The research, involving three separate studies related to balding, found evidence suggesting men with shaved heads are sexier. 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 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 a shaved head were perceived to be more dominant than men with a full head 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 at the very least 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 study authors also hypothesize that the perception of men who shave their heads is that they are confident, and that confidence may be perceived as sexy. Other studies have linked the perception of sexiness in men with a deeper voice and—surprise!—kindness, the latter being just one of the things that make everyone more attractive, according to science.
An additional study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science by evolutionary psychologist Dr. Frank Muscarella adds another layer of complexity to this topic, suggesting bald men are perceived as dominant but friendly. “I speculated that male pattern baldness evolved as an appeasement signal and signaled benign, non-threatening dominance,” Dr. Muscarella told the BBC. His research outlines a large body of research suggesting women are attracted to dominant men.
So, 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.