Background Baldness has significant negative psychosocial effects. It has been asserted that the negative effects of baldness are often trivialized by the nonbald. Most studies concerning the perception of baldness have focused on the perceptions of the bald by themselves. In this study, we assessed the perception of baldness by the nonbald in Korea.
Method A questionnaire on the perception of balding men was answered by 130 women (age range 15–58 years), 90 nonbalding men (age range 18–72 years) and 30 balding men (age range 20–63 years).
Results Balding men were perceived as being older and less attractive by over 90% of respondents. A perception that balding men are less confident, duller, and less potent was reported by less than half of respondents. A perception that balding men are less attractive was significantly more common among women than among nonbalding men (P < 0.05). A perception that balding men appear less confident was significantly more common among balding men than among nonbalding men (P < 0.05).
Conclusion In this study of Koreans, the perception of balding men by others was similar to the perception of balding men by themselves. It is likely that androgenetic alopecia adversely influences social interactions of those who are subject to it.