Bad news, hair plug salesmen.
The research, involving three separate studies related to balding, found overwhelming evidence that shaved heads are sexy. In the first study researchers asked 59 male and female students at the University of Pennsylvania to rate photos of men—some bald, some not—based on perceived confidence, attractiveness, and dominance. In the second study, 367 male and female adults were asked to rate photos where researchers had digitally removed the hair. The third study was an a non-visual exercise where 552 male and female adults read descriptions of men, which included the subjects’ career, age, weight, height, and whether or not they had hair.
The first two studies found men with shaved heads to be more dominant than men with full heads of hair, with study 2 perceiving them to be taller and stronger as well. The third study found the same results applied to photo-less descriptions of men. Given these findings, men going bald may want to take a shaved head for a test-drive.
“Instead of spending billions each year trying to reverse or cure their hair loss, the counterintuitive prescription of this research to men experiencing male pattern baldness is to shave their heads.” The three-study conclusion also suggests that the type of men who shave their heads may be perceived as more confident, and that confidence may be perceived as sexy. Another trait that’s perceived as sexy in men is a deeper voice and—surprise—kindness, just two of the things that make everyone more attractive, says science.
An additional study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science by Dr. Frank Muscarella, a researcher of evolutionary psychology, adds another layer of complexity that might make bald men be perceived as dominant but amiable. “I speculated that male pattern baldness evolved as an appeasement signal and signaled benign, non-threatening dominance,” said Dr. Muscarella an interview. He went on to outline a large body of research that suggested that women are attracted to dominant men.
What does this mean for balding men? If you’ve tried all 9 ways to stop hair loss to no avail, grab a razor and give a smooth pate a try.