New York: There seems to be an upside to losing hair, at least for men! According to a new research, bald men appear tougher and more powerful than others.
Men with shaved heads are not only perceived by others as more manly and dominant than other men, but also taller, stronger and having greater potential as leaders, researcher Albert Mannes from the University of Pennsylvania has found, the Time magazine reported.
In the first experiment, nearly 60 participants looked at a series of photos of men who were similar in age and attire.
The difference was that some men had shaved heads while others had full manes. The participants rated each man in terms of how powerful, influential and authoritative they looked.
When the results were averaged, shaved men topped the ratings.
In the second study, Mannes showed participants images of four men. Each man was shown twice, once with hair and once without. Not only were the men perceived as more dominant when they were shown digitally balded, but they were also viewed as nearly an inch taller and 13 per cent stronger.
In the final study, Mannes gave the participants verbal and written descriptions men. Some men were described as having thick hair and others had shaved heads.
Once again, the participants rated the men with shaved heads highest for masculinity, strength, dominance and leadership potential.
"I was surprised that perceptions of dominance and masculinity extended to concrete, physical characteristics such as height and strength," Mannes said.
Mannes theorises that it's the boldness of the act of head-shaving that feeds into the perception of dominance.
He also found that men with thinning hair - those who are presumably just resigning themselves to their own baldness were rated as less dominant than men who took the initiative to shave their heads altogether.
The research also found that men with shaved heads were considered less attractive and older-looking than those with thick heads of hair - and attractiveness is also correlated with perception of dominance.
"So, whatever a man gains in dominance directly by shaving his full head of hair will be offset to some degree by his diminished attractiveness," Mannes said.
For men with thinning hair, however, the benefits offset the downside. "The shaved look is more attractive than the visibly balding look. So men suffering natural hair loss may enhance both their dominance and attractiveness by shaving," Mannes said.
The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.


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