it by the time Saturday Night Fever rolled around. He wore a trilby hat to cover it up from the 90's onwards.
  • Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins noticed that at age 28, his hair was rapidly falling out. He shaved his head and has kept the look since.
  • As seen in this 1973 photograph, Wallace Shawn's hairline was already receding before he turned 30.
  • Dr. Phil has gone on record stating he started losing his hair as young as 12, which became noticeable by the time he reached high school. Indeed, these senior pics show him sporting a visibly receding hairline.
  • In 2016, Peniel Shin of the K-Pop boy group BTOB revealed in Hello, Counselor that he didn't tell anyone about his hair loss for five years and hid it by wearing hats while performing on stage.