Despite only being introduced to Japan sometime in the Meiji era, there are few dishes out there more ubiquitous within everyday Japanese comfort food than curry. Whether we're talking about the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's longstanding practice of serving karē raisu every Friday or Emperor Akihito's alleged love of the stuff and his obsession with the countless regional varieties, the ubiquity of curry in Japan is damn near staggering.
And now, according to a study, curry is the very reason why the island nation of Japan doesn't have many naturally bald men.
Just how much can one dish possibly give?
The study was sponsored by Japanese wigmaker Aderans. Are they a bastion of impartiality? All we can say is that the company has graciously taken it upon itself to conduct what we are certain (ahem) is a wholly unbiased survey on male-pattern baldness.
The hair-centric survey ranks countries by the percentage of men with baldness. While the top of the list consists primarily of Western countries, Japan is ranked 14th on the list and the motherland of curry that is India didn't even make it into the top 20.
While many would believe Japan and India's lack of baldness to be little more than a coincidence, Japanese nutritionist Yoshiko Nakagawa feels otherwise. Nakagawa firmly believes that all that time spent eating karē pan—not to mention Indian curry—has given the men of Japan and their hirsute brothers in India hair with heretofore unmatched virility.
According to RocketNews24, Nakagawa feels the mixture of aromatic spices generally found within curry have the added benefit of increasing blood flow, which in turn makes men's hair grow. In particular, Nakagawa says, the active ingredient in chili peppers—capsaicin—promotes circulation, which can make for long, luxurious locks. Nakagawa also believes turmeric, saffron, and nutmeg help the hair-growth process.
Our advice to Aderans, the Japanese wig-making company? Time to move to a country where curry is not common—those people really need your wares. Japan? Not so much.