When your hair starts to thin you can try to hold onto it as much as possible with products like Rogaine, or you can accept nature’s course, and embrace your baldness with confidence. Even if going the former route, your hair will still be thinner than it once was, and you’ll likely need to start sporting a different — more flattering — haircut than your old go-to style. And if you’re letting yourself go bald, you’ll definitely need to change up your haircut style (inasmuch as there’s much left to cut).
Here’s how to style your hair now that you have less of it.
The General Rule. Keep your hair short. Short hair minimizes the appearance of balding and also gives your hair some lift which makes it look like you have more of it. Some guys don’t believe this and try to hold onto to their old styles. But if you’ve ever seen a guy with a big curly fro and a bald spot at his crown, you’ve seen how longer hair simply makes bald spots more conspicuous. So go short.
With this general rule, you can rock several hairstyles with confidence.
Clean shaven. The completely bald look is a great option for men who have very large bald spots that cover a good portion of their heads. The clean shaven look has a host of benefits. For starters, you free yourself from the tyranny of ever having to style your hair again. And you can wash your chrome dome with the same bar of soap you use on your body. On top of that, shaving your head definitely makes a statement. It shows the world you’ve accepted your hair loss and decided, “The hell with it! I am who I am.” Finally, a clean shaven head can become your signature look, one that makes you unforgettable to the people you meet. Everyone remembers the guy with the completely bald head: Seth Godin. Jesse Ventura. Patrick Stewart. Mr. Clean. You get the idea.
Buzz cut. If the clean shaven look is too severe or you don’t feel like you’re someone who could pull it off, but you still want something simple and sleek, the buzz cut is a great option. The buzz cut is an especially good way to go if your hair is starting to thin on your crown or near your hairline. The buzz cut gives you a clean, yet edgy look that will make the ladies swoon and will prevent some dude from pulling your hair when you attend your next Fight Club meeting.
Short Caesar cut. Inspired by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar and made famous by George Clooney, the Caesar cut is a stylish way to conceal a receding hairline and a thinning top. The bangs are cut with a horizontal fringe and styled forward.
Shaggy layers. If you’re just starting to thin, but aren’t ready to go super short, compromise with some light, shaggy layers. Ask your barber to cut the top of your hair in uneven layers. When you’re styling it, just kind of tussle your hair around. It will give you a sort of endearing disheveled look that hides your thinning hair.
The Roger Sterling. Want to get that dapper “Mad Men” look? Try the hairstyle of Roger Sterling. It’s a great ‘do for men who have a receding hairline, but still have some hair on top. Get it cut short on the top, but leave it long enough so that you can comb a part on the side of your head. Sides are tight. Make sure the barber tapers the sides so they blend in nicely with the top.
The Power Donut. Instead of keeping your remaining hair close to your head, you can just say, “screw it,” and let it grow out au naturel. GQ calls this ring of hair the “Power Donut.” What’s nice about the Power Donut is that it doesn’t require much work except for an occasional trim so you avoid growing a skullet. Sean Connery, Gerald Ford, and Larry David are examples of men who rock the Power Donut. There’s something admirable about a man who doesn’t worry about adjusting his hairstyle just because he’s balding and hasn’t jumped on the buzz cut bandwagon. He just keeps doing the same hair routine he’s been doing his entire life, except he doesn’t have to spend as much time on top. Just let nature run its course and spend time worrying about other stuff.
Grow facial hair. A lot of celebrities with thinning hair rock some sort of facial hair. The facial hair directs attention from your balding head to your face. Mustaches and goatees work best, but a full beard can work for some dudes too — you just need the swagger to pull it off.
Never under any circumstances should you attempt the comb-over. No matter what style you go with, never, ever use a comb-over. Oh, and for the love of Pete, do not fall under the delusion that having a ponytail in the back will compensate for baldness on top. Hair math just doesn’t work that way.
If you’re not sure which way to go, just ask your barber for some advice the next time you’re in for a haircut. There’s no need to be embarrassed to talk to him about it. Think of your barber like your doctor; he’s seen this stuff a thousand times before.