Maybe going bald isn’t something that men need to fear, after all. Instead of Rogaine, hair transplants and toupees, there’s a better–and cheaper–solution that has proven to be very effective: embracing it.
According to a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania, bald men are objectively more masculine in the eyes of others than men with hair.
The key here is that the bald men must be completely bald. No buzzcuts. No thinning hair around the ears and the back. Definitely no skullets. Total baldness.
Now, it should be noted that the researcher who performed the study, Albert Mannes, just so happens to be bald. Still, his work was just published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, so it appears that he was able to set his personal biases aside and pass his peer review.
The study was broken down into three distinct parts. First, participants had to rate images of bald and hairy men based on how powerful they thought they looked. Then, they did the same with images of hairy men and men who had been digitally altered to appear bald. Finally, they were asked to rate men based only on verbal descriptions of them which included details about how much hair they had.
As crazy as it sounds, the participants in the experiment consistently rated the bald men as not only appearing to be more powerful and authoritative, but also taller and stronger.
Mannes thinks that the reason for these results might be that people judge head-shaving to be a dominant behavior. Maybe he’s right–it does involve taking charge of your thinning hair and dragging a sharp blade over your entire head. On the other hands, guys who just let themselves become bald slowly over time are perceived as weak and powerless.