Should a Bald Man Grow a Beard? (Pros, Cons, and Popular Trends)

Football and beer. Peanut butter and jelly. Bald heads and beards. There are just some things that go so well together it’s hard to imagine them apart. Should you consider growing a beard if you have a bald or balding head? Yes! An abundance of evidence is in your favor.

Both scientific and anecdotal evidence support beard growth on bald men. The hormones that affect positive hair growth on the scalp can lead to a sparse beard; conversely, those hormones may restrict hair growth on the scalp while encouraging a full, bushy beard. Bald men feel more attractive and empowered when wearing a beard, and women agree.

Read on to get the scoop on all things bald plus beard!

Should you grow a beard if you are bald?

A fresh haircut can skyrocket your confidence and make you feel like a million bucks. However, what’s a man to do if he’s scalp-hair challenged? The good news is facial hair can be just as confidence-boosting and a vehicle to show off your personal style.

A beard provides a way to show off or diminish certain features much like hairstyles can. Many men with bald heads are gifted with enviable facial hair. 

Let’s face it (literally). Nobody’s facial features are perfect. That’s what makes us unique and interesting. Hairstyles have long been a way to provide an optical illusion to disguise or laud certain features. If you’re lacking in the hair department, a beard can do the same thing. Face too thin? Grow a beard. Face too full? Artfully trim your beard to thin it out.

In just a second, we’ll talk about the science behind this, but if you’re bald chances are you can grow a spectacular beard. Use this to your advantage and accept the gift. Trust me. Many men are quite envious.

Do beards look good on bald guys?

According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of the American male population will “experience some degree of appreciable hair loss” by age 35. Hair loss is a fact of life and many have chosen to embrace it. Take a look at some famous bald heads and you’ll often see some impressive facial hair.

Celebrities have popularized the bald guy with beard look. Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, and Jason Statham to name a few have shown us that bald-and-bearded is not only acceptable but sexy and sought after.

Studies show that a completely bald head is preferred by women over a receding hairline. If experiencing natural hair loss, “interpersonal standing” was benefited by shaving it all off on top. Beards add character and interest.

Do women think a bald head with a beard is attractive?

Attractiveness is certainly in the eye of the beholder. One woman’s preferences can be opposite to another’s, but women as a whole seem to like the look of a beard whether the man has head hair or not.

Studies have shown that women perceive bald men to be strong, dominant, and tall. Men with beards are perceived to be successful and wise. Most women find all of these traits to be attractive.

A study at the University of Pennsylvania found that women viewed bald men as more dominant than similar men with heads of hair. Another study compared pictures of men with their natural hair and pictures digitally altered to remove the hair. Women perceived the bald men to be taller and stronger than the real versions.

When polled on discussion forums, many women prefer both bald and bearded men. One woman said, “There is a pure beauty about a strong, bald head…” and another claimed “bald guys are sexy and bearded bald guys are the sexiest”.

Is it true that the more likely a man can grow a beard the more likely he will go bald?

All hairs are not created equal. The hairs on your head are distinctly different from the hairs on your face. They can even be two totally different colors!

While it’s not true that beard growth will make you go bald, there is some scientific evidence that DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and testosterone affect hair growth on the scalp and face differently. This can result in a reverse effect where hair loss happens on the head while hair growth happens on the face.

If you find it easy to grow a beard, you are blessed with sensitivity to testosterone and its precursor, DHT. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for manly features and androgenic hair growth.

Unfortunately, a high testosterone sensitivity doesn’t affect scalp hair the same way. It can shrivel up head hair follicles causing hair loss. This is why you often see completely bald men with lush, envious beards. 

A full beard doesn’t always equate to a bald head or vice versa, but there can be a connection.

The ideal beard length for a shaved head

Do you prefer the minimal look or are you ready to go all out Viking? Your shaved head shouldn’t hold you back.

While there isn’t a universal ideal beard length for a shaved head, the 3-day stubble look is easy to grow, maintain, and looks good on most men. This style is a great first step.

Lifestyle, profession, and face shape can help you determine the length that is perfect for you.

The best beard styles for men with bald heads

The list of beard styles can be as long and varied as a craft beer menu, so which style should you choose if you are bald? 

Stubble, full beards, mustaches, and goatees are popular beard styles for men with bald heads. Factors like face shape and lifestyle can help narrow down the best style for you.

Let’s take a look at perceptions and considerations of each style:

Stubble

Bruce Willis - an example of a bald-headed man with stubble.

Women like men with stubble. Bruce Willis (pictured here) is a great example of a bald man who’s rarely seen clean shaven.

The above-mentioned facial perception study concluded that “males with light stubble were considered the most attractive and were preferred for both short and long-term relationships.”

Stubble is also easy to maintain. Simply grow it and go. Just be aware that stubble can look unprofessional if it’s patchy or unkempt. 

Full beard

Rapper and Actor Common sporting a well-groomed full beard.

There’s not much that screams masculinity more than a full beard. Just check out this example of Common sporting a well-groomed beard.

When polled, women saw men with full beards as “masculine, aggressive, socially mature, and older.” If you’re young and bald, a full beard is a great way to tack on a few years. Women also associated full beards with being better fathers.

If you are blessed with fast-growing face follicles, a full beard could complete your look.

Mustache

Steve Harvey is a prime example of a bald man who's never seen without his signature mustache.

Some women view the mustache as a creepy 70’s throwback, but the “Movember” movement has normalized hair on the upper lip.

While a mustache alone isn’t most men’s go-to look, it’s hard to imagine Steve Harvey with any more – or less – hair, facial or otherwise.

Even if your workplace frowns upon facial hair, mustaches are usually still accepted. Think of your ‘stache as a style element.

Go crazy with handlebars or just sport a shadow.

Goatee 

Goatees are great for bald men because they look good on most face shapes. They are also easy to grow and maintain.

The lack of hair on top of the head and the abundance of hair on the chin is a match made in heaven. It’s dramatic and stylish, making it a favorite style of former wrestler and action star Dwayne Johnson.

Beard styles for a bald head and round face

Round cheeks are ripe for pinching and that’s ok when you’re a kid, but as an adult sometimes we want to play down that area especially when our hairstyle can’t balance it out.

If you have a bald head and a round face, choose beard styles that will make your face appear more angular. A short, boxed style or anchor style are both great choices.

A short, boxed beard makes your face appear more square than round. This helps add more balance since your head is round too. It’s precisely trimmed around the cheek area to minimize volume.

The anchor style elongates a round face due to its lack of hair on the cheeks or jawline. Your eye is pulled downward with this mustache-chin beard combo.

Beard styles for a bald head and long face

If you have a long face, it can look even longer when there’s no hair on your head to counteract the effect. Hair is the great equalizer whether it’s on your head or on your face.

If you have a bald head and a long face, choose beard styles that are shorter in length. Stubble beards and beard styles with fullness in the cheek area are great choices for long faces.

Jason Statham’s stubble or Nick Offerman’s bushy style will both work for long faces.

Beard styles for a bald head and oval face

Too round. Too long. Just right. In the face shape world, the oval face is the “perfect” shape because it goes with almost every style.

If you have a bald head and an oval face, almost any beard style will be complementary. From light and heavy stubble beards to horseshoe mustaches, the oval face is the perfect canvas for most beard styles.

You can choose a classic style or a more dramatic look. The choice is yours.

Gray beard styles with a bald head

You can definitely rock a grey beard and a bald head. I mean all women swooned over Sean Connery, didn’t they?

If you have a grey beard and a bald head, follow the style rules based on your face shape. The grey beard just adds an extra layer of style to your look.

Whether you have salt and pepper, pepper sprinkled with salt, or a solid grey variation, grey beards and bald heads just go together. 

Beard styles for glasses and a bald head

Whether it be reading glasses, sunglasses, or all-day specs, glasses and beards work well together.

The style of glasses that look the best on us is largely determined by our face shape just like beard style. Glasses and beards can work in tandem to minimize a round face, make a long face fuller, or accessorize our look.

Dark frames and dark beards pair well. A round face benefits from angular beards and rectangular frames. A long face can wear a fuller beard and rounder frame.