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October 05, 2021

Bald men, new report says, seen as more powerful, better leaders

For women, one man might surmise, the future brings plenty of dread: wrinkles, laugh lines, sagging, um, appendages.

But where women may be too hard on themselves as they age – don’t you know that sensitive scientists report five in five women don’t know how beautiful they are? – the story is different for men.

We get old, we get fat and we get bald. Only one of these is under our control.

Fear not, though, brothers of bald. According to one new study, men that shave their heads are seen as more dominant, more athletic and better leaders.

Could it really be? One of the top schools in the U.S., the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, says so, publishing a study that quashes the notion men with thinning hair ought to feel a low sense of self-esteem.

*Bing: How much does a hair transplant cost?

Researchers at Wharton based their conclusion on one important experiment. Participants were asked to look at photos of various men, and rank them in categories like attractiveness, perceived size and strength, confidence, leadership ability and how much power they exuded.

Then, researchers showed participants photos of those same men, this time with the hair digitally removed, and asked them to note their same opinions.

The results? A bald man’s dream. Two of the three trials showed that participants viewed bald men as being an inch taller and able to bench press 13 per cent more, on average.

In all three, according to the researchers, the men with shaved heads were thought to have better leadership qualities.

Now, before the George Costanzas out there jump with joy, there is one important caveat. This study doesn’t show that balding  people are more powerful and better leaders, but those that have tackled baldness and shaved their thinning hair entirely. So we’re talking Bruce Willis here, not Dr. Phil.

In either case, a world where we can scientifically quantify why people think “Stone Cold” Steve Austin may be strong and more powerful is a good one for balding men.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...