Monday, June 28, 2010

Too much squama frontalis?



Shatner's Toupee readers have pointed to an interesting picture of Bill Shatner, in which an unusual amount of forehead (squama frontalis to our toupologists) appears to be on display. Judging by the watermark, the image was sourced from an eBay sale - we have no idea when or what it is from. A rough guess would be the very late 1950s, perhaps 1959, by which time Bill Shatner was just beginning to wear his "Jim Kirk lace" in a professional capacity and he was certainly balding (though far from bald) at this point.


It's difficult to make any firm judgements given the low resolution of the image (it could all just be a trick of the light), but it does appear to show a combover. Above Bill Shatner's left ear at the right side of the picture is what appears to be a parting of the hair, indicating it is being combed up and over. The roundness of the hairline would appear to confirm this. But there is evidence to the contrary too:


The above image is, we believe, of a young Bill Shatner on stage in 1954. Combover? Perhaps for character effect, but certainly not to conceal any thinning - not yet. That would start slowly in 1956, gathering pace over the next few years. Does the bottom image have a lower hairline, while the "Popeye" image shows too much forehead (ergo thinning)? Must it thus be dated to a time when balding had already begun from the late 1950s?

Questions, questions...our toupologists are reluctant to make a firm call one way or another until we know more about the image. Any help in that regard form our readers is always welcome!

10 comments:

  1. A combover, for sure

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  2. I don't think the picture really is telling what may be thought of here. I'm tending to think that the lighting and shadow obscure the frontal hairline to the point where one can't objectively figure out what's going on. I also question whether that's a combover.

    Also, what is that light-green stick-like object that looks like it's hitting him on the head?

    What I do find interesting when looking at this picture and the previous one at the bottom is the placement of the hat on his head.

    That the brim in the first picture is very high up suggests the hat is angled similar to the second picture. That to me suggests he's really trying to cover up the top/back of his head, more than the front.

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  3. This photo looks weird to me…probably because the hairline is so unusually round. And the hair color is much darker than Shatner's original hair color. I guess they smeared black shoe polish on Shatner's scalp…

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  4. The black band is part of the hat that he is wearing.

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  5. O my…I would never have thought that by myself. Besides, it's a hideous hat. My experience is that follicly challenged men are very vulnerable about what is lacking on their scalp, but most of them have no problem with putting whatever ugly headgear on it. My old man, for example, refused to watch tv without a head covering, because the lamp next to the armchair reserved for the head of the house would highlight his baldness. But he wore headgear of all kinds for watching tv…a baseball cap labelled "PAM", a leather aviators cap, a Ned Flanders-style sleeping cap…

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  6. "light-green stick-like object that looks like it's hitting him on the head?" That's the watermark. the front hairline is not acutally hair in this picture. It's the dark band of the hat.

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  7. Shatner is ready to film "The Bing Crosby Story"! Crosby was a toupee wearer, too.

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  8. nice Irwin Allen toupee story (I believe something similar happened to Shatner on Star Trek)
    http://www.tvparty.com/unseenirwin1.html

    ...Irwin used to have a very bushy head of Brillo like hair. Well, if you look at pictures of Allen from the 1950's, he was primarly bald. So, when the studio filled up with fog, he turned up the giant fans on the set but wound up blowing the toupee off his head and across the studio floor.

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  9. Wow did something like that really happen to the Shat? I heard his toup got knocked off though when he tripped during STV.

    Have you seen this vid. of Malcolm McCowell talking about the Shat? It's hilarious!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFtaAgEfF8c

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  10. I think the toupee Shatner used to wear at the time of Star Trek V was that horrible doormat rug. It was probably weaved into his own remaining hair, that's why he was able to dive with it in Star Trek IV — I doubt this kind of toupee would fall off just because its owner tripped…
    A thing like that might have happened during the TOS era. Shatner does a Jim Kirk shoulder roll® and the little tuft of hair sticks to the sand of Vasquez Rocks.

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