Health: Bald Power
By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When it comes to looks, there’s something men can do to make themselves seem more powerful, even more masculine, especially as they get older. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl shows you what it is.
Bruce Willis is a Hollywood heart throb. Michael Jordan is a sports superstar. And they both have shaved heads.
“The shaved head look is a power look,” said Al Mannes, a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
He did a study on how men with shaved heads are perceived. People were shown pictures of a man with hair, next to the same guy without.
“Men when pictured with shaved heads are viewed as more dominant, more masculine, and in some cases, taller and stronger than men with hair,” said Mannes.
It’s something he experienced first-hand. When Professor Mannes shaved his thinning hair, he noticed strangers were more deferential.
Men with thinning hair were viewed as the least attractive and powerful.
“You only have two options, grow it and comb it over, or shave it off. And that’s the option I chose,” said Steve Levitt, a dentist. He didn’t know he was part of a trend when he shaved his thinning hair.
“I can’t tell you how many times you go out to dinner and people say we go to the same barber,” said Steve.
While men with shaved heads were perceived as being more powerful, the research also found they were rated as being older and less attractive, when compared to men with a full head of hair.
“So hair is still a symbol of beauty in this culture,” said Mannes.
“If I had George Clooney’s hair or Tom Cruise’s hair, I’d keep it, but I don’t,” said Steve.
So why are men with shaved heads perceived as being more powerful? Professor Mannes says it could be because the look is more common in masculine professions like the military, law enforcement and sports.