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Bald is beautiful ... and a career boost, study finds

  • Slideshow Photos

    Paul Buck / EPA FILES

    Image: 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations

    Bald and beautiful

    Some of Hollywood’s toughest leading men sport shaved heads.

  • Image: 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations

    Bald and beautiful

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    Bryan Cranston -

    "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston's bald dome is a far cry from the full head of hair the actor sported on "Malcolm in the Middle." Here, he arrives for the world premiere of "Rock of Ages" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

    EPA / EPA
  • 2012 Mets Concert Series - Daughtry

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    Chris Daughtry -

    Chris Daughtry of the band Daughtry has rocked a shaved head since his audition for the fifth season of "American Idol," which aired in early 2006. In this image, he performs at Citi Field on July 20 in New York City.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Nine

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    Andre Agassi -

    Andre Agassi started shaving his head in 1995, just before the Australian Open. In this photo, the tennis superstar looks on from the Royal Box on Centre Court on day nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 4 in London, England.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Soccer player David Beckham and his wife Victoria arrive at the 2008 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles

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    David Beckham -

    Soccer player David Beckham likes to switch it up between a shaved head and a shaggier 'do. Beckham and his wife, Victoria, arrive at the 2008 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 16, 2008, in this file photo.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Montblanc Hosted Gala Auction To Benefit UNICEF - Arrivals

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    Billy Zane -

    Billy Zane had a full head of hair in "Titanic," but since then, we know the actor more for his baldness. In this image, Zane, arrives at the UNICEF benefit gala auction hosted by Montblanc on Sept. 17.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Olympics Day 4 - Basketball

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    Kobe Bryant -

    Kobe Bryant is currently rocking the bald look at the 2012 London Olympics. In this image, he smiles as the U.S. plays Tunisia on July 31.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: "America's Got Talent" Post Show Red Carpet

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    Howie Mandel -

    Comedian and TV personality Howie Mandel revealed in a 2006 interview on "The Howard Stern Show" that he didn't shave his head because he was losing his hair -- he shaved it because of his mysophobia, a pathological fear of germs. He explained that the bald look made him feel cleaner. Here, Mandel attends an "America's Got Talent" event at Jersey Performing Arts Center on July 18 in Newark, N.J.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

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    Justin Timberlake -

    When Justin Timberlake was in the '90s boy band 'NSync, teenagers everywhere went crazy for his blond, curly locks. Now, the singer-actor usually goes for a closely cropped 'do. Here, Timberlake arrives at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2011, in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Lionsgate with The Cinema Society & TW Steel host the premiere of "Safe"- Arrivals

    Bald and beautiful

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    Jason Statham -

    Action movie star Jason Statham is as famous for his bald dome as his films. Here, Statham attends the Lionsgate and IM Global with the Cinema Society screening of "Safe" at Chelsea Clearview Cinema on April 16 in New York City.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: FILE:  Actor Michael Clarke Duncan Hospitalized Taylor Swift, Michael Clarke Duncan, Cesar Rosas, David Hidalgo, Robert Randolph and Chris Layton On "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"

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    Michael Clarke Duncan -

    The hit film "The Green Mile" introduced the big, bald actor Michael Clarke Duncan to many moviegoers. In this file photo, Duncan appears on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" at NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif.

    NBC / Getty Images / NBC / Getty Images
  • Cast member Channing Tatum arrives at th

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    Channing Tatum -

    Channing Tatum, star of the new movie "Magic Mike," also goes back and forth from a cropped look to longer hair. Here, Tatum arrives at the premiere of "Haywire" at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles on Jan. 5.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • 8th Annual Teen Choice Awards - Arrivals

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    Wentworth Miller -

    Actor Wentworth Miller was one bald head among many on the TV series "Prison Break." In this image, the actor arrives at the 8th Annual Teen Choice Awards in Universal City, Calif., on Aug. 20, 2006.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • US actor Bruce Willis attends the press

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    Bruce Willis -

    Bruce Willis is perhaps the ultimate bald-headed tough guy. In this image, Willis attends the press conference of "Moonrise Kingdom" at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 16 in Cannes.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • The Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Presents "Welcome To ShondaLand: An Evening With Shonda Rhimes & Friends" - Arrivals

    Bald and beautiful

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    Taye Diggs -

    No list of the best of the Hollywood baldies is complete without actor Taye Diggs. Here, he attends The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Presents "Welcome To ShondaLand: An Evening With Shonda Rhimes & Friends" at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on April 2 in North Hollywood, Calif.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Seal & Macy Gray In Concert

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    Seal -

    What can we say? Some Seals look better bald. The singer performs at The Beacon Theatre on July 17 in New York City.

    Getty Images Contributor / Getty Images Contributor
  • Vin Diesel And Elsa Pataky Attend 'Fast & Furious 5' Photocall In Madrid

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    Vin Diesel -

    Would you even recognize actor Vin Diesel without his signature shaved head look? In this image, Diesel attends a "Fast & Furious 5" event at Hotel Santo Mauro on April 26, 2011, in Madrid, Spain.

  • Image: Samuel L. Jackson

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    Samuel L. Jackson -

    Samuel L. Jackson rocks a bald head with more style than most. Here, Jackson arrives at an event in Culver City, Calif., on June 9, 2011.

    AP / AP

Looking for an edge at work? Break out your razor. A new study says that men with shaved heads are perceived as more dominant, more masculine, and more suited for leadership roles.

The lead researcher, Albert Mannes at the Wharton School of Business, decided to go "bare up there" in his mid-thirties when he was starting to lose his hair. And people started treated him differently. He then designed a series of experiments to test what people really thought of guys with shaved heads.

In the first tests, he showed participants pictures of similar-looking men with shaved heads and those with hair. The men without hair rated statistically significantly higher for dominance. They were also rated as being 3 years older, and slightly less attractive.

To isolate the results further, Mannes devised a second experiment. He showed a panel pictures of men with hair. He also showed pictures of the same men with their hair Photoshopped out. The panel rated the men with shaved heads higher for dominance, confidence, masculinity, and leadership potential.

But get this: The panel also said the guys with shaved heads were an inch taller and could bench-press 13 percent more weight than the guys with full hair.

Remember, these are the same guys, just with their hair digitally erased.

The third and final test used no photographs. Just words. Mannes asked subjects to read a two-sentence description of a man and rate him on the same attributes as the second experiment. The paragraph was the same each time, with one difference, whether the man was described as having a "shaved head," "thinning brown hair," or "thick brown hair."

Even when responding to just the text, the guys with the shaved heads ranked higher on those alpha-dog traits.

However, there was a much smaller margin between the "shaved" head and the "thick brown hair." The greatest difference was between "shaved" and "thinning." Which means that men with all their hair looking to jump up the ladder shouldn't rush out and go under the clipper. Only men experiencing hair loss will have a total net benefit from shaving their head. Men with all their hair who shave it all off will lose more in social and psychological ranking than they gain, said Mannes. 

So if you have luscious locks, don't let this study be the Delilah to your Samson. Keep your hair.

The big takeaway is that men who are losing their hair, Mannes said, "might better improve their well-being by finishing what Mother Nature has started," and shave it all off. It can give you social and psychological boost, and could open up pathways at work and in life.

This doesn't mean that men with shaved heads are in fact better leaders. Then again, perceptions can become reality.

"People may afford you opportunities to demonstrate your leadership if you look like someone who could be a leader. There is a reinforcement process that does happen with social perception," said Mannes. "How you're perceived affects how people treat you, which can alter your future."

But if you're experiencing male pattern baldness, a receding hairline, or thinning hair, Mannes said, "the simple act of shaving is a viable alternative to medical or surgical procedures, at a lower cost."

Best of all, if you try the look out and decide you don't like it, it's not irreversible.

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