Do Women Like Bald Men?

With almost half the male population suffering some degree of baldness by the age of 50, it is no surprise that men spend nearly $7 billion a year on surgical solutions to baldness.

In fact, a survey showed that in 2017, men spent more money on surgical procedures for baldness than AIDs or Malaria. Why does male baldness carry such a stigma, and do women like bald men?


Women do not like bald men as much as full-haired men on initial assessment regarding physical attractiveness. However, this initial perception is highly changeable in each specific case, and evidence suggests that baldness has only a minor role to play in their choice of partner.

Cultural norms and ideals of masculine beauty have a part to play in women’s negative perception of balding men. In a society obsessed with youth and beauty, baldness signals the aging process and attributed negative connotations.

However, there are deeper processes in play. If you would like to learn more about why women prefer men with a full head of hair, please read on.

How Prevalent is Male Pattern Baldness?

Pub Med’s survey on the ‘Prevalence of male pattern hair loss in 18-49-year-old men’ revealed that the percentage of male pattern baldness was even higher than previously reported. They concluded that The percentage of men with moderate to severe hair loss (Type III or greater) was 42%.

The study also found that a more significant percentage of men with moderate to extensive hair loss increased with age ranging from:

  • Over 15% of men aged between18-29 years
  • Over 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 49 years
  • Over 10% of men suffered from predominantly frontal baldness (type A variants.)

Do women Rate Bald Men as Less Attractive?

In a survey in aThe applied Journal of Psychology, research showed that people in general and women rated bald men as less attractive than their full-haired counterparts. Not only this, but bald men also evoked less favorable initial impressions regarding personal and interpersonal characteristics and misperceptions of age.

Both cultural and biological imperatives come into play in a woman’s preference for full-haired mates. Recent surveys suggest that this bias only exists on superficial appraisals, and bald men’s relative attractiveness is highly changeable according to a variety of other factors. The fact that women prefer full-haired mates can be explained by several factors.

Baldness and Self-Esteem

A full head of hair is a generally accepted body ideal, and although male pattern baldness does not affect physical health. Many men suffer psychological trauma in dealing with baldness, including feelings of being unattractive and social rejection when seeking a partner or a job.

Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is not a medical issue; instead, it is a genetic one. MPB is induced by systemic androgens (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone), leading to reduced hair follicles. Although most prevalent from the ages of 30-40, one-fifth of males in their twenties show signs of MPB.

Men who suffer from MPB tend to have lower self-esteem than their full maned counterparts, which may reinforce the generally lower rating that men receive from women regarding sexual attractiveness. Confident men generally rate higher as attractive mates and send strong signals of masculinity and desirability.

Baldness and Social Bias

Historically hair has been associated with vitality and dominance, and its presentation communicating a number of masculine attributes. As the biblical tale of Samson attests, a man’s hair has played an essential role in social signaling from time immemorial.

Quick Note

The fear of baldness is deeply rooted in human experience, with the oldest recorded medical prescription for MPB dating back to 4000 BC. This Egyptian cure involved men rubbing their heads with a mixture of dates, dog paws, and asses hooves.

In modern society, when a man loses his hair, it sends a signal of aging, which is increasingly frowned upon in society’s superficial quest for longevity and physical beauty. The same obsession with ideal female beauty has caused much harm to women, including those who are overweight or considered outside the parameters of objectified beauty.

However, sexual attraction takes into account a myriad of variables beyond our mere physical attributes, and baldness is only one part of the organic whole of partner selection and romantic involvement. That being said, there are reasons why women do not like bald mean from a superficial impression, which I will touch on below.

Women’s Perception of Baldness and Sexual Attractiveness

Although scientific evidence is quite mixed regarding the effect of male pattern baldness, however, the most prominent studies agree that women consider bald or balding men less physically attractive.

Physical appearance is an essential part of sexual and romantic attraction and typically sets the stage for making contact and establishing a relationship.

A scientific study conducted with young female participants evaluating same-aged men in a heterosexual mixed-sex setting revealed interesting results.

The Results Were...

When only considering target images of bald vs. non-bald subjects, they rated the full-haired target as more socially and physically attractive.

However, target presentations with included character descriptions, non-bald targets were only rated more highly physically. In these instances, the bald-headed targets were rated substantially higher on social desirability.

Learning of diverse personality aspects of the bald targets, women consistently rated the bald man higher on the scale of social attractiveness, which may be good news to bald men struggling with self-esteem.

Balding and Evolutionary Advantage

Historically homo sapiens had a relatively low average age expectancy. The balding associated with 30 years and older was usually a signal that the man was past his prime sexual reproduction. The biological imperatives of females to seek men who could produce and protect the strongest progeny may be behind women’s preference for full-haired partners.


Although balding carries a social stigma, often it is the man himself who has more issues with self-perception and esteem. Women often overlook baldness entirely when seeking a mate and tend to find them more attractive as they age. With new scientific breakthroughs on the horizon to cure MPB, perhaps baldness will soon no longer be an issue at all. 

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