“Should I Shave My Head?”

As a social experiment, I recently shaved my head with a #3 guard. It was a tough decision to make, as I’ve always been in love with my hair.  I haven’t had a shaved head since the Army.

I felt five pounds lighter. I didn’t overheat as much at the gym, and I use almost no shampoo. I get the same amount of looks from girls. A full head of hair doesn’t affect my game.

Recent research suggests that men with shaved heads are perceived to be more powerful:

In all three tests, the subjects reported finding the men with shaved heads as more dominant than their hirsute counterparts. In one test, men with shorn heads were even perceived as an inch taller and about 13% stronger than those with fuller manes. The paper, “Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance,” was published online, and will be included in a coming issue of journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

As I noted in my post about hair loss and the game, just don’t rock thinning hair/a receding hairline:

The study found that men with thinning hair were viewed as the least attractive and powerful of the bunch, a finding that tracks with other studies showing that people perceive men with typical male-pattern baldness—which affects roughly 35 million Americans—as older and less attractive. For those men, the solution could be as cheap and simple as a shave.




  • http://www.bronanthebarbarian.com Bronan The Barbarian!

    I’ve been shaving my head for about three years. It’s awesome. Girls love it, plus shaving your own head is easy and will save you hundreds of dollars per year.

  • http://aneroidocean.wordpress.com aneroidocean

    If you don’t have a weirdly shaped scalp, shaving your head can definitely be a great time/money saver. It’s super convenient, but the downside is that it’s not as stylish.

    I shaved my own head for at least 3 years and from time to time I go back to it. $20 deluxe Wahl clipper set at Walmart and I have easy free haircuts for life.

    The convenience and the super fast showers and the cooler running body temp are awesome benefits.

    • Keith

      Damn. Using clippers is SO much cheaper. But I like the skin smooth feel/look.

      How much I spend in a year: $100 for 32 Mach 5 razors from Costco, with another $50-$60 in shaving gel. About 10 minutes every morning, every day.

  • Keith

    My hair was thinning by the time I was 20. I shaved it at 21, and never grew it out again. Danger and Play is right… You’ve gotta be in decent shape to make it work. I let go around 27(had a gf) and turned into a fat fuck. By being in shape you get to look younger than you really are. I put the pics in the blog below to illustrate.

    Not gonna leave it up for more than a day: http://www.shavedheadeample.blogspot.com/

  • http://gravatar.com/elijah743 Elijah

    I’ve always believed that this is the proper response to balding. Instead of clawing desperately at keeping your hair you are in effect saying “FUCK YOU! I SHAVING YOU BASTARD!”

  • http://scartissue.us Wald

    A shaved head also evokes images of soldiers. Being associated as a soldier makes a man seem more powerful.

  • rgoltn

    I have been shaving my head for years. I have gone 100% with a Head Blade, but my wife does not like it as mush as a having a little stubble. She prefers the Bruce Willis, Jason Statham look. So, who am I to argue with that.

  • lemon

    i’ve been going bald since 22 (mostly diffuse thinning, with a slight bit of recession at the temples) and i’ve been buzzing my head since then.

    only use propecia/rogaine if you’re a blonde, pasty white guy with a stupidly shaped head. otherwise just shave that shit. i will probably look into getting some work done in my mid 30s.

  • http://mattforney.com/ Matt Forney

    When I started shaving my head in college, my notch count doubled (admittedly it was pretty low to begin with). Had I followed through on my gym regimen, I’d be killing it right now.

    One thing you should do if you’re white when you shave your head, GROW A BEARD. Otherwise, you’ll look like a chemo victim. Black and Latino guys can get away with being bald and clean-shaven.

  • d’oh

    There seems to be some confusion here between close-cropped hair and totally clean shaven. In any case, I cropped my hair to about 1/4 inch a few years ago and immediately got much more female attention. It just looks more masculine.

  • Jason

    I resisted shaving my head for years. Then a buddy who was cutting my hair for me one day fucked up so bad that the only solution was to just shave it. But women LOVED the way I looked. So now I go back and forth, sometime a full head of hair and sometimes shaved.

  • http://flyfreshandyoung.wordpress.com FFY

    From one former #3 guard-er, I’d suggest trying out a #1, you might never go back.

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  • http://thequestfor50.wordpress.com The Quest For 50

    I came to the same conclusion as this study empirically, through my own experiences.

    I started buzzing my hair really short (#2 guard) last year, and I noticed something each time I buzzed it. When I would go out that night, girls would immediately start calling me an asshole and walking away. They weren’t saying it in the good ‘gina-tingle way; they were legitimately blowing me out.

    What I realized was that my game was calibrated to a certain level of dickishness that was offset by the look I had with more longer hair. Once I buzzed it and looked “tougher” I just seemed like too much of a dick, with no contrast.

    I began toning down my dickishness, which worked fairly well. However, I’m finally growing my hair back out now for the winter, because I think I’m at my best when I can be totally unfiltered, verbose, and extremely cocky (and somewhat dickish).

  • http://rivsdiary.wordpress.com rivsdiary

    great stuff d&p, your blog gets better and better.

  • http://gravatar.com/professorashur Professor AshurProfessorAshur

    No guard.

  • Doc

    I started noticeably losing my hair in grad-school – before that I had it long, and was the only “biker guy” with a 160+ IQ. I enjoyed the freedom such perception granted me. Anyway, I originally started keeping my hair short – less than 1/4 of an inch, and found that was a pain since it was a hassle since it didn’t stay that length for long, so I went to 1/8 so I could use an electric razor – after about 6 months I lost the guard so it was now about 1/32 and finally decided to punt and just shave it off entirely – but quickly found I needed to add a full goatee and mustache to offset the great expanse of white skin. That look, shaved head – goatee- mustache, tends to also have it’s own message.

    Unfortunately, the combination of shaved head, leather jacket and motorcycle tended to actually frighten women – yes it excited some, but I found that I needed to “soften” things a bit, so I had to lose the jacket and go with a fitted shirt and tie. It was like the shaved head – was equivalent to the “biker” look – although each conveyed a different message. I’ve used the “message” the shaved head and well dressed look conveys ever since in business and personal life. It seems to convey something akin to a tiger on a leash – the women aren’t sure if they are in danger or not, but it excites them. In business, I’ve found that people are naturally more wary of you, especially if you tend to be quiet and ask focused questions. I’ve had more than a few women tell me, “you scared the hell out of me at first”.

    Woman still ask to “feel it”. The double entendre’, that request can be interpreted as, gets some major blushes when I arch an eyebrow and say something like, “I usually like to get to know a woman better before I let her do that….” That usually deflects things but they keep coming back to is, so I milk it for all that it is worth before getting something from her in exchange. It also helps to put the target at ease when you are playful – since the shaved head does tend to make them tense up.

    But it will effect people’s perception of you, the assumptions they make about you, and how they will react to you. So you’ll have to change your mannerisms depending on how you want to modify that perception, but the pluses it yields more than make up for the small minuses. Or I have found that to be the case.

  • http://beingshadezero.wordpress.com Shade Zero

    I have been shaving my head forever. I’ve used everything from electric trimmers to straight edge razors. I love the low maintenance.

    Currently I’ve been using a 1 guard or 0 up top with a 00 on the sides and back.

    Now, I just go pay to have it cut every 6 weeks. It is a lot quicker than doing it myself and I’d rather not have to clean up the mess.

  • Peter

    shaved head is great for cappucino coloured people. what about for a white man in cold/temperate weather? is there a solution?

    • Random Angeleno

      I’ll add to that one: I can’t grow a beard, not even a decent mustache. No sideburns worth shaving either. My T is fine, just my genetics. My hair is both thinning and graying: on the chart of the last post, I’d say I’m a II hairline with a III vertex bald spot. But I’m slender enough and fair skinned enough (and with freckles) that I ain’t going to rock the look some guys have with shaved heads. So currently I’m cutting it short without close cropping it. Trying for that distinguished look. But still open to looking for something else to do with my hair.

  • jarl

    I’m a longhair. It’s a look that only works if your neck is 18+ inches, but works really well then. Get your deadlift over 600 if you plan on rocking the mane or you may come off as a bitch. Viking aesthetics.

  • Paul

    I have the thinning Daniel Craig look and more or less the same body (thanks, Paleo!).

    Will Daniel Craig, with his “shitty hairstyle”, be better off shaving it all bald?
    Would he be a more appealing Bond?

    • Rafael

      Craig’s hair is not that bad, actually I think he does have a lot of hair.
      On skyfall his hair is very short and it looks good on him,
      I think the point here is to accept and work with what you have.
      If your hair is thinning you don’t need to shave it all. Try a buzzcut and see how it looks like.
      Bond is appealing not because of his hair, but because he is a masculine character in a feminine world.

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  • 4f79-852c

    The japs used to reserve the shaved head thing exclusively for warriors. You shaved in male pattern baldness whether you had it or not. Only warriors and monks were allowed to shave their heads.



  • http://dannyfrom504.wordpress.com dannyfrom504

    dude, SHAVE IT. been rocking the baldy for a LONG time. once i started losing hair i took an “all or none” approach. take it down to the skin. a lot of women will out of no where approach me and ask if they can rub my head. i always ask-

    “which one.” insert tingles……HERE.

    as i’m sure you know, it’s all frame and confidence. and trust me, i’m an ugly, short bastard. bald is sexy to a LOT of women.

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  • http://carnivorescave.blogspot.com/ Carnivore

    Same here. Started losing my hair in my early 20’s. Back then, a shaved head wouldn’t have been appropriate at the company I was at, so just kept it pretty short. There were some guys from the generation before mine who did the “let it grow long and comb it over the bald spot” thing. Thankfully, that habit seems to have died.

    When baldness became more acceptable, I started clipping it all off. I don’t shave – use an electric clipper without the guard, every two weeks. Yes, having facial hair offsets the baldness on top.

    Work up to having some fun – shaved head, a thick neck, facial hair, v-shaped torso at 200 or more pounds and add a scowl. Men get out of your way and women get wet. In cooler weather, use a beanie. It’s still obvious that you’re bald underneath.

    Here’s a guy with balls – shaves his head with a straight razor:

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