Category Archives: Attractiveness

Latest research relating to attractiveness.

Hair Loss – what you can do about baldness

Few people would chose to be bald; we all assume that it makes you less attractive. This consensus has been around at least since the Bible was written and certainly since then. It isn’t just Western culture either. Native American Indians tried to cure baldness with herbal remedies. It is surprising how often generally held beliefs like this turn out not to be true. But not this one.

I have just reviewed some papers that confirm it. In one report, bald men are rated by a panel as less attractive than men with a full head of hair. In another study, although females didn’t show any preference for males with hair over the bald, but did rate men with a full head of hair as more dominant, dynamic and masculine. Thanks girls. Yet another study was extremely sophisticated using computer-morphing procedures to produce a “full cranial hair” photograph for comparisons by 96 undergraduates. The assessment was done using a set of enhanced photographs of a naturally bald 30-yr.-old man to which varying degrees of hair were applied. No fewer than 13 dependent measures were assessed. Analysis showed the full-hair condition was rated significantly more dominant, dynamic, and masculine than the bald condition. While the model was also perceived as younger in the full-hair condition, there was no difference in mean ratings of attractiveness between photographs.

The only shred of comfort that might be pulled from the data is that the difference isn’t perhaps as great as one might suppose. Its bad – but not perhaps quite as bad as you thought it was. Also there is also data showing that bald men are rated as more intelligent.

It isn’t the purpose of this website to mock or depress, but it isn’t intended to give false hope either. These are the facts, straight. Treat them as a general might, who has just been given an accurate but depressing
report of the battlefield situation. When you know where you are, you can evaluate your options.

First off, hair loss is not a medical condition or some kind of failure of the body. It is programmed deep in your genes and controlled by your hormones. When we have fully mastered the secrets of the human genome it may be possible to manipulate the way your body works to make your hair grow differently to how nature intended. I can foresee the day when you can choose your hair in much the same way you can choose at hat. But we aren’t anywhere near that now.

Hair transplant surgery obviously does work, but that is a radical intervention. Any simple treatment applied directly to the scalp is very unlikely indeed to make a big difference. Any product making big claims is almost certainly out to relieve you of your cash rather than relieve you of your baldness. The big name in baldness is Minoxydyl – the active ingredient in a product called Rogaine in some countries and Regaine in others. This is a serious pharmaceutical product with proper clinical trials behind it. Nobody is quite sure how it works, but it seems to have something to do with nitric oxide metabolism. The drawback is that it doesn’t work for everyone, and it only works while you use it. Stop the treatment and its benefits are rapidly lost. If may well help, but you will be putting your hand in your pocket for as long as you want to enjoy the benefit.

There are reports of blends of essential oils being effective for hair loss. At least one of these reports is a properly reviewed scientific paper. There may be something in this and it is something I intend to look into a bit further. But although both Minoxydyl and essential oils might prove to be helpful, the plain fact is that they aren’t going to restore hair to someone who is completely bald.

So what are the options?

Being bald makes you slightly less attractive, all other things being equal. So the important thing is to make sure that all other things are not equal. The most important first step is to remember that it is only a slight effect. You are a bit less attractive than you would be if you had a full head of hair. You haven’t been transformed into Gollum. Don’t let your lack of hair drag down your frame of mind. Confidence is an attractive feature and lack of confidence an unattractive one. So don’t worry or obsess about it. It isn’t in your power to make your hair follicles behave differently, but it is in your power to decide what your attitude to it should be. And your attitude should be one of indifference. You are who you are. Be happy with it.

A couple of specific things to keep in the back of your mind. People perceive bald people to be older, so you might well be being judged to be older than you actually are.   This of course can be an advantage in some circumstances. But generally it is better to appear as youthful as possible. It might be as well to drop your actual age into conversation. Once people know how young you actually are they will probably rate your appearance more favourably. The other thing is to dress younger. It might well help.

 

References

Thomas F. Cash (1990) Losing Hair, Losing Points?: The Effects of Male Pattern Baldness on Social Impression Formation Journal of Applied Social Psychology 20 (2) , 154–167

Moerman, Daniel E. (1988). The meaning of baldness and implications for treatment Clinics in Dermatology 6(4): 89-92

A. F. Dixson et al., Masculine somatotype and hirsuteness as determinants of sexual attractiveness to women Arch Sex Behav, 32:29-39, 2003

The impact of the face on long-term human relationships. Homo, 45, 74–93.

Butler J, Pryor B, Grieder M Impression formation as a function of male baldness School of Communication, University of Central Florida, Orlando 32816-1344, USA.A

Colin's Beauty Pages Forum

Women Like Beards

women-prefer-beards

Lovers of taste and decorum will of course be aware that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was won by Conchita Wurst.  Whilst her success was no doubt largely due to musicality and creative artistry, it may have caught some people’s attention that she sports a beard.  I wonder if this had anything to do with her success?  Recent research suggests it might. Continue reading

Vellus Hair

vellus-hair

We don’t pay a lot of attention to vellus hair.  This is the fine downy hair that covers a lot of our body, with the exception of the palms of our hands and for some reason, the backs of our ears.  It isn’t very visible so the beauty world doesn’t take a lot of notice of it, though to my mind it is quite attractive.  But you need to get pretty close to someone to be able to even see it, so it isn’t something you are really aware of except on family members are very close friends. Continue reading

Dating Tips for Women over 45

I am probably one of the few men in their fifties who can spend a lot of time online reading blogs by young women and exchanging messages with them without having to clear my browser history before my wife sees it.  I do of course have a perfectly legitimate reason to do so, and I am also lucky enough to have a very good relationship with Mrs Beautyscientist.  But the attraction for older men of younger women has been the source of a great deal of scandal, comedy and gossip over the years.  The older men rarely come out of it with much in the way of dignity, but that doesn’t seem to put them off. Continue reading

The Inches that Really Count – How your Height Affects Your Attractiveness

The Inches that Really Count – How your Height Affects Your Attractiveness

I am a slightly gawky individual. I am bit more interested in my computer than my personal appearance and I am not good at relating to other human beings. I am also well aware that the profile of my face does not conform to the ideals of Classical Greek beauty.

Despite all this, I have been reasonably successful in passing my genes on to the next generation. I have the good luck to be relatively tall, and I think that this positive has overcome all my other negatives. I am in the upper quartile for height, very nearly in the upper decile. I am taller than about 80% of other men in other words. In more ordinary language, I am tall but not outstandingly so.
Continue reading

Can appetite suppressants help you lose weight?

Most of us are dissatisfied to some extent or another with our body shape. A lot of people are a lot heavier than they would like to be, and there have been endless ideas put forward about how to get to the weight you want to be. One of the things we all know is that if we eat too much we put on weight, and that we can lose weight by eating less. I get some surprised looks sometimes when I suggest that excercising isn’t very helpful for getting slim. My logic is that what matters is how much you eat relative to how much energy your body burns. If you exercise you deplete your blood sugar, and this makes you hungry. Your problem now is one of willpower. But if you have the willpower to overcome your hunger, you could do that just as easily without exercise. In fact the act of burning up your energy quickly has probably made it harder not easier to resist your cravings.

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What makes you beautiful? Your hormone levels

 hormones-make-you-beautiful

I have already posted about the features of an attractive female face. But what lies behind these observations?  Could it be that your hormones make you beautiful?

A few years ago scientists at the University of St Andrews took photos of 59 women aged between 18 and 25 every week for six weeks. They also took urine samples and measured their oestrogen levels. By taking readings over the whole menstrual cycle they were able to come up with meaningful estimates of how much oestrogen the women had in their blood streams. Continue reading