Going Bald: How Men Feel About Losing Their Hair

“I think the reason going bald bothers men so much is simply because they know they would be more attractive if they had hair”. Five men discuss receding hairlines and going bald…

Tom, 30
I remember having episodes of shedding right back to when I was about 15. Loads of hair would fall out onto any paper I was writing on and when I got up from working at a desk for a while, there’d be a light scattering of hair littering the general vicinity.

I didn’t think I was going bald. I just assumed I was shedding for summer or that I had some kind of horrendous disease or alopecia. I still have enough hair to not have to shave my head yet (I think). If I go completely bald, I’ll probably be quite pleased to get it over and done with.

I’m definitely more concerned about what others think. But it’s more the transition and the shock etched on my friends’ faces (repeated every time I see someone I haven’t met for a while) that I imagine I’ll see when I first turn up with a shaved head that scares me. After that I know it would be fine.

When I see bald men I think nothing. But when I see balding men I think ‘are they balder than me’. It feels like a sign of ageing. But I wouldn’t disguise it – I’m not a hat person and wouldn’t be seen dead in a wig.

It doesn’t affect the way I dress but I think if I shaved my head I’d like to be a bit more smart and muscular. But I wouldn’t change anything else – like get a flash car.

There is clearly a sizeable subset of women who find bald men very attractive. As one girl said to me at a party recently ‘every girl fantasises about having a bald head between their legs’. I’m not sure if that’s true but I’m clinging onto it.

Jack, 27
I keep my hair shaved. My dad is bald – that might be why. But I’m not sure if I am because they say it’s from your mum’s dad, and my paternal grandad had a full head…. so fingers crossed!

I wouldn’t want to disguise it, if I did go bald, but I would go to the gym more so people would look at the body before the bald head

I keep it short because I’d had enough of putting products in it to style it. I’ve got thin hair so without products I constantly have a flat head. I have also found that having short hair means no maintenance, and it’s more hygienic in a dirty job (I’m a builder).

I’m very happy with my short trim. Even if my dad wasn’t bald, I don’t think I’d grow my hair longer. But if I did and it started to fall out, I think I would be devastated. That said, I’m used to having short hair so it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

It suits some men to be bald, some it doesn’t – depends on the head shape. If I was bald I would have it all off though; I wouldn’t leave any growth. I think you do usually think of older men as bald.

I wouldn’t want to disguise it, if I did go bald, but I would go to the gym more so people would look at the body before the bald head. I am definitely concerned about the way I look.

There are positives about having less hair: less money on barbers, less money on shampoo and more clean looking.

Nathanial, 26
I’m not sure exactly when I started losing my hair, but I very vividly remember one of my friends pointing out how far back my hairline was in school. That’s when I first became aware of it; I would have been 15 at the time.

Up until that precise moment, I was the least self-conscious person on the planet. That changed fairly rapidly afterwards, I was extremely distressed about it and convinced that it was all anyone would see when they looked at me.

I’m pretty darn receded now, if I go completely bald it won’t make much difference. I buzz off all my hair once every week or so. I know it’s coming, and it doesn’t bother me any more than being as bald as I am now does.

I think the reason going bald bothers men so much is simply because they know they would be more attractive if they had hair. That’s what I think now, and it’s just annoying more than anything.

I feel a sense of solidarity with other bald men, and sometimes surprise. It’s kind of reassuring that sometimes I can be speaking to someone for minutes before I even realise that they’re bald. It goes to show that even guys that are kind of obsessed with it don’t focus on it.

If I lose more hair, I’ll shave my head, rather than have a comb-over

I think that because it started when I was so young, I have never associated hair loss with getting older. It’s just something that happened, I was unlucky in the genetic lottery.

For a long while, I didn’t cover it up. But after I bought a flat cap on a street corner in New York, I’m pretty sure that I wore it every day for a year. Since then, I enjoy wearing hats (something I never used to do), but I don’t wear them that often.

Annoyingly, I do look better with a hat, and I get significantly more attention from women (which, let’s face it, is the reason articles like this exist at all). Also, the risk of sunburn is a constant problem, and hats are an elegant solution.

My dress sense has changed, but I’m not sure that it’s directly linked to being bald (unless you count wearing tighter t-shirts to show off muscle, which has been built as a result of being a baldy).

As I mentioned before, I think that for most guys, the big problem is that they know they would be better looking with a lush head of beautiful hair. That knowledge really got me down, a lot… The way that I got over it was to deploy that vanity from the neck down.

I’m secure enough in myself that I don’t need to drive a big car or anything like that, but I do want my body to look bad ass. I spend a lot of time and effort working out and eating properly, and the fuel for that is most definitely a desire to overcome the disadvantage I feel I have been put at, due to losing my hair.

I was having a conversation about the positive aspects of going bald with a friend the other day, and I think the only thing is that you don’t have any hair to wash or dry after a shower. Honestly, I think that’s it, everything else is a negative.

Ollie, 30
I probably noticed an ever so slight receding hairline in my mid-20s. I was kind of bothered about it then, I’m not so bothered about it now. I think I’ve been more concerned in the past about the thought of losing my hair rather than actually losing any.

I have a pretty full head of hair. It’s slightly thin in places, but not noticeably so. If I went bald overnight I’d be upset. If it happens over the next five to ten years I think I’ll feel relaxed about it – it’s part of ageing. Obviously I’d rather not lose any though.

Some bald men wear it better than others, but generally I try not to judge. Some men definitely suit having bald heads. If I lose more hair, I’ll shave my head, rather than have a comb-over.

An advantage is that it is cool and comfortable. I never have to think about my hair and I shave it myself so that saves money

Along with putting on weight, worse hangovers and less energy, thinning on top is definitely a physical embodiment of the passing of time. It’s not really a problem for me at the moment so doesn’t affect my dress sense or behaviour.

John, 65
My hair started thinning in my late 20s, I started shortening it seriously aged 32 and shaved it off aged 35. I’ve never had any psychological issues – I’ve always been completely comfortable and have never had a desire to get a transplant or wig.

Now, I have number one on my head and chin. I wear glasses and keep stubble on my chin to give my face a bit of character. Completely shaven and no glasses would make my face look a bit naked.

It does age me but I carry myself proudly in the hope of inspiring others to feel comfortable. I wear hats to keep my head warm and protect it from the sun but not to disguise it.

An advantage is that it is cool and comfortable. I never have to think about my hair and I shave it myself so that saves money.

I do try to dress a bit younger and keep fit to help compensate for the ageing appearance and for my self-esteem. When I see other bald men who don’t disguise it, I feel happy for them. Men with wigs I feel sorry for.

Some names have been changed

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