Sometime in his late 30s, after his hair had been thinning for several years, Dr. Albert Mannes decided to shave what was left of his mane. He then noticed a curious thing: "Strangers were more standoffish, more deferential," he recalls.
"I found that people treated me differently once I started shaving my head, which made me wonder whether my experience was unique," says Mannes.
This led Mannes, a lecturer at the Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania, to design three experiments that tested other people's perception of men with shaved heads. His findings appear in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
All three studies found similar results: A man's shorn scalp was linked with dominance. In other words, men with shaved heads were perceived as powerful by others.
It seems that closely cropped or bald domes have a certain manly swagger to them that project a powerful look.