On Aging Gracefully
Dan Ariely Blog
By Dan Ariely
November 17, 2012
Somewhat recently I’ve noticed that I’m losing a bit of hair. I say somewhat recently because as many of us do with discoveries of this nature, we put off fully accepting them for as long as possible. (In fact, not long ago, I spent several months with bad vision because I wanted to delay getting glasses until after I turned 45.)
I’ve been asking people’s advice about my hair situation, and many tell me to conceal the change for as long as possible until baldness, should it come to that, becomes inevitable. This seemed reasonable enough, but then I came across a study that suggested the opposite might be a better idea. The study showed that men with shaved heads are thought to be more dominant than men of similar stature and looks with full heads of hair. In fact, when people viewed photos of men whose hair had been digitally shaved, they reported that the men were taller, stronger, and more dominant than the unaltered photos where the men had hair. While I don’t think I’m ready to shave my head just yet, I’m sure I wouldn’t mind the extra height, imaginary or not.
The moral of the story is that we should always question prevailing opinion. And maybe it’s best to think of aging as Mark Twain did: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
One thing is certain though: never, ever attempt a comb-over.
(c) Dan Ariely Blog