Business

What employers won’t tell you about bald men

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You’d be hard pushed to find an employer that would be willing to open up about discriminatory behavior, particularly as this is often illegal. However, being bald or thinning isn’t a protected characteristic like faith, gender or disability. That means employers with prejudice towards balding men are often free to dismiss them from the running when choosing candidates for jobs and promotions. 

For a lot of employers, it’s not a case of disliking bald men on a personal level, and even baldies are sometimes reluctant to hire other baldies. Hair is seen as a mark of youthfulness and success, and baldness seems to signify the opposite. While this doesn’t make much sense in the real world, as there are plenty of energetic and successful bald men about, the public is prejudiced about hair loss in men, and employers tend to want to project a certain image to the public. That image can sometimes include a full head of hair as a non-negotiable characteristic. Even at very high levels, it can be hard to shake off the idea of hair equalling youth and success. There hasn’t been a balding president of the USA for a very long time!

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This is extremely unfair of course and shuts some very capable and hardworking men out of the running for better positions in the job market. However, a scientific study has shown that people rated photographs of men with hair transplants as more attractive, and crucially, more approachable and successful than men with bald patches. Just like clichés such as attractive women being used to sell products, this tendency seems to be hardwired into the public and difficult to get around.

What to do? The balding man has the option to simply accept his lot & perhaps wonder for the rest of his life if he could have got further and higher up if only his hair had stuck around for longer. He could invest in a state of the art wig or toupee, which is made to fit and almost undetectable (unless you too are a wig-wearer, it is highly unlikely you’d notice a modern wig).

There are drugs and over the counter, products to help the hair to grow thicker, which may or may not come with unpleasant side effects. Finally, there is the surgical hair transplant, which is a relatively minor procedure for a surgical operation and leaves you with a renewed hairline and a more natural, perhaps more employer-friendly look.

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TUT Staff
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