A new study from the University of Pennsylvania has found that bald men hold a powerful appeal. The research, which was published in this month’s Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, found that men with bald heads are more likely to be viewed as commanding, dominant and masculine. They are also perceived as more capable leaders and authoritative individuals.
Since my own husband recently shaved his head in solidarity with me as I lost my hair through breast cancer treatment, I must say that I heartily agree with this research. I’ve asked my husband to keep his new shaved look, and it seems I am not the only woman out there who associates baldness with masculinity.
So why is it that we view men as more powerful and dominant leaders?
It could be that baldness and testosterone go hand-in-hand. Bald men are more likely to have higher levels of testosterone than men with hair, and testosterone plays a role in many of the body’s functions. From sex drive to energy to muscle mass, testosterone levels have a hand in many of the behaviors we associate with masculinity, and this could be the reason that women respond quite voraciously to a man with no hair.
Baldness might also speak to our primal urges and anthropological history. Baldness highlights other features in the face, such as a man’s brows and his jawline, and these are qualities that have been associated with masculinity since the days of early humans.
Think about it: Cro-Magnon man had pronounced features such as a tall forehead with noticeable browridges, and when a man is bald, the look is reminiscent of that early modern man and his lifestyle as a hunter and protector. It might be 2012, but women still respond to those subconscious cues, just as men still respond to a woman with an hourglass shape as it is associated with fertility (a quality that was of utmost importance to early modern man who was trying to spread his seed and establish dominance).
We might also respond to baldness because so many powerful men have rocked the bald look. From Bruce Willis to Michael Jordan to Sean Connery to Ed Harris, there are a number of Hollywood heartthrobs and athletes who prove that baldness is attractive. And, the fact of the matter is that it takes confidence to pull off a bald look.
People sometimes rely on their hair as a security blanket or as a way to blend in with the crowd, but without hair, you are bound to stand out and make a statement. It’s a way of stripping yourself down and greeting the world head-on, and rising to such a challenge can show a man’s confidence and inner strength.
No wonder so many women (myself included) love this look! So, guys, put away the Rogaine and the toupees and embrace your baldness—you might just be surprised at all the positive attention that comes your way.