Shave It Off! How Bald Guys Can Look More Manly and Dominant

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Forget hair transplants, pills and hair regrowth serums. A University of Pennsylvania researcher has a better alternative for balding men: shave it all off.

In three experiments, researcher Albert Mannes, a lecturer at the Wharton School at U. Penn — and a balding man himself — found that guys with shaved heads are not only perceived by others as more manly and dominant than other men, but also taller, stronger and having greater potential as leaders.

In the first experiment, nearly 60 participants looked at a series of photos of men who were similar in age and attire. The difference was that some men had shaved heads while others had full manes. The participants rated each man in terms of how powerful, influential and authoritative they looked. When the results were averaged, shaved men topped the ratings.

(MORE: Study Finds Pattern in Male Baldness: Could There Be a Cure?)

In the second study, Mannes showed participants images of four men. Each man was shown twice, once with hair and once without. Not only were the men perceived as more dominant when they were shown digitally balded, but they were also viewed as nearly an inch taller and 13% stronger.

In the final study, Mannes gave the participants verbal and written descriptions men. Some men were described as having thick hair and others had shaved heads. Once again, the participants rated the men with shaved heads highest for masculinity, strength, dominance and leadership potential.

“I was surprised that perceptions of dominance and masculinity extended to concrete, physical characteristics such as height and strength,” says Mannes, whose study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Mannes theorizes that it’s the boldness of the act of head-shaving that feeds into the perception of dominance. He’s found that men with thinning hair — those who are presumably just resigning themselves to their own baldness — were rated as less dominant than men who took the initiative to shave their heads altogether.

(MORE: Study: Baldness Drug May Lead to Long-Term Sexual Dysfunction)

Still, that doesn’t mean everyone should be reaching for the shaver. Mannes research also revealed that men with shaved heads were considered less attractive and older-looking than those with thick heads of hair — and attractiveness is also correlated with perception of dominance. “So, whatever a man gains in dominance directly by shaving his full head of hair will be offset to some degree by his diminished attractiveness,” says Mannes.

For men with thinning hair, however, the benefits offset the downside. “The shaved look is more attractive than the visibly balding look. So men suffering natural hair loss may enhance both their dominance and attractiveness by shaving,” says Mannes.

Mannes says his findings should help legions of balding guys feel better about themselves and stop feeling self-conscious about their shiny pates. Or, at the very least, they can save themselves the financial cost of trying to reverse their hair loss. “These men might better improve their well-being by finishing what Mother Nature has started,” he writes.

MORE: How to Fight Hair Loss

33 comments
SirHare
SirHare

I've been shaving my head for years and wouldn't want hair if there was a miracle cure available.  If you are bald and proud of it check us out @ www.sirhare.com  | Bald head care for heads that want to be bald

robspanda
robspanda

I am bald and shave my head and the women cannot resist me. I also work out 6 days a week and watch what I eat. I read a lot and am very well versed in conversation. I cannot beat them off me with a stick since shaving my head.  

DanCassidy
DanCassidy

I've been shaving my head for the past 20 years and won't go back. Here's why: women (most) like it. You'll save money. It's easy to maintain. You save time. And now, we're seen as more dominant and powerful. I'll take that over long hair, high maintenance and high cost any day.To see a cool story talking through other benefits and tips on how to shave your head, check this out: http://inspiyr.com/shave-your-head/

brettraud
brettraud

Yeah, this article sounds more like a balding man trying to find some kind of comfort in it. Shaving your head alone isn't going to make you look more "manly".  Getting fit and building some muscle mass helps a whole lot more.  A healthy and strong looking man will garner much more attention than a fat or wimpy looking guy, hair or no hair.   

beverlyhillshr
beverlyhillshr

Sometimes, it doesn't really matter what other people think about your hair loss - it affects the individual differently. We noticed that a lot at our Los Angeles hair transplant clinic (about us at http://www.beverlyhillshr.com. But also, the family and loved ones do have a lot of influence. 

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

This was based on 60 people taking three surveys?  Were they all from the same college?  Were they checked for demographic background and the results adjusted accordingly?  Or were they just a bunch of college kids who didn't want to be mean to the bald guy conducting the survey?

C'mon, guys, I'm no scientist, but I know what's needed for even speculative conclusions to be made.  This is, based on the information in the story, no more than a speculative theory derived from a minuscule sampling of people likely with similar backgrounds conducted by someone who could easily have prejudiced the results simply by being seen with a margin of error so large, no actual conclusions can be made.It's bad science in the first place and it's bad science to imply any speculation from it at all.

writer7
writer7

Confidence comes in various ways. First and foremost, beauty is in the eyes is of the beholder. It must start with ourselves; our perceptions are most important. Once we decide what good looks like, we can be our own best friend, and celebrate. Reality is whatever it is -make the best of it and set your own standard. I've been shaved for six months and have had mixed reviews. I have not been shaken and learn how to role with it and if anything just play into it. Things like "real men are capable of confronting their feminine side"!

writer7
writer7

Confidence comes in various ways. First and foremost, beauty is in the eyes is of the beholder. It must start with ourselves; our perceptions are most important. Once we decide what good looks like, we can be our own best friend, and celebrate. Reality is whatever it is -make the best of it and set your own standard. I've been shaved for six months and have had mixed reviews. I have not been shaken and learn how to role with it and if anything just play into it. Things like "real men are capable of confronting their feminine side"!

blkwdow
blkwdow

My hubby is 35 years old.  Many years ago after sporting a blonde mullet for a while then changing to a military "flat top" he informed me that he was going to shave his head bald.  I almost cried and begged him not to do it... when he finally emerged from the bathroom with his cleanly shaved head... I WAS SO TURNED ON I couldn't stop touching it!  It looked absolutely fantastic!  He's been shaving his head bald ever since!  

GMH49
GMH49

The military and the police have known this forever. That's why they shave their heads and that's why a Butch haircut is called a Butch haircut. Problem is now its becoming mainstream to try and intimidate and dominate people psychologically. Shame on TIME for promoting the idea that somehow a Neo Nazi look is "cool" and makes you more manly. 

timbocf
timbocf

What about the Jewish boyfriend guy from Sex in the City?  He was kind of a doosh... and not very manly haha

Capn
Capn

Hey Time

Don't tell me what to do you you little twerp

Jason Harris
Jason Harris

Look more dominant, masculine - what, because maybe there's a reinforced stereotype of skinheads and soldiers being aggressive and dominant?

This study is great - "Study shows that a THX-1138 future is more desirable" LOL

Ezra_Gonzalez
Ezra_Gonzalez

I shave my entire body and wear only a Speedo everywhere I go; my masculinity oozes from every pore.

hotrod4d
hotrod4d

A bald man 'proves' that bald men are more manly!  hahaha

Bald guys are CREEPY!

Brian S
Brian S

Last December, I was diagnosed with cancer and lost my hair through chemo.  I actually liked the look and since I only had to do one round of chemo, my health quickly came back and I kept the bald look for a time afterwards.  I keep going back and forth, it would be nice to dispense with the hassle and expense of haircuts.  If my hair continues to recede I'll start shaving it, I cannot understand why any man would pay for hair transplants, do the hideoous combovers or worse, get a toupee. 

el_polacko
el_polacko

i started shaving my head over 30 years ago...before it was cool...and i've never gone back.

if you want a little decoration up-top, you can always wear a sombrero !

Bald22guyz
Bald22guyz

My company Bald Guyz makes special grooming products for the sensitive skin of the bald head. If those hirsute can have different shampoos depending on hair type, those who are bald need skincare for their noggins. Be PROUD!

Jens Nordmark
Jens Nordmark

If masculinity is supposed to be the opposite of feminimity and women have long hair, then it is reasonable that baldness is ultimate masculinity. Spock would approve. It's logical. And it saves schampoo.

loopy
loopy

Once again, the media perpetuates this ridiculous "new look" penned by the neo-nazis or skin heads of the late 20th century. Look, keep your hair guys, if you can and don't be embarrassed about thinning or baldness setting in. It's not at all a sign of weakness or somehow devalues your attractiveness! Not only do most guys have odd shaped skulls (bumps, veins, moles, etc on their heads), but hair actually provides you with protection from the sun, scrapes and dings from low objects, insect stings/bites, etc. Shaved heads have gone viral, and just because it looks good on a few, doesn't mean it is a good look on the many. There's nothing worse then a young guy who could've atleast waited until his 40's to do this dastardly deed, but at 20?! This study is baloney and a crock!

roo08
roo08

bald guys are creepy? You must be easily creeped out.

LucaChicharito
LucaChicharito

Kyle implied I didn't know that a person able to earn $5420 in one month on the network. did you look this(Click on menu Home)   

Robert
Robert

The American people's judgement in leaders in the last few decades has been beyond pathetic.

Ruth Raynor
Ruth Raynor

As a woman who dated a bald guy, it was really nice to rub his head stubble :3

fuzzy fuzzy fuzzy

Feodor Oblomov
Feodor Oblomov

 Right !

Age and a pointy head play a part, too. What gives a tough Marines look to young roundheads makes skinny old farts look like Belsen inmates or chemotherapy patients !

Grunt
Grunt

 Have to spend that Government Grant money somehow.