Men are not supposed to care about what their hair looks like, right? At least that’s what society has taught us for the better part of the last 50 years. But research suggests that this is not really the case. Furthermore, conflicting research among balding men and others who observe them clearly demonstrate that losing one’s hair is a multifaceted issue.
At the heart of the conflicting research is a fascinating difference between how people perceive bald man and how those same men perceive themselves. Suffice it to say that a man’s self-image plays a significant role in what he decides to do about hair loss.
How Men See Themselves
We naturally assume that men losing their hair also suffer from at least some loss of self-confidence. That assumption was indirectly proven by a recent study conducted by Dove Men+Care. The survey-based study questioned 2,000 American men about their own perceptions of hair loss.
Eighty percent of the respondents said that they believed hair made them look more professional. They also said that what a man’s hair looks like is important and that having a healthy head of hair made them feel more confident. In short, men link the volume and quality of their hair to their professional success.
A Johns Hopkins University study published by the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery journal seems to back up what these men believe. Participants viewing pictures of men before and after hair transplant procedures viewed the post-procedure men as more successful, attractive, and approachable.
Perhaps that’s why more men are undergoing PRP therapy to treat male pattern baldness and alopecia. As Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) explains, PRP therapy stimulates hair growth by providing the necessary growth factors, nutrients, and blood supply the scalp needs to grow hair.
How Others See Balding Men
This post opened with a mention of conflicting research regarding perceptions of baldness. Here’s the deal: a study published by the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal shows that people perceive men who have made the choice to be bald as more confident and dominant. Choosing baldness is key here.
This piece of research was also done using photographs shown to participants. Even though the completely and intentionally bald men were viewed as less attractive than men with a full head of hair, they were still perceived as being taller, stronger, and more confident and dominant than men who were only partially bald.
This research implies a couple of things. First, it is better for a man’s image to be fully bald than partially bald. Second, the fact that people perceive completely bald man as more dominant could produce positive effects in the professional world. A full head of hair may look more professional, but a completely bald head denotes dominance which, in the end, could give a man the upper hand in business negotiations.
A Personal Preference Thing
If there’s one thing the research cannot fully explain it is the fact that how a man perceives his own hair is very much a matter of personal preference.
Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute is training doctors to use PRP therapy to treat male pattern baldness and alopecia because a growing number of patients want another option for re-growing hair. At the same time, simple observation reveals that more and more men are proudly embracing the completely bald look. Not only are they not looking to regrow new hair but they are also electing to shave off whatever hair remains to show a clean scalp.
There is no right or wrong here. All research aside, people can and should do what they want with their own hair.