Shaved heads are dominant and manly - research

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Actor Jason Statham is known for his shaved head.Photo / AP
Actor Jason Statham is known for his shaved head.Photo / AP

Men with shaved heads are perceived as more dominant and masculine than other gents, but also seen as taller, stronger and better leaders, according to new research.

University of Pennsylvania researcher Albert Mannes conducted three experiments.

In the first, about 60 people looked at a series of photographs of men of a similar age and wearing similar clothes. The only difference was some were shaved on top while others had a full head of hair. Each man was rated in terms of how powerful, influential and authoritative looked. On average, the shaved heads topped the rankings.

In another study, participants were shown photographs of four men. Each snap was shown twice, once with hair and once without. Each man was perceived as more dominant when they were digitally balded. They were also seen as nearly an inch taller and 13 per cent stronger.

In the final study, Mannes gave participants verbal and written descriptions of men. Some were described as having thick hair, other shaved. Participants were asked to rate masculinity, strength, dominance and leadership potential.

"I was surprised that perceptions of dominance and masculinity extended to concrete, physical characteristics such as height and strength," said Mannes, whose study was published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science.

The researcher predicts that it's the boldness of the shaving head act which feeds the perception of dominance, according to Time online.

However, it's not all good news for gents who've had the shave - Mannes research also found men with no hair were thought of as less attractive than those with a thick mane.

"Whatever a man gains in dominance directly by shaving his full head of hair will be offset by some degree by his diminished attractiveness," he said.

However, for men with thinning crops, shaving it off is the best idea.

"The shaved look is more attractive than the visibly balding look. So men suffering natural hair loss may enhance both their dominance and attractiveness by shaving."

What do you think about men with shaved heads?

- www.nzherald.co.nz

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