For many men, hair loss can be a big worry, an aspect of physical appearance beyond their control. Particularly when it comes to dating, where your confidence already relies on another’s perception, lack of hair can make you feel even more exposed. After all it only takes a tenth of a second to make assumptions on someone’s character, despite our conscience doing its best to remind us of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. You may begin asking yourself do women find guys with shaved heads attractive?
Fear not, research recently carried out by the University of Pennsylvania, aptly named ‘Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance’, confirmed that the odds are stacked in favour of bald men in the dating game. Students of both genders were asked to rate photographs of men with different hairstyles, and those with less hair consistently came out top in terms of dominance, also rating highly for attractiveness, strength, confidence and masculinity.
The law of attraction?
Everyone has different things that they find attractive, but certain physical features have been found to have a big impact on initial attraction. Evolutionary instinct means we seek partners with features that indicate fertility; for women, curvaceous hips and for men, a v-shaped torso. Fuller lips, broad shoulders, and friendly eyes are all features also mentioned to increase attraction. But interestingly, there is little to suggest that the length of our locks has an influence, despite the hours and money that men and women alike spend on their hair.
Finding the correct balance of confidence when it comes to dating is also an important factor. Being self-assured, forces the other person towards your best qualities and away from your insecurities. The research in question carried out several individual studies.
Firstly, students were asked to rate 25 images of men with all different natural hairstyles, then in the second only four images were used, rated with their natural hair and then once it had been digitally removed. This second study found that those without hair were thought of as more rebellious, as they had the confidence to go against standardised hairstyles: less hair less cares? The men were also perceived as 13% stronger when pictured with shaved heads versus hair.
Dominance in dating
Oh, the connotations that surround the word dominance. Dominance infers leadership and power, as well as the sensual association of being more superior in the bedroom. Within the study dominance was assessed using three spectrums: submissive-dominant, restrained–forceful and unassertive–assertive. Let’s be honest, all women like to be swept off their feet and are subconsciously drawn to the “bad boy” attitude. Again, looking to evolutionary psychology, females seek a dominant partner because they hold the most superior genes, so the saying “treat them mean to keep them keen” holds true. As for bald being bad, it is often believed that hair loss is a symptom of high virility and sex drive, although there’s little research to support this.
Ultimately, when it comes to dating with hair loss, the message from this research is clear: going bald could give you the conviction you’ve been waiting for. Let’s wave goodbye to the outmoded view that less hair means weak!