A Pep Talk for the Follicularly Challenged

rob asked the following in comments:

Totally OT, Are there any options for the prematurely balding besides shaving to the skin? With my politics, it makes me seem very neo-nazi-ish. Not to mention when I did it, my success rate didn’t go up much. To make it worse, every time I saw them, my parents would never let up about it. Ever, for about 2 years it was all my father had to talk about when I saw him, and my mom would almost cry. I wasn’t attractive as a teenager, and I was visibly thinning by the end of high school, so I’ve never had many chances with women. So basically, when to give up on women and find what meaning and fulfilment I can find in as a Darwinian failure. I brought the topic up at lilly living life, and the thread got deleted (prolly cuz I kicked off a discussion that I missed) so I’m still wondering.

I’m going to be honest (you can still be rob). This must be carefully addressed, but it is a minor speedbump and by no means a dealbreaker unless you make it into one.

A receding hairline is one thing, but if the crown of your head is exposed, by far the best option is to shave it. (Don’t take my word for it, though – you can go to a quality salon and ask for a straight woman’s advice.)

You may have to structure the rest of your look around it – if you tone easily, the bald buff guy is a look that will pay off. You’ll have to sharpen your other masculine traits to compensate: posture (stand tall), gesture (fill your space), vocal cadence (strong and steady), eye contact (you’re the boss).

BECOME WHAT YOU ARE

The real answer to this, though, is game. If you have good game, then a woman who is attracted to you will subsume your bald head into your attractive personality in her mind. Her hamster will run to the light side of the force, reinforcing her love for you and your lack of ‘do. Guys with appearance handicaps have to make it up with game (Danny DeVito comes to mind), so in a way you are already two steps ahead of the pretty boys who will be left at the bar holding their dicks when their looks fade at age 30 because your minor problem has pushed you into learning game right now.

If you’re a young guy as you suggest, you might even get some advantage from it, as young women have a tendency to more readily cooperate with whom they perceive as older men.

Lastly, you will have to accept that bald is simply not some women’s type. However, if your game is good, you will be able to read their IODs quickly and spend your time with women who aren’t bothered by it.

DON’T TRY TO COVER UP

The fact is that there are no real quality substitution options. Combovers, toupees and hair plugs are high risk and all look try-hard at some point. Look at Joe Biden – his botched hair-implant job only serves as a frame for his Simpsons-character public persona. (Biden at least had the humor to refuse questions about it, asserting that a man was entitled to some secrets. Sounds like virtual hair virginity.)

Donald Trump’s famous combover is the perfect accessory to his tacky-chic fashion that both contrasts with and adds to his outsized personality.

Toupees are such a nouveau-vaudeville trope that they aren’t even worth discussing.

From what I understand rogaine is not particularly effective except for minor hairline retreat, and propecia and its analogues are highly inadvisable as they screw with your sex hormone system by binding free testosterone. Propecia can cause hypogonadism and loss of sex drive. Sure sounds like an effective way to up your game. This being America, there’s a class action lawsuit trying to get its way onto a docket as we speak. (Want to know more? Do some research on prostate drugs which have the same DHT-inhibiting pharmacology.)

BANISH THE WHISPERS

Step one is to, respectfully, stop listening to your parents. Frame yourself in a different way. You’re not a bald guy – you’re a dude without a lot of hair. To consider yourself a “Darwinian failure” is crazy talk of the first order. Their comments were/are cruel and obtuse.

If they really believe that a bald guy can’t get chicks, I have one word for them:

Moby.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “A Pep Talk for the Follicularly Challenged

  1. Although I don’t share Jason Statham’s good looks or martial arts abilities, we do have two things in common: southern english accents and bald heads. Keep it Short!

  2. Ah, the joys of the shaved head. Well, mine isn’t exactly shaved but I use the electric clippers and knock it down to a fine and soft kind of a stubble.

    Not messing about with hair is a nice thing and my motorcycle helmet fits better and is easier to put on and take off.

    I’m just a guy without a lot of hair above the ears. I’m perfectly comfortable with that.

  3. detinennui32

    For Badger: Have been reading your comments round the manosphere and appreciate them greatly.

    For rob: Badger is spot on about this. rob, 20 years ago I was where you are now. Starting to thin in HS. At the end of college, even thinner, still some coverage but going fast. Completely bald on top at age 26. Difference: I didn’t learn game so I thought the way you did. But I did have a few girl skills.

    First: don’t listen to your parents about this. At. All. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Besides, it’s your hair and your body.

    Second: Accept this about your body. Don’t be so self-conscious about it. The sooner you accept this as part of your life, the sooner you’ll get on with your life. Losing your hair is the least of your concerns. Live your life. Meet people. The people and girls worth meeting and investing in won’t care about your hair. They really won’t.

    Third: If you really are bald with only hair in the back and sides, shave it down to a stubble like privateman. that’s what I do, and have done since about age 30. Wish I’d started sooner. You especially need to shave it if your hair is wiry (like I do). If you have hair like that it sticks out from the sides of your head and accentuates the baldness.

    But don’t get fat. You’ll look like Mr. Clean or that 7-UP commercial guy. I’m trying to lose weight now. You have to keep your weight down. Think of bald guys who look good. Jason Statham (above). Bruce Willis. Ed Harris.

    And get outside and get some color on that head. If you’re white, you don’t want a pasty look. Use sunscreen. Get good baseball caps to keep from getting burned if you’re going to be outside all day. If you’re a professional, get a fedora or a good stylish hat. Color on the head is one reason why African-American men can pull off this look.

    Fourth: Game, game, game. Be confident and comfortable in your own skin. Learn and use good posture. Fill your space. Speak boldly and confidently without being a jerk. Ignore your baldness. It’s like your eye color — it just is. Find and learn your good points and play them up. I’m blessed with a nice sounding speaking and singing voice. (Chicks dig singers.) I have a good job in a prestigious field and have had some success at it.

    Don’t talk about your hair or joke about it with people you don’t know well. If you do that it betrays self-consciousness about it and produces discomfort in everyone around you. People will avoid you not because you’re bald, but because your discomfort makes them uncomfortable.

    Spend some time learning Game. Go see Aunt Haley (Haleyshalo.blogspot.com) Spend a little time at Citizen Renegade, a/k/a the Chateau (roissy.wordpress.com). Go read Gaming Your Wife. Learn how the female mind works. It does not work like a man’s mind. Women do not think like you do. And learn the difference between a worthy woman and an unworthy woman.

    When approaching or on dates: Ignore your baldness. IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE it. It IS NOT important. Same rules above apply to dates or girls you’re interested in. Don’t joke about your hair. That shows you really are thinking about it and that will get her thinking about it. She’s already seen it and if you’ve gotten past introductions and a date, it’s not that important to her. Don’t mess it up by calling attention to a flaw.

    If your baldness is that important to her, she’s not a worthy woman. Move on. Better you find that out now than later.

    Don’t go beta. You absolutely cannot show a lack of confidence. Worthy girls are looking for a confident, interesting guy. Be that guy, not one who’s obsessing about his hair or physical appearance. (I don’t know too much about looking for hookups or one nighters. I suspect that will require a lot of alpha swagger if that’s what you’re looking for.) Don’t fawn over her. Don’t pedestalize her. Don’t ask her what she thinks or how she feels about your hair. Who cares what she thinks or feels about it? She asks about it – that’s a test, a challenge to see if you’ll stand up to her. She wants to see how you respond in an uncomfortable situation. Best response is to reframe. “I don’t much think about things that aren’t important. I prefer to think about what I can control. Don’t you?” If she’s highly attractive, a neg might work: “Why so concerned about personal appearance?” DON’T agree and amplify. That sounds like self-consciousness.

    My failures with women in college and after were not because I have no hair. They happened for two reasons: First, because I could not differentiate between worthy and unworthy women; and second, because I did not accept it and was not comfortable with myself and who I was and am. I believed the following, all of which were absolute lies:

    –no woman would love me because I was bald (lie)
    –baldness made me unlovable to women (lie)
    –I was unattractive to women (lie)
    –I had nothing to offer anyone except the girl I was with at the time (lie)
    –all women look at male physical attractiveness (peacocking) first and make relationship/dating decisions based solely on this (LIE LIE LIE. only UNWORTHY women do this.)

    These are all falsehoods. Women look first at a man’s confidence level, his bearing, and his outward conduct. That’s what makes him sexy and desirable to women. They are finely tuned to seek out these qualities. Why? In the confident man, here’s what she sees: A confident man can take charge of a situation, has some inner and outer fortitude, is less likely to die early or be killed, can recover from illnesses or injuries faster, can impregnate her easily and give her children, can protect her and her children, and can gather and devote resources to providing for her and her children. That’s the way her mind is working.

    Bruce Willis? Oozes confidence and swagger. He’s in shape. He controls every situation he’s in. Ed Harris? Acting talent galore. Commanding presence and voice. Jason Statham? From the neck up he ain’t much to look at. But then, look at his overall physical strength and conditioning (bearing, presence, confidence). Statham has the best male body in Hollywood.

    I met my wife 17 years ago. I was as bald then as now. She said the fact that I could engage her in conversation and seemed in control even though I had a lot of things going on – that was what she found attractive.

    Good luck rob. Welcome to the Game.

    [A masterpiece.]

  4. detinennui32

    rob:

    I forgot. Another thing: DON’T GIVE UP. You will get rejected by unworthy women and some worthy women. So they don’t want a date with you because you are bald, or maybe it isn’t even that. 99% of the time you get rejected you don’t even know why. She isn’t interested for some reason. SO WHAT?

    The Chateau recommends that you approach dating from an attittude of male choosiness, female abundance. Looking back on dating, I agree with this. There are lots of fish in the sea. (I wish I’d taken this attitude years ago!)

    Second: adopt the attitude that you do not have to prove yourself worthy to a woman. By ramping up your confidence and playing up your strengths, your worthiness is established or on the way to being established. Instead, it is she who has to show herself worthy to you. I dated some women who at first appeared worthy, but over time, they weren’t for whatever reason. Too flaky, selfish/entitled princess mentality, too many unresolved issues (that’s a big one), sexual hangups, spendthrift, whatever. She has to show herself worthy, just as you have to get yourself worthy.

    I don’t mean to say that you should be arrogant. Nor should you say any of this to her explicitly. Just have that inner attitude.

  5. My Name Is Jim

    I think the quarter-inch-of-stubble look does pretty well at making the receeding hair line look better, and is going to look better than straight-bald on white guys. Black guys can make straight-bald look sexy, white guys not so much.

    Danny deVito rocks, and it seems like since I’ve been thinking and learning about game, my thoughts keep turning to him every so often. He’s one of the most perfect examples of a guy without the physical advantages, who is a true alpha. At his peak he was one of those rare stars who could carry an otherwise weak movie and make it watchable by sheer force of personality. He also married that actress from Cheers, I wonder if this is a lesson in the ultimate limited power of game or did he turn down better looking women for one who got what he was up against in Hollywood. If you or I had game like him I’d sure have better looking girls.

    [Jim...look at me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to-F_MQTvCw ]

  6. detinennui32

    Dammit. One last thing.

    Looking back on dating, I had the most success when I did the following:
    1. I had some confidence and boldness, and wasn’t afraid to show it
    2. I found a woman I wanted and I pursued her (but not too terribly hard)
    3. I acted like I knew what I wanted and I went after it

    I had the least success when I did the following:
    1. Lost my self confidence
    2. Pedestalized the women in my life
    3. Feared losing the woman I was dating
    4. Took dating advice from my overbearing mother
    5. Failed to look for or see signs of attraction from women around me

    DO NOT FEAR. If she walks because she doesn’t want to date you anymore, then that’s the way it goes. You won’t be alone forever.

    Sometimes women fall in your lap. It’s happened even to me. Look for this:

    A woman going out of her way to talk to you or engage you
    A woman seeking your help on something
    A woman touching you when it’s not necessary
    A woman laughing, tossing her head back and fiddling with her hair (this appears to me to be a female instinctual behavior. I’ve seen girls as young as age 4 doing this.)
    A woman tilting her head downward slightly when looking at you, then averting her eyes and momentarily avoiding eye contact (a sign of demure flirtiness).

    [One of the first game moves a guy should do is memorize the IOIs, these ones you list are a good start. If you don't get two in 15 minutes, bail out. If you don't get 3+ in a half hour, you've been silently LJBF'd.]

  7. detinennui32

    @ Jim: agreed. I can’t pull off the totally bald look. I’m too fat right now. Bruce Willis can rock that from his sheer outsized personality. You know he gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, from whomever he wants.

    DeVito rocks it because he’s funny, but cocky funny, not Woody Allen neurotic funny. He’s cocky, he shouldn’t be, he’s got no right to be, but he is, and he just can be. My guess is he married Rhea Perlman for love, sheer unadulterated love. He’s been married to her a long time. I married for love, but then I’m not an alpha, either.

    [Danny also has the intractibly inviting smile. Gene Siskel said of DeVito "he doesn't play short guys, he just plays guys." The short guys I know who are even halfway decent with women have really tight game.]

  8. Phil

    rob,
    Developing a muscular jawline and neck will do wonders for a balding man. A weak jawline or double chin combined with balding hair is what really makes a man look unattractive to young women. Be sure to work with a certified trainer though when doing neck exercises.

    [If you have to be bald, aim to be cut like a Marine. Set up a frame that you don't even have time for hair.]

  9. Benjamin Fox

    I got tired of hot sweaty hair that was thinning. A spacer on a hair trimmer has taken care of it since.

    When it comes to looks, here’s what I’ve learned:
    -You’re either your harshest critic or biggest fan. Neither is terribly helpful, but the former is far more game killing.

    -If you’re a straight guy, why would you find masculine facial features attractive? Unless you’re named Narcissus, you should not be physically attracted to yourself in the mirror. Women, however, might find such traits attractive (not all, of course.)

    [It's a big challenge of game for a guy to look at himself and evaluate how a woman would see him.]

    -I am not a pretty boy. My face does not make for a great (static) painting. However, it makes for an awesome animation. When I’ve got my muse, and truly cut loose, I’m somewhere between Robin Williams and Steve Martin. My storytelling to a group is something to be revered.

    Bottom line, I’ve always got the same skin/hair/whatever. The difference between being repellent and drawing a crowd around myself is in the personality I display at that moment. Maybe having everyone around me doubled over and changing colors from laughing so hard isn’t the best thing for attraction… it never hurt… well, there was this one time I forgot my heart-patient friend can’t handle that much laughing… which makes for an even funnier story.

    (edit: Hmm, now that I think about it, my story-telling skills can be used to win-over a group. Could be useful for breaking down the girlfriend-gang.)

    [Oh, without a doubt! It's not an accident Mystery built him game skills while developing as a magician.]

  10. (R)Evolutionary

    A couple interesting points about baldness:

    It’s caused by a large amount (notice I didn’t say excess) of the most metabolically active form of testosterone, 5-dihydro-testosterone. It’s the most potent stuff for activating skeletal muscle and for building erections. It’s literally the man-sauce. In Europe, where baldness is far less of a deal than in the US, physicians will actually prescribe 5-DHT instead of normal testosterone for T-deficient men because it works better. And the patients take it, despite baldness as a side effect.

    So if you can abandon the cultural stigma, you can tap into that massive biological power reservoir of manhood that pulsates somewhere deep in your physiology. Just remember, “the more hair you lose, the more head you get.”

    [This is a great reframe if someone gives you crap about your hair - "it's a signal of high testosterone."]

    Secondly, you can do a few things to keep the balding to a minimum. One is, take saw palmetto and/or passionflower extract. Both contain substances that block the conversion of T to 5-DHT. It may be enough to keep some follicles going. Avoid soy in general, for it does nothing for manhood (all men should heed this.)

    [I'd do more research on saw palmetto before taking it, I understand it mimics finasteride/propecia which is why it also addresses prostate issues, and thus has the risk of gonad side effects.]

    Finally, eat a high-protein, high mineral diet, for these are the things that hair (and muscle!) are made of. I won’t go into it here, information is widely available, but consider reading up on the paleolithic/primal diet. It offers the best dietary regimen to maintain healthy hormone levels.

    Cheers!

  11. Benjamin Fox

    (R)Ev, are you saying it’s not normal to be able to hold up two to three wet beach towels?

  12. (R)Evolutionary

    Badger, I’m in medicine, and have both heavily researched Saw Palmetto and many other herbs, and use them frequently clinically.

    Saw Palmetto does have a 5-alpha-reductase inhibition effect, so it will function on one level similarly to finasteride, which is to say it, as I said, inhibits the formation of 5-dihydrotestosterone from regular T. But that’s all finasteride does, so it has a net negative effect on androgens. That’s the problem with pharma drugs–they’re one-trick ponies compared to the diversity of bioactivity found in the thoroughbred nature of plants.

    Saw Palmetto is far more complex, with over 30 bioactive compounds in it. Several of the other bioactive compounds include sitosterol, which is pro-androgenic. Several well-designed animal studies show that animals consuming saw palmetto have increased gonadal weight, while finasteride shows the opposite. Further, animals gain lean muscle mass. Personally and clinically, I’ve seen or had reported increased erection frequency and quality as well as increased libido and ejaculatory volume. This is a classic male herb, and I highly recommend it for any man, of almost any age, who wants to strengthen and support reproductive function. I would caution it only to those young bucks under 25 who already have high-functioning libidos, for it can turn up the fire & make things too strong, if there is such a thing–too strong to think about anything else.

    [Thanks for chiming in, looks like saw palmetto is safe after all. Personally, I've found great libido enhancement from omega-3 and L-Arginine, thanks to a health post at the Spearhead.]

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  14. Douglos

    These are all great posts, and I especially appreciate the OT discussion of saw palmetto – always looking for new, good things.
    For the original question, I will tell you what’s worked for me in a nearly identical situation:
    I am a huge man (6’6″, 285) but I have a small jaw. And that 285 used to be 245 (five months ago it was 310, but that’s irrelevant). So to counter the double chin, I grew a goatee that gives my jaw the appearance of being much wider. And since I’ve got a receding hairline with a perfectly-formed monk circle, the only choice was to shave it. My parents protested for a long time, too, but eventually, I simply and calmly told them that it was my choice, and it makes me feel better about myself, so they are going to need to respect that.
    So now I’m an enormous dude with a shaved head and a goatee. To not come off looking like a Nazi (which I believe was your concern), I had to change a few other things. The Motorhead t-shirts and biker boots had to go. I now dress a little better than most people in my desert town – crisp shirts, blazer, and slacks or nice jeans in the cooler months; almost exclusively lightweight cotton or linen in the summer, which is damn near six months here. Always a nice watch (check out watchismo if you’re not flush with cash). The result is that I just don’t look like anyone else. I stand out without looking like I’m trying to stand out. I’m in a creative profession, and I certainly don’t look like most other men in my field (they usually look like hipsters and/or metros). This has all worked to my advantage – shit, I could ramble on about this enough to fill a book, but this is what has worked for me. I’ve had to adjust some aspects of my personality to be more congruent with my appearance, but that was easy to do once I stumbled onto the “manosphere.” Chest out, chin up, etc… I’m not what you would call a good-looking guy, but one year ago I was staring down a divorce and lingering unhappiness, and today I’m still divorced, but swimming in quality pussy (a whole lot of 7s, the occasional 8 or 9). I didn’t do a damn thing except present my best physical self to the world and accentuate different aspects of my personality to match the picture.
    You want to shave your head and not look like a neo-Nazi? No shirts with umlauts, not biker shit, no brown shirts. Dress a little better than the next guy. Nobody sees a guy with a shaved head in a decent suit and thinks, “that’s a white supremacist.” But they do think. Get that hamster running, dude.

  15. dannyfrom504

    take a good look at my avatar. that’s me, back in 2006. i STILL look the same. i starting balding at the ripe ol’ age of 21. i had JUST joined the navy. i had fair game for a 21 year old (humerous, and mild cocky funny) and once it became visible that i was losing it, i shaved it. let’s add another less attractive quality i have. i’m short. like, 5’4″ tall short. bagder is right, SOME women just don’t dig the look. but MOST women i know say it’s very sexy. one of the guys i work with shaves his head. he’s quite beta (been divorced twice….ALL initiated by the wives). none of the women i work with consider him sexy or attractive, i know b/c i see how they interact with him. most of the girls i work with keep nagging me about why i don’t have a gf since i’m “such a great looking, funny guy. my answer, “send yer gal pal my way and i’ll see how she flys. lol. oh and she better be cute, i’m single……not desperate.” i tend to be more alpha (i think). i’m considered pretty funny and i honestly don’t give a crap what people (especially women) think of me. now, i’m not some scoiopathic dick; just aloof and doing my own thing. my balding and height haven’t kept me from getting women, because…….i don’t LET them hold me back.

    shave your head fellah. work on your game. you’ll be super fantastic before you know it.

    now, no i don’t have a gf, but i talk to girls all the time. and i make all of them laugh. i strike out sometimes, i’m sucessful sometimes. but then again i rarely go out. point is, i’ve never been disquilified as a lover to a woman based on my baldness. everyone i’ve bedded has said they find it VERY sexy.

  16. @Douglos: Awesome comment.

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  18. Sambo

    Nobody will see this post, but FYI, hair loss an be prevented very easily nowadays. Probably for about $300 a year.

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  20. jamie

    I’m a little late, just visiting from HUS, but here’s my take:

    Baldness is in no way a deal breaker. Bald with a ponytail is. (If it’s any consolation, my gay roommate and his friends can back me up on that)

    I’m currently harboring crushes on 2 balding men. One is nerdy, listens to amazing music and produces indie films. The other has a girlfriend but I think he’s awful cute.

    It’s really not that big of a deal, just so you’re not weird about it. Wear a hat. Hats are cool. I’m partial to fedoras.

  21. jamie,

    Welcome. Hats are neat, they are part of a classy dress style we’ve clearly lost in America. We need to reclaim it before the hipsters do.

    I think the Moby reference was lost on my younger readers.

  22. i missed this post. DAMMIT!!!!!

    the bald avenger (my alter owns) rules. i’ve had more than one 9’s rave about my “sexy bald head”. fah serious.

  23. Danny,

    I actually think you commented on this thread above.

  24. Smooth T

    “Nobody will see this post, but FYI, hair loss an be prevented very easily nowadays. Probably for about $300 a year.”

    Eh… if you’re talking about rogaine or propecia, they are incomplete solutions at best. I was on Propecia for the better part of a decade, and while it slowed my hair loss, it did not stop it. Not to mention the potential raft of sexual issues it can cause.

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