A recent study reveals that men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with long or thinning hair.
In the October 3rd edition of the Wall Street Journal, Rachel Emma Silverman quotes tech entrepreneur and writer Seth Godin, "who has embraced the bare look for two decades," as saying, "I’m not saying that shaving your head makes you successful, but it starts the conversation that you’ve done something active. These are people who decide to own what they have, as opposed to trying to pretend to be something else."
Researcher Albert Mannes showed 344 subjects photos of the same men in two versions: one with hair and the other with his hair digitally removed, so his head appears shaved. In every case, the men with shaved heads were perceived as more dominant. They were even perceived as TALLER. His study found that men with thinning hair were viewed as the LEAST attractive and powerful.
Silverman quotes New York image consultant Julie Rath as saying, "There’s something really strong, powerful and confident about laying it all bare."
She quotes sociologist Michael Cunningham as saying that a bare scalp "is nature’s way of telling the rest of the world that you are a survivor." He thinks that the deliberate shaved-head look conveys aggressiveness, competitiveness and shows "willingness to stand against social norms," while Rath describes the thinning or combed-over look as "kind of shlumpy."
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