Hey Gents,

Today, we’re addressing a topic some of you may have experience with: going bald. Apparently, 40% of males in their mid-thirties have experienced some degree of noticeable hair loss. If you’re in this group and you think you’re alone, you’re not.

Our guest author today is Phillip Paoletta. He’ll go over dealing with hair loss, ways to own it, and how to design your style with your hair situation in mind.

Going bald was once the first step on the path to Rogaine or a glorified toupee.

Things have changed.

More than ever before, guys are deciding to own male pattern baldness rather than fight it. Rogaine and Hair Club for Men may not go out of business anytime soon, but the hair loss treatment industry has clearly lost some of its momentum in recent years.

Of course, most guys still fear hair loss. Accepting baldness may not be easy at first, but it’s one of those paradoxical situations where embracing the thing that you fear ends up being liberating and empowering.

However, when it comes to style, it may seem as if bald guys are at a disadvantage. After all, you have one less element to work with. But if you play your cards right, your lack of hair can actually be an asset. Heed the following tips to look your best as a bald guy:

1. Buzz down your remaining hair or shave it off entirely

"Safe" UK Premiere - ArrivalsCombovers and toupees were once popular tools to “look good” as a bald guy. This is no longer the case. Instead of trying to cover up your hair loss, embrace it.

Buzz down your hair a la Jason Statham, or go for a clean shave. It’s not just that this look is now culturally acceptable; you can call it cleaner, more manly, whatever… it simply looks better.

Afraid to take the leap? Commit to 30 days and start with a low setting on the clippers, but not necessarily “0.”

Once you walk around for a few days and realize that you are no longer hiding anything, and your world is not going up in flames, you may find that you have more self-confidence than ever.

2. Pick clothes and accessories that complement your skin tone and your eye color

As a bald guy, your skin tone and eye color are more prominent. Use this to your advantage.

Wearing colors that match your eye color will help draw additional attention to your eyes. When it comes to skin tone, pick colors that offer a contrast. For example, if you have a pale skin tone, opt for warmer, darker colors over light ones.

The hair on your head may have provided some contrast with your skin. It’s no longer there, so you need to be more deliberate with your efforts to create contrast on your own. For more on color, see this article.

3. Experiment with facial hair

Hair can still be a component of your personal style. That hair just won’t be rooted in your scalp. Facial hair adds contrast and provides an opportunity to create different looks.

Invest in some beard trimmers and start experimenting. There are plenty of options, from a bit of stubble to a goatee to a full beard.

Not happy with how your facial hair looks? It only takes a few minutes to shave it off and start from scratch.

4. Add accessories

Accessories are often featured here on EG (see here), and they can play a particularly important role for bald guys.

As with some of the aforementioned items, accessories provide bald guys with an additional style element. Sunglasses, bandanas, hats and watches all provide you with another layer to work with.

Don’t let a hat become a crutch, however. The idea is not to wear one every waking moment, but rather to use it occasionally to complement the rest of your wardrobe.

5. Frame your head the right way

rome-style-by-daniela-11If you’re bald or balding, low hanging crew neck t-shirts may not be a good idea – everything will just blend together.

Collars, on the other hand, can help frame your head, and bald guys might actually be at an advantage when it comes to turtle necks.

If you are planning on wearing a collarless shirt, try going with a different neckline, such as a v-neck, which can provide a contrasting linear element to the curvature of your head.

Note how the gent to the right uses a collared shirt, sharp peak lapels, and square glasses to break up the rounder lines of his head.

A final note…

While these tips will help you look good as a bald guy, they won’t get you very far if you ignore more fundamental style points.

EG has repeatedly emphasized the importance of fit, and it’s worth repeating once more. It doesn’t matter how well a collar frames your head or a shirt matches your eye color if the piece of clothing simply doesn’t fit.

Be sure to explore the rest of EG (check out the ‘start here‘ page) and get the basics down first!

Thanks, Phillip! Over to you guys. Any experience with hair loss? How’d you deal / how are you currently dealing with it? Let’s chat about it in the comments below.

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8 Responses

  1. Gail on

    To start out, I am losing my hair and have been since I was about 21. I’m now 27, and it hasn’t gotten much worse over the past few years. It is pretty obvious though, especially if I look down. I liked this article to a degree, but I have some issues.

    Two of these tips I just cannot follow at all. First, I have a weird shaped head. If I shave my head, I will get many comments and weird looks. I’d rather have a completely bald top with that horseshoe of hair around that sides and back than go bald or very short. Second, I’m in the military and am limited to a mustache that can be no wider than the corners of my mouth. Facial hair as a style item is completely off the table for me. I can still use it as a statement (e.g. Movember) but nothing else.

    Another issue I have is a direct contradiction to a previous article on this website. http://effortlessgent.com/back-to-basics-what-color-looks-best-with-your-skin-type

    This article states that someone with light skin should wear light clothes. I’m not as pasty as JT is in the example on this article, but I’m still rather light skinned especially in the winter.

    Finally, I have found hats to be somewhat controversial. A baseball cap, except in a very casual setting like hiking or a baseball game, is obviously a fashion faux pas. A trendier type hat is frequently attributed to people who regularly fall into the category of douche or fat-beard. There is no way that I can pull off a hat in any of my social circles without being made fun of. I’m fine with that; I don’t like hats anyway.

    So, now I am left with framing my face appropriately and guessing at colors. Light and pastel or warm and dark?

    • Barron on

      Someone with a fair complexion benefits from wearing lighter colored tops (white, light blue, lavender, etc.) vs, say, a black top, because you won’t look as pale.

      This doesn’t mean you can’t wear a navy suit, or a dark jacket, or whatever else you want to wear. The article isn’t suggesting you wear an all light-colored outfit, simply that you incorporate them into your outfits more often.

      As far as framing by using color, this might help: http://effortlessgent.com/contrast-clothing-combinations/

    • Marc on

      Been balding since 17, now 25. Still “have hair” but it’s starting to show, even with a short haircut. Probably going to go with the really buzzed down/shaved head within the next year. I’ve played with hats and agree that baseball caps are only good for very casual settings and going to games. However, have you experimented with ivy caps or duck bill caps? Some can be dressed up or down, and I find they don’t cross the line into d-bag or into “old-looking”, at least for me. Aside from that, I’m also fair-skinned and I work in a conservative industry (finance), so most facial hair is off the table as well. I think the main key to looking good aside from not wearing clown outfits, whether you’re bald, balding, or have a full head of hair is just being comfortably with yourself. Nobody is going to make a big deal out of it unless you do.

  2. Only Moses on

    This is a great article but I have to be honest, even though I’ve embraced the baldness and opted for the full shave I do still struggle with being confident enough to not wear a hat, especially as a musician when on stage.
    It’s crazy really, because even though I know I look better without my I’ll fitting beannie I still get the feeling that all eyes are on my shiny head.

    When I’m not on stage I’ve got fairly comfortable with the baldness, I guess I’ve just got to work on that transferring that confidence to my stage persona too :O)

  3. Chris on

    Fantastic article, I’ve been going bald since I was 16 ish. the first 3 years i hid under a hat, then got it cut a lot shorter and am now just about on clippers – it has been a slow transition, I’ve yet to take the jump to go below a four on top though, probably soon. So true about low crew necks and collars, especially if you’re a bit lanky like me. I do really struggle with sunglasses still though, can’t find any that look right. Going to the gym should be on this list, that totally transformed my confidence and indeed the fit of all my clothes.

  4. ShamelessGent on

    How do you write an article about visual style without using pictures? Like. What? Pics or it didn’t happen.