A Bald Man’s Guide To Building Self-Confidence

Bald Man Self Confidence

If you’re just starting out with male-pattern baldness, your self-confidence will take a hit, and a pretty big one too. In this article, I give my top tips on how to conquer your worries.

I remember how I felt when I first noticed the hair loss, how my newly found confidence after getting over acne seemed to disappear overnight.

The lack of ‘feeling good’ about myself came right at the time when you’re supposed to be building your confidence as a young man – I don’t want this to happen to you no matter your stage of hair loss, young or middle aged. Read on to discover the best ways to build your self-confidence again.

Ignore the questions

To others, especially those who know you, it might seem like you’ve suddenly changed your personality, but in reality, what’s actually going on is that you’re feeling increasingly more paranoid of people looking at your head, your hairline (or lack of it).

To those who don’t know you, it might seem like you’re shy, slightly ‘stand-offish’ but really you just don’t want to answer the awkward questions.

“are you losing your hair”? – “Are you going bald, at your age’?

Well, I’m telling you, take it with a pinch of salt.

If you’re dealing with the emotional issues now and facing the questions head on, then you can handle anything the future has to hold.

If you want to reply, tell them ‘yes I am, is that a problem for you, I’m OK with it’?

OK – you might not really be OK with it, but be brave.

The less bothered you look, the less likely they are to either ask more questions or ask you the same one next time you meet.

Mirror mirror on the wall

This might sound like a funny one but, don’t be afraid of the mirror!

Whether you were vain before or never really someone who stopped to view his reflection in a shop window, now is the time to make friends with a mirror – you’re going to need its support if you’re going to look Badass.

Trust me, it’s hard to get used to your new look at first, especially if you have decided to go for the full shave rather than managing the hair loss over time.

Each one of us is different, I adopted the ‘buzz’ cut for a couple of years but it was clear this was only a temporary look.

I was never a fan of looking in the mirror, probably due to all those years looking at an acne covered face, so to get more equated in my early hair loss I needed to make sure looking in a mirror wasn’t a problem.

I have learnt over time that looking in the mirror is about two things, grooming and dealing with your hair loss.

You have to really look at yourself to realise what others see and to understand the best way deal with the route your hair loss is taking.

Is it just a bald patch on the crown of your head, a receding hairline, thinning top hair or just all over loss?

If you’re unsure, try using a second mirror to look at the back of your head, you know, like a barber does.

If you to start to understand how you look then you can find a style that suits you.

If, however, like me, you decide to go for the full shave then in the early days the mirror is going to be your best friend.

Learn to like what you see – you don’t have to become a complete narcissist just get used to the way you look.

Things will get better and your confidence will return the more you embrace your new look.

Don’t think you’ve ‘lost it’ – you’ve just got started

It’s true, if you have decided to buzz cut or shave then you have just started on a new path to being Badass.

You have a new look, a new style and a way to start feeling better about yourself – remember looking and feeling good is all about building your self-confidence, that comes from how you feel about yourself, not how you think people look at you.

Whether you’re a guy who’s been holding on to his thinning/receding hair for years or you were young like me and decided to make an early change, you’re now on a journey, a place you have never been before and you’re right at the the beginning of your journey.

You probably think I’m mental but I’ve been on this journey, it’s not without its up and downs and bumpy roads, but it is a journey you are going to have to take – so do it with style, do it with confidence and you’ll create some great memories.

Do something about your style

You might be a sharp, well-dressed and dapper guy so this section is probably going to be fairly useless for you but if like me you’re just a normal guy then please read on.

There are plenty of helpful tips and tricks in the styling section of this site so I’m not going to talk about these here, this section is more about setting your mind up to become stylish, dapper and fashion aware.

Too many bald men I know, or have seen, forget to look after the one thing about their look.

Only you can do something about your style.

Each of us has a style, clothes we feel comfortable in, a suit we love, an ‘outfit’ we think we look best in, but some of us forget to do anything more than just settle for these ‘go to’ outfits.

It doesn’t matter if your fat, thin, small, tall or just a shape you don’t like, we can all do something about our style and this is critically important in building self-confidence, especially if you’re losing your hair or you’ve completely lost it.

Why? Well, you are more ‘on show’, more exposed and probably more self-conscious of the way you look.

This is the time to do something about your style, make yourself feel better, smarter, and more dapper. You don’t have to spend a fortune either, there are plenty of high street brands that offer quality clothes at affordable prices – it’s all about how you wear it.

Please, whatever you do, whomever you talk to, do something about your style, don’t think because your hair didn’t like you that other people aren’t going to like you – the good old cliché of ‘why should I bother now’, well that’s just a lazy excuse – get out there, look in the shops, take note of the styles you see and find one that suits you… looking Badass is more that just a shaved head you know…

Watch the weight

This is pretty simple one, watch that weight – two reasons, health and appearance.

I’m not here to preach about anyone’s weight, all I want to say is look after yourself, make yourself look good.

No doubt you’re probably critically aware of your own look, the weight you might have put on (and the weight you’d like to lose).

If you’re saying to yourself ‘what is the point, I don’t like the way I look without my hair’ then you’re never going to do anything about moving forward and becoming Badass.

You need to think about your look, your weight, and making sure you can feel good about yourself.

Trust me, I have to ‘battle the bulge’ to make sure I keep in shape, I visit a gym every week, every day if I could.

I eat healthily but I like the odd cheeseburger, chocolate bar and alcohol just like the next man. However, I am aware what too much indulgence can do, especially the older I get.

There are plenty of ways to help you on a weight loss programme, most of them these days are easy to do, tasty and sustainable – you don’t have to turn into a celery soup-drinking vegan to lose some weight.

Just be prepared to put some real effort into the way you look, you’ll feel so much better about yourself even if it’s just a few pounds lost, it can be so motivating and it’s proven to not only be physically beneficial but mentally too.

If you’re feeling down and emotional, then exercise and eating well can really help lift your mood, endorphins are released through exercise, these help things like metabolism, your mood, your well being and your sex drive!

Don’t look down at what you don’t like about yourself, make some changes, do something about what you can change and stop worrying about the changes you can’t control.

For more on this have a look at the keeping in shape section of this site – you can do this, you need to do this – it’ll be well worth the hard work.

Photograph yourself – don’t be camera shy

If you don’t like your pictures being taken then this is going to be a hard one, but you need to do it.

I am not a big fan of my picture being taken, not for the fact I am self-conscious, more the fact I never think I look like ‘me’ when I see the photos.

Some people, no matter their hairstyle, hair loss etc… photograph well, like the camera loves them.

It’s hard, even for the most seasoned of selfie takers out there to get a photo that you’d say, ‘yeah that’s how I look’, and for the rest of us it seems near impossible to get a picture you’re really happy with.

So when you first go for the buzz cut or the shave, seeing yourself in the first few photo’s is going to take some getting used to, what you thought was your best side before might now be your worst!

Build that confidence and try to take a few photos of yourself, get used to your new look, work out what pose works best for you.

I know this sounds silly but if you didn’t like your photos taking before, you need to work out a way to overcome this now you’re in the badass club, you don’t need to be camera shy.

Don’t hide from friends & family

If I can offer one solid piece of advice then this would be it; if you decide you go for the shave or buzz cut, go meet as many of your friends, family, work colleagues as quickly as possible.

Why I hear you cry? Well, you need to get the ‘shock’ out of the way for them and it will also help you deal with the reactions you get.

Most will be cool, some will be dicks and come up with the usual snide comments, and most probably won’t even care.

Facing your fears head on (literally) is the best way to build back your confidence – this is how you look now, it’s 100 times better than you looked before and if people have an issue with it, they are not worth knowing.

I remember when I went from my pathetic thickened hair to a buzz cut/shaved look the reaction was mixed, it was bound to be.

Family and most of my friends (well the ones I’d call close friends) were brilliant, so supportive, the only people I was really worried about was those I worked with at the time.

I can remember being so nervous about the first day back at work and the comments I would get. I’d built the situation up so much in my mind that I was feeling physically sick sat in my car waiting to go in – I can still remember the feeling and this was 20 years ago.

Let’s put this is way, the reaction I got was a lot better than the scenarios I envisaged – some of the guys I thought would be the real ‘piss takers’ turned around and said things like – ‘about time baldy, to be honest it suits you better’, ‘nice one lad, I see you’ve joined the club’.

Of course, there were a few that thought it was funny to come up with the usual jokes but nothing I hadn’t already thought of.

Walking out of work that day I felt like a massive weight had been lifted, I’d faced my fears and embraced my new look. I’d moved forward on my new path and it felt good.

For the weeks and months following my new look, things only got better, in both work and relationships, I even started dating one of the girls from the admin dept, she’d never even noticed me before so you can imagine what that did for my confidence 😉

Try to think about building your self-confidence like building a house, the stronger your foundations the stronger your house will be.

You will learn to stand up to whatever is thrown at you in the future and still be standing strong, because the foundations are strong, so start embracing that new look.

Learning to like the way you look and what makes you feel good about yourself will be your solid foundations, from there you can build anything you like, be anyone you want to be and become that super confident, independent and outgoing man once again.

Paul Inman

Paul Inman is the founder of The Bald Gent. As the main contributor to TBG, Paul has years of knowledge, experience and stories to share with our users. His insights, advice and blogs form the backbone to everything we do and what makes being a true gent so important to the ethos of TBG.

  1. Thanks for sharing Paul, you must know the value putting your story out there has to other men in the same situation, else why would you have gone to the effort?! Speaking for myself, and many others too no doubt, it’s very much appreciated!

    Can I ask you a question about something I don’t believe you touched upon? (Though I will be rereading the article again in a few minutes…apologies if you did…)

    Men in the midst of hair loss who are panicking about it do so for two reasons it seems to me, The first is the loss of their hair and the change that means for their appearance, very well dealt with in your piece.

    The second reason is something I’m struggling with, and many others do too – head shape. I personally don’t care about my hair, I take care of it but rarely ever groom (aside from using hairspray now to try hide the more pronounced areas of balding – I’m not at Trump levels yet though!), but I wash it several times a week and get it cut every few months. But as my hair line has been receding I’ve come to the realisation that I’ve a strange head shape, most of the top, back and sides are fine, but the forehead area (encompassing the temples, above the temples and top of forehead) looks different to many other men I’ve seen. And I’ve spent a lot of time noticing other men’s heads lately 🙁 The closest example I can use to describe the shape is a cross between Patrick Stewart and Dwayne Johnson (The Rock). Both of those men look fine to me, and are great examples to follow in terms of physique. But I can’t shake the loss of confidence the fear of having this kind of shape brings. Did you find yourself pulling back your hair to critique your head shape, looking at all angles and being disheartened, before taking the plunge and removing what was left?

    1. Hi there – thanks for your comment, I really appreciate guys being honest and opening up when it comes to discussing hair loss. Thanks for your kind words about the site, I really wanted this to be somewhere anyone suffering from hair loss could come for not only advice & inspiration but also ways to build self-confidence if they felt down or emotionally troubled by hair loss.
      Regarding your question, firstly sorry for the delay in replying, things have gone a little crazy here at TBG and I’m trying to get back to everyone. Secondly, head shape is a topic that we are going to look at in future posts. I think it’s really hard to distinguish what is classed as the ‘correct shaped head’, we are all very different and unique, our face and head shape changes over time and also reveals new areas we hadn’t noticed until we start to lose our hair! I think it’s this point we start to compare and contrast other head shapes and question our own. I remember when I started to noticeably lose my hair I would look at other guys my age and start to think, my forehead is too big, my neck looks too skinny, my eyebrows are in the wrong place on my face – all of these things were just my paranoid mind finding ways to make me feel even more concerned about my hair loss.
      I think it’s easy to be self-critical, easy to start comparing yourself to other people and questioning is your head the right shape, the hardest thing to do is learn to love what you see. No head shape is perfect, no hairstyle is perfect, look around you again and you’ll see many different shapes, sizes, lumps, bumps, scars, birthmarks and imperfections.
      However you think about perfection you’ll find there is no such thing, embrace your looks, keep your style and above all, everyone is different, everyone struggles with the way they look, from models to TV stars, you are no different you are just like the rest of us – perfect in your own way.

  2. I am 21 yrs old.It started when I was 19.It is hard for me ,I requested god to help me .Whenever I travel through train or metro’s I feel like people make hate faces when they see me like this ,It is funny I sometime pray god to help me atleast help me out till I am in college .I have become more focussed but at the moment I required to have confidence this hairfall burden came to me.How will I face people in corporate world.I don’t feel like living sometimes.

    1. Hey, I’ve been there and I totally understand your pain and worries. All I can say is it gets better, you will be fine, please read through some of our other articles about how to overcome the anxiety and build your confidence, if anything the corporate world is an easier place to build your confidence than high school/University. I really hope some of my/our words help you as you will overcome your confidence issues and look forward to the future.

  3. great article. The point to take fotos rings true. I remember avoiding photos but looking back there great memories! Thanks for the point!

  4. Guys
    It does get better. Take advice from a 71 year old man. I started losing my hair at the age of 19 when long hair was in fashion. I was distraught and without telling anyone including my parents at the age of 20 I went on my own from Ireland to London and used all my savings up to get a hair transplant which were then in the early stages of their development. Before the process was completed I developed an infection as a result of the incision and the process had to be abandoned . I was left with a HUGE scar down the right hand side of my head to my neck. I had to cope with all this trauma on my own while st the same time trying to work hard in a new job. At the age of 28, I shaved my head and it was the best thing I ever did, despite have the scar. I took to the gym and started working out. I also started wearing very smart suits for work and army gear and boots for leisure activity. One major advantage of having a shaved head at an early age is if you keep in good physical shape you appear never to age very much while your contemporaries have to cope in middle age with thinning hair and an expanded gut. If you are depressed about your hair loss please consider counseling. My one regret looking back, is the amount of time I wasted worrying about it and would people notice it. Shaving my head was a liberation.

  5. I really needed this. I’ve been depressed about it and wearing a hat for six years. Its time to feel good again. thank you

  6. Hi, thanks for the article! I’ve been struggling with thinning hair for almost 7-8years. I’m 29 now. And I just decided to shaved my hair completely. I thought it would be relieving, but in fact, it doesn’t. Honestly I think it’s not that bad. I have beard and good head shape. But the crown area where the hair is thinning, there’s only a few hair, so there’s ada different density on top and on the side. That’s what I don’t really like about it. I don’t feel good about myself and having a hard time these past few days. I’m also thinking to grow it back again, even though it’s thinning and I need to cover it up again. Any comments?

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. It really helped. My age is 23. It’s been 3 months since my hair fall started. I have got a patch too on my crown area. I was so depressed for 3 months. My depression was destroying my career, my focus and my confidence. My worst decision is that i started taking meds for baldness and for four months, it really did not help but it stopped hair fall. The major problem is that i just cannot take meds for my whole life. So, i stopped my medication and hair fall started again. I ask for help from my family, relatives. Asking for help was the best idea and it helped me. Your story too, I am actually feeling a confidence boost right now. Thank you again man.

    1. Hey Rajat
      Thanks so much for your comment and I’m glad your confidence is starting to come back. I created this site to help empower men like you to embrace their look and love the person you are.
      All the best and keep well

  8. Thank you very much for your tireless effort kudos to you.
    I have been depressed over 10yrs back about hair loss but now after going through your article I starts feeling my confidence maybe Will be back.and also sorry for poor grammar. I really need your advice to improve my self esteem, confidence.

  9. Thank you Paul. I have had thinning hair for a few years now and I am finally taking the plunge before the new year at the age of 27. I am both nervous and excited to stop worrying about what anybody behind me is thinking of the bald spot. This article helped a lot.

  10. Hello,

    I love your story! I’m 32. I’m into fashion & I feel stuck because I’m balding, I love fashion! I want to continue but I’m really sad & scared. I’ll take baby steps hopefully one day have your confidence.

  11. Reading this now as I summon the strength to see my friends after shaving my head.

    This article has helped, although I know there will be tough mental times ahead.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. It helps to know there’s others that are going through similar thoughts.

  12. You absolutely right, I lost my hair when I was 20 years old,& I tried to comb my hair in any style,but it didn’t workout,in my early years in sixties people don’t shave their
    Hair,but they wear wigs,& I couldn’t shave completely,then in nineties I start seeing ,people’s shaved for style,even younger people which they have full hair,from that time I shaved my hair all way,before I used wear hat ,not any more & I feel confident in my 78 years old .

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