The stereotype that women prefer men who are tall, dark and handsome may not be true after all. A new study shows women find bald men sexier than those sporting full heads of hair. People of both sexes also find men without hair to be more confident and dominant.
There are many good-looking bald celebrities who exemplify the term “bald is beautiful,” including Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, Taye Diggs, Pitbull, Bruce Willis, and Jason Statham. So perhaps this research isn’t that surprising after all.
University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted the study, Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance. Both male and female students were asked to look at photos of men and judge them on their attractiveness, confidence, and dominance. Bald men received the highest scores in every category.
The photos featured men who were naturally bald as well as those who were digitally enhanced to appear bald. Participants consistently rated these men higher than those with full heads of hair or thinning hair. But while bald men were considered sexier, more confident and more dominant, participants also believed the men were on average four years older than their shaggy-headed counterparts.
Interestingly, participants believed baldness made the men in the photos look taller.
The study noted, “Namely, the men were viewed as nearly an inch taller and 13 percent stronger when pictured with shaved heads versus with hair. Because only their hair was altered in these photographs, other factors cannot account for these differences.”
The study concluded that manufacturers may want to rethink their history of spending “billions of each year” on products that try to reverse or cure hair loss. And those who experience male pattern baldness may want to shave their heads instead.
But it may be hard to change men’s perceptions about baldness. A 2009 survey by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery revealed that 60 percent of guys would rather have a full head of hair than money or friends.
A few celebrities have embraced their bald heads. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been shaving his head for about seven years. In April 2017, he explained why he was bald in a tweet: “I’m not bald because I went bald. I’m bald because my hair is a cross between an afro and hair from a Lama’s ball sac.”