In the mornings lately, when I take a shower and dry my hair, I’ve noticed a little thinning on top. Uh-oh.
My hair has always been what shampoo makers call “fine,” but nowadays it seems to be even finer—so fine as to be nearly invisible. So what’s going on here? Is this the beginning of the…end?
I’m not sure, but I’ve discovered that if I comb my hair across the top of my head, you can’t really tell. It’s ingenious, really. I call it the comb-over. To my knowledge, no one has ever thought of this. No one in the history of mankind has ever employed such a brilliant subterfuge. I’m thinking of patenting it.
Okay, just kidding.
I’m beginning to understand, though, why otherwise rational men resort to comb-overs. Sure, bald is in, sort of, but I’m no Bruce Willis or Dwayne Johnson. Although, what choice do I have when the inevitable happens—unless I use the patented comb-over or go for a toupee? Well, I could just shave my head now and be done with it. I could be another Seth Godin!
You laugh, but The Wall Street Journal reported last year that “[m]en with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair, according to a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.”
In fact, Godin is even quoted in the article: “I’m not saying that shaving your head makes you successful, but it starts the conversation that you’ve done something active. These are people who decide to own what they have, as opposed to trying to pretend to be something else.” Okay, Seth, score one for authenticity.
Wharton management lecturer Albert Mannes conducted experiments to test people’s perceptions of men with shaved heads vs. those with hair. Subjects reported finding men with shaved heads as more dominant, taller and 13 percent stronger. Wow!
Mannes speculates that head shavers seem more powerful because the look is associated with masculine images such as the military, professional athletes and Hollywood action heroes. Male-pattern baldness, by contrast, is associated with George Costanza from “Seinfeld.”
Indeed, the study found that men with thinning hair were viewed as the least attractive and powerful. “For these men, the solution could be as cheap and simple as a shave,” says the Journal. Ha, ha, ha. That really hurts.
For now, I have hair. It’s just not a full mop. It’s like a Chia Pet that’s lost its luster. A broom that’s missing some of its bristles. A thinning patch of grass that needs a little bit of TLC. I’ll manage for the time being. I’m not quite ready for the sheared look. Although, I did shave off my mustache a few years ago. Hmm…