Up for a promotion? If you're a man, you might want to get out the clippers.
Men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair, according to a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Some executives say the style makes them appear younger—or at least, makes their age less evident—and gives them more confidence than a comb-over or monk-like pate.
Wharton management lecturer Albert Mannes conducted three experiments to test peoples' perceptions of men with shaved heads. In one of the experiments, he showed 344 subjects photos of the same men in two versions: one showing the man with hair and the other showing him with his hair digitally removed, so his head appears shaved.
The study found that men with thinning hair were viewed as the least attractive and powerful of the bunch, a finding that tracks with other studies showing that people perceive men with typical male-pattern baldness as older and less attractive. For those men, the solution could be as cheap and simple as a shave.
New York image consultant Julie Rath advises her clients to get closely cropped when they start thinning up top. "There's something really strong, powerful and confident about laying it all bare," she says, describing the thinning or combed-over look as "kind of schlumpy."