Losing Hair but not your mojo

Losing Hair but not Your Mojo: Baldness and Its Impact on Your Love Life

Cue ball. Melon head. Chrome dome. Baldy. These unfortunate nicknames are sometimes used to describe a person who might sport a little less hair on top. Considering that two-thirds of men will experience hair loss by age 35 and nearly 85 percent will have significantly thinner hair by age 50, baldness is a trend whether we like it or not.

Should you be concerned about hair loss and its impact on your love life? We surveyed men and women in both the U.K. and the U.S. to determine how they feel about baldness in their partners, and in their dating lives.

Personality reigns, not appearance

Dating Factors ranked

What really gets us going? We asked participants to rank what matters most when it comes to dating. Overwhelmingly, “personality” came back as the No. 1 asset vetted before changing a relationship status. Being able to carry a conversation, sharing common interests, and having personality can be the difference between an awkward, uncomfortable dinner date and really hitting it off. The second-leading dating factor was “looks,” likely because the first things we notice about a person is his or her appearance: height, style, attractiveness, and of course, hairstyle or baldness.

These two elements ranked far above the other three options (education, profession, and income). While still relevant, they didn’t seem to matter nearly as much as other surface-level traits.

Baldness appeals to women

Percentage of people who think baldness is sexy, by gender and UK vs US

So is baldness hot or not? When asked if baldness was sexy, we found wildly different answers across men and women in both countries.

In the U.K. and the U.S., women were much more likely to say that they found baldness enticing; over half (54 percent) of women in the U.S. and 41 percent in the U.K. said that it was sexy. Perhaps playing a role in this decision, many of Hollywood’s biggest actors are members of the bald community.

Men were much less likely to agree. Thirty-six percent of men in the U.S. found baldness appealing, compared with less than 30 percent in the U.K. Men aren’t the only people prone to hair loss or baldness, but they did respond much less favourably when asked about the attractiveness of it.

Love conquers all

Effects of hair loss on dating experiences

Finding baldness attractive is one thing, but does it affect dating decisions? Largely, both men and women said no. Nearly 71 percent of women and more than 68 percent of men believe their hair loss has no impact on their love lives.

Roughly 30 percent of the men and women we surveyed said that it had negatively affected their relationships, and hardly any respondents said that it had positively affected them.

Considering that baldness is believed to be a hereditary trait that men don’t have much control over, that’s (mostly) good news!

For men, hair is a priority

willingness to date people with hair loss by gender

There are varying degrees of hair loss, and not all baldness is created equal. We asked men and women what level of hair loss would impact their dating choices and found that minor hair loss, versus moderate or severe loss, made a significant difference.

Women were generally less bothered by any level of hair loss, but “minor” hair loss had nearly no effect on them. Almost 97 percent said that they would still date someone who had it. That’s almost a 20 percent difference from those who said they would date someone who had severe hair loss, at only 76 percent. Good thing there are many ways to keep hair loss to a minimum!

Men were pickier on the subject. Only 84 percent said they were willing to date someone with minor hair loss and nearly half that (48 percent) said they would date someone with severe hair loss. Men happen to be far more likely than women to experience hair loss, but they were much less likely to find it attractive.

Baldness sparks positive sentiment

words used to describe baldness

What comes to mind first when you think of baldness? When we asked participants to pick their top three words related to baldness, “male,” “men,” and “sexy” came up most often. This is interesting in that it indicates that participants naturally associate baldness with men, even though it affects both genders. Neutral words like “cold,” “head,” and “skin” also showed up as popular attributes, indicating that baldness may not be as much of an issue as previously thought. Less than 24 percent of the words that were used had any negative connotation at all.

Some other commonly-used words to describe baldness implied personality traits associated with baldness. “Funny,” “smart,” and “Costanza” also showed up on the list. That’s something!

Embrace your assets

The perception of baldness may not be as bad you think. Most women aren’t phased by it, and some even think it is sexy. It seems to have worked out pretty well for Bruce Willis. While some men admit to finding it less attractive, baldness is still less likely to play a role in relationships for women. Even those who experience baldness overwhelmingly believe that it has no influence on their love life.

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The information for this article was gathered by surveying 1712 people about their experiences with hair loss and dating. Of the participants, 1043 were from the United States and 669 were from the United Kingdom; this included 798 women and 914 men. Additionally, word sentiment analysis was performed with WordStat.

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