It’s always been the advice from Bald World that men with significant hair loss are much better off learning to accept it, and just going with the full shaved head look. The fact is that spending time and effort trying to cover up the inevitable hair loss is going to cost you more mentally in the long run than realising that the best thing to do is to face it head on (no pun intended) and continue your life as a bald man rather than a balding man. If there’s one thing we know for sure, and something many others will agree with, is that it’s better to be bald than balding.
So why don’t balding guys just shave their heads?
Well, it’s actually not a perfectly simple answer and there are many reasons as to why they might not, and all of them are completely understandable. However, all the reasons do tend to fall into one of either two main categories:
1. They worry about how they'll look with no hair
People have hair, there’s no denying that. So the transition from having hair like the majority of the population, to having no hair on your head at all, can be a daunting prospect. The hair on your head acts as a contrasting feature to the skin on your face and neck, it frames your head and face, and it’s something you can style and shape and colour in order to add designs and looks to your overall appearance. When you take all that hair out of the equation by shaving your head, you expose yourself somewhat, and this is a scary thought.
You might worry about how your head looks in terms of skin colour and the overall skin tone of your head and face without lots of hair to contrast and cover that large area on your scalp. The other concern is likely to be the shape of your head and possibly how that affects the overall shape of your face and chin and even the way your ears look. The human head tends to not be perfect either, so you might feel the odd bump or flat spot up there and be worried that it’ll be noticeable.
2. They worry about what other people will think of them
The second and probably bigger concern is the reaction and overall thoughts from other people, both those who are currently in your life such as family, friends and colleagues, or future friends, partners and colleagues. For single men, the worries of going bald are very apparent; do women like bald men? Do people find bald men attractive? Do bald men still get married? Whatever the question is, they will run through your mind (and I speak from personal experience). The concern about how others will react tends to be the greatest one, and it’s rooted in the fact that society has, over the years, dictated that bald is not attractive - although that’s a rapidly changing thought and in 2021, bald was actually voted by some as the best "in" hairstyle for men.
Are these valid concerns for balding men? Of course they are, there’s no denying that the prospect of becoming a bald man can be a trying time for any man. But there is nothing to be concerned about, and here are a few reasons why:
Bald is a confident look - it’s actually been widely agreed that men who shave their heads have the appearance of being more confident, with good reason. Simply because it takes some stones to shave all your hair off, and you appear more masculine and “raw” by not hiding underneath a mop of quaffed hair full of product.
You’ll remove the concern of going bald - the moment you accept the fact that you're losing your hair and you shave your head, it instantly removes the concern of doing it; you’ve dealt with it. You literally get rid of the problem that's causing you the concern and you can move forward with your life and accept your new look. You can focus on your health and your fashion and other things instead.
You’ll probably look younger - by shaving all that hair off you remove the concept of "balding" and just become bald, giving the appearance of being younger. Balding is a sign of ageing and hair loss, whereas bald is just a look. And as you get older, this will only stick around because your hair won't thin anymore, it just won't be there. Likewise with grey hairs - which are a very obvious signifier of age.
If you want to read more about the benefits being bald, you can read the full article here.
Still not ready to full bald guy yet? That’s ok, there are some hair styles you can adopt in the short term that might help to cover it up a little. What should be pointed out is that these are not permanent solutions, and as your hair continues to get thinner, no matter what hairstyle you adopt it will start to show through. These will work for slightly thinning hair or maybe a bit of receding - which is fine. But once you start to notice your scalp through your crown or your hair has receded significantly, it’s probably time to shave your head.
High and Tight
Probably the best haircut to go for when your hair is thinning and you want the illusion of thicker hair on top. The high and tight is an effective way to force perspective by shortening the hair on the sides (which doesn’t thin) and giving a little height and volume to the thinner hair on top. The only downside can be is that if your hair is heavily receded on the front, it could make that look more obvious. The hair is going to be short on top and probably styled in an upward direction, leaving the forehead exposed and thus leaving the recede more on show.
High and Tight haircuts work well on guys with rounded or square shaped heads, as the perspective thins the head and face and makes it appear longer. Add a bit of a beard to the look, such as a goatee or low cheek line beard and you’re good to go!
Similar to the High and Tight, the Bald Fade or "Skin Fade" helps to force the perspective of the volume of hair to favour the top of the head. By fading and tapering the hair down to a shave at the lower half of the head and back of the neck, the illusion it gives it that the hair on the top of the head is much denser than it actually might be. The Bald Fade is a fairly popular hair style these days as well, many famous celebs including guys like Drake have favoured the Bald Fade. Granted that Drake has a pretty strong hair game, but it's the example of the style that's being pointed out here! The downside to the fade might be that it requires regular trips to the barber to keep it looking the way you want it.
Bald Fades also work well on guys with rounded or square shaped heads for the same reason as the High and Tight. Will also be good with a bit of facial hair.
Another great, short hair option for the balding man is the well-known Buzz Cut. It’s simple and very easy to maintain. The Buzz Cut is good in that keeps all the hair a uniform length (of your choosing) with a slight taper down to the back and sides. Similar to how beards work, sometimes if you keep the hair shorter and more uniform it can give the appearance of being thicker. If you grow thinning hair long, the wispiness can become far more obvious.
Buzzcuts suit men with an oblong or oval face shape as that uniform length can make a head look too rounded if your head is already a more rounded shape. Also works well with a beard in most styles.
Bed Hair (messy look)
Probably the easiest one to maintain and manage as it takes very little work and fewer trips to the barber to maintain this look. The just-out-of-bed look has been around for a long time and has been a popular look for many men, often with celebs, and it works for both long and short hair (also helps with curly hair). All you need for this is to have a rough cut, similar length all over, use a little bit of product to give it volume, and you’re good to go. It works well for guys who are receding from the front, if your hair is too thin on top, this is going to exaggerate that.
For the Bed Hair look, it’s probably good to go either clean shaven or with a shorter/neater, or goatee beard, otherwise you run the risk of just looking unkempt and messy and not in a cool, carefree guy way, just in an unhygienic way!
This has become one of the more popular haircuts for men over the last few years, taking its design roots from the 50s and earlier when men would gel up their hair and slick it back in order to look sharp and sophisticated. If you’re thinning on top and not too much at the front hairline, this could be a good look for you. With a fade on the back and sides, this will create that volume on top look that you want with a haircut when you’re trying to hide a thinning crown. Just be conscious that if your hair is already too thin on top, this will look much worse than a shorter/full shaved option.
You can pair a Slick Back with a beard of any style the angles it will add to your head will compliment each other nicely.
Combover (modern version)
Similar to the Slick Back cut, the combover works to cover the patchy area of hair on the crown, but by sweeping the hair sideways across the head rather than front to back. As with the Slick Back, this will look ok if you’re not too thinned already, and much, much worse if you already have significant thinning. The modern version of this cut with a tapered and faded edge around the back and sides can look very good, and is one of the most popular haircuts amongst men all over the world these days. Just avoid falling into the old style trap, which was popular among men a few decades ago (and still some older gents nowadays), but it honestly never looked good.
Can also be paired with a beard, but the combover can give a more clean cut, preppy look so be careful not to leave your beard to get too dishevelled as it won’t match what you’re trying to achieve.
Possibly missed the boat on this one as it was a huge trend a couple of years ago that seems to be wavering a little - but still somewhat popular among guys. The good thing about the man bun is that you can take some of the longer and thicker hair from the edge of your crown and upper sides and tie it over the bald spot on the top of your head - if that’s where you’re thinning. Words of caution with the Man Bun; it’s not exactly a very corporate look, so if you work in an office or wear a suit to work every day, I’d probably suggest one of the other cuts. If you’re receding from the front as well, similar to some of the other styles, this may well expose your hairline more than you’d plan to.
A better look for the casual man, can look good with the rocker style, surfer style, and many others.
Things to note
If your hair has significantly thinned already, be conscious that none of these hairstyles will fully hide it. Spending the time to style your hair to this extent to cover up thin and receding hair is not going to be worth your time and it probably won’t actually look that good. So use your best judgement here, it might be time to shave your head already.
Some of these styles will require regular upkeep and maintenance from a professional barber, meaning you’ll be visiting your barber regularly and spending excess money on something that could be avoided (and almost free) if you just go ahead and shave your head - is it really worth all that extra money?
Despite potentially hiding some thinning hair, some of these styles might not actually suit you at all. They might not suit your fashion sense, your work dress or even just not look good with your face or hair colour. Don’t assume that because a hairstyle exists that it will definitely suit you, unfortunately that’s not how it works.
Avoid using too much product, specifically gels and waxes, as this will cause what hair you have remaining to stick together and will actually make it look even thinner. Styles like spiked hair and combovers/slick backs will require product to be used, so just be mindful that whilst it looks ok on men with thick hair, it might have the opposite effect on thinned hair.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to ask a good barber first as they might be able to offer some guidance based on your thinning and head shape. If you decide to keep your thinning hair, keep it clean and absolutely not greasy! If you do decide to shave your head and begin your life as a bald man, Bald World is here to support you, so do check out the website and other articles we have out. Content is uploaded regularly.