Men With Shaved Heads Look More Dominant

A shaved head is perceived as a sign of masculinity, whether that’s purely from cultural bias or perhaps there is a deeper reason. (Photo by mokolabs on Flickr.)

Interesting findings have recently come in about men with shaved heads. It turns out there’s a strong correlation between shaved heads and perceived levels of dominance, masculinity, age, height, physical strength and confidence.

Want to appear more masculine? — men with shaved heads are viewed as an inch taller and 13% stronger than counterparts with hair. — Click to Tweet.

Interestingly, these men were also viewed as slightly less attractive. If you want to experiment, though, there’s “little downside to at least trying the look,” according to Albert Mannes, a researcher and lecturer at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Albert says that since hair traits are one of the only changeable traits — and hair can grow back relatively quickly — there’s no point in avoiding a shaved head, especially if a man’s hair is already thinning. The willingness to go completely bald signals much more confidence than trying to hang onto a head of thinning hair.

The Study Details
In the first study recently conducted, 59 female university students saw pictures of 25 men, both black and white. Ten of these men had shaved heads, while the rest had complete heads of hair, with no signs of balding.The bald men were consistently ranked as more dominant by the university students.

The last two studies used larger groups, up 588 adults, and the groups were of mixed sex. In one study, photographs were used, and in the other study a written description was used. The results remained the same: men with shorn heads were consistently ranked as more dominant, more masculine, and stronger.

Military men might have setup the association between masculinity and shaved heads. (Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.)

Possible Causes
It’s long been an association that men with shaved heads are part of more masculine occupations, such the military, law enforcement, and professional sports. This simple cultural association could be responsible for the link, especially in the United States. Researchers mention that in the United Kingdom there’s a stronger association between skinhead culture and shaved heads, so the look might be less desirable in that region.

There’s also a link between shaving one’s head and confidence because men who feel good about themselves are more likely to be willing to let go of their hair. Similar signs of confidence include a willingness to wear unconventional clothing — the idea is that if you’re willing to voluntarily give up the reliably accepted appearance, it shows a personal sense of confidence.

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