Study shows bald men are perceived as more attractive

89th Annual Academy Awards - Show
Getty Images | Kevin Winter

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Shemar Moore. Jason Statham. You probably don’t need science to tell you these guys are handsome. But luckily, research from the University of Pennsylvania will confirm it for you.

Over the course of three studies led by Albert E. Mannes (who, it’s worth mentioning, is bald), 59 participants were shown pictures of men with full heads of hair as well as a set of pictures of men who had their hair digitally shaved off.

The research concluded that the bald versions of the men were perceived by the participants as more masculine, confident and dominant. The participants also thought the men who were bald in photos were taller and stronger than they actually were. Don’t let that go to your heads, guys. 

shemar moore photo
Getty Images | Kevin Winter

But seriously, no wonder Hollywood casts so many bald men—like Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis and Statham—in action movies.

The study goes on to say that dominance may be linked with a shaved head because of stereotypes we have here in the United States. Men with shaved heads are often found in traditionally masculine professions like sports, the military and law enforcement.

“Hollywood, moreover, has long featured action-adventure stars with shaved heads,” the researchers pointed out. As a result, we have been culturally conditioned to believe baldness equals toughness and strength.

vin diesel photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

There is a catch, though, according to the research. To be perceived as having those attractive qualities, the men had to be completely bald. Patches of hair or pattern baldness was seen as less attractive and weak. (Ahem, gentlemen, that’s your not-so-subtle scientific queue to let those remaining patches go and shave it all off.)

So, aside from confirming that bald guys have attractive qualities, what’s the point of the study?

Well, for one, it challenges a lot of the notions behind the lucrative hair-loss industry. Men have been fighting hair loss to the tune of $1 billion a year with hair creams, special shampoos, pills, lotions and hair follicle transplants when in reality, a shiny pate can actually be seen as a good thing.

rogaine photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

The scientific evidence suggests guys should just go bald already rather than spending a bunch of money trying to reverse or cure hair loss. After all, going bald could improve a man’s social and economic outcomes, the study points out.

The best gem of the whole study is delivered in the concluding sentence, which says: “These men might better improve their well-being by finishing what Mother Nature has started.”

Alright, guys: your move.

[h/t: Men’s Health]


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About the Author
Brittany Anas
Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure.

I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Visit Scripps News to see more of Brittany's work.

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