BLAISE TAPP: Thoughts of baldness are not worth losing your hair over
There was a right royal fuss last week when the modern face of our most famous family, Prince William, got himself a new haircut. Â
It wasn't just the fact that the future king decided to go for broke and have a 'buzz cut' which generated almost as much interest as anything David Beckham did in his pomp, but also the not-so-small matter of the reported cost of Â£180.
That's right '“ nearly 200 quid for a haircut which probably won't be as expensive as his wife's bill, but when you are talking about less than 10 minutes in the barber's chair while he moans how expensive business rates are, it is more than a bit steep.
For that sort of money, I would want my barnet tended to by Vidal Sassoon himself '“ a bit of a tall order I grant you, given that he has been in the great salon in the sky for the past five years.
But the Duke of Cambridge isn't your average thirtysomething dad and, as many cyber wags pointed out last week, technically we are paying for it.
I don't begrudge his new look '“ in fact we want the frontman for the next generation of royals to look like he belongs in the 21st century rather than a refugee from the 1940s.
In fact, I actually have a great deal of sympathy for the bloke '“ his privileged position and inherited fortune aside '“ because I too know what it is like to have a very wide parting.
From my late teens it was pretty clear that I wouldn't ever have a mop top like my Madchester heroes The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays, rather that it was more likely I would end up like one the Mitchell brothers from EastEnders.
Although I have been receding for the past 20 or so years, I can't yet be classed as bald and, as my barber so kindly put it when I visited this weekend, I am '˜holding onto it still'.
How long I hold onto my hair for remains to be seen but I promised myself long ago that I would let it go with dignity, which is largely due to the bad example set by my long-since dearly-departed dad.
Back in the 1980s, he was well known in junior football circles as the 'dad-coach' with the Bobby Charlton strands of hair which he insisted on combing across his otherwise desolate pate.
That image of middle-aged pigheadness has stayed with me for three decades and shaped my attitude to the decisions I make while visiting barbers up and down the country.
Yes, I have sported the odd dodgy style '“ an ill-conceived early-90s mullet and a French crop spring to mind '“ but nowadays conservatism is the approach I adopt, along with many of my contemporaries.
We have learned from the mistakes of our fathers and, in some cases, our grandfathers that you can't fight the passing of time and, apart from the lucky few, hair loss is inevitable.
Although they are currently enjoying wide public support, the royal family still isn't everybody's cup of tea, but William may well convert middle-aged men who have ignored the inevitable for far too long.
There aren't that many style icons for blokes my age, but it looks like the shaved duke has filled that void.