Many women are unreasonably rigid about men’s height. Statements like ‘I’d never date a short guy’ or ‘he’s cute but… he is short, so no, 6ft and above only ’ are common among women.
Today’s society equates a man’s height with power and masculinity, therefore, making taller men more attractive than their shorter brothers.
Hair is another aspect women tend to get hung up on. A bald or balding man is generally dismissed as old with diminishing virility and masculinity. Put the two traits together and it is no surprise that a young, short, and balding man would be worried that his dating life has ended.
In this article, I tell you about my own experience as a short man who dealt with hair loss quite early in life; and the ensuing insecurities I struggled with. That is before I discovered that there are lots of ways to package myself and be attractive to the opposite sex despite these ‘shortcomings’ (pun intended!)
My Youthful Years
Whether you are going through your youthful years right now or went through them ages ago; you know that approaching a beautiful woman with the intention of initiating a romantic relationship can be nerve-wracking.
Imagine a young man in his early twenties. Like many others his age, trying to navigate the complex world of dating. Unlike his peers struggling to deal with insecurities around that unignorable characteristic of height. Yes, a short young man trying to find his way through the dating world. That is the story of my young adult life.
How short is short?
You see the average height of an adult male in America is about 5 feet 9 inches. In the UK, men are generally slightly taller with the average man standing at 5 feet 10 inches.
At 5 feet 7 inches, I fall squarely in the category of vertically challenged men. If you are of average height, it may seem like an insignificant factor. However, many short men can attest that discrimination based on height is real; and it can be terribly disheartening.
Dating Sites and Short Men
Dating sites seem to make the discrimination worse. Many women using dating sites like Tinder, Bumble, or Match admit that they would not swipe in favor of a man shorter than themselves. Mike, a 31-year-old who stands at 5 feet 6 inches reveals that he goes back and forth with revealing his height in his profile. It is clear that he has more success with potential suitors when he doesn’t include this detail.
Damned if I do…
In fact, some short men have opted to give up on online matchmaking altogether. They say they have better chances of finding love through physical meetings. Here is why.
Top dating applications encourage users to include their height in their profile. But as a short guy, I am damned if I do and dammed if I don’t. If I include it, I am sure of lots of ‘left’ reject swipes from women because they are so hung up on this detail. If I choose to be dishonest about it and end up on a date, I can’t blame her for wondering what else I lied about. It just wouldn’t be a great way to start a potential relationship.
On the other hand, if I meet and hit it off with someone in person, they can see that I am not 6ft 2. It is unlikely to be an issue later.
Then Comes Hair Loss
We all know a few men who sport that characteristic horse-shoe look brought about by age-related hair loss. It was always something I associated with elderly men. Men way older than myself.
But that was about to change…
Although I didn’t admit it to myself for a while, I started losing hair in my early twenties. By my late twenties, it was clear that my best hair days were behind me.
So there I was, a young short man trying to steady himself in the dating world, but carrying the weight of not one but two confidence-sapping aspects.
I felt that Mother Nature had dealt me a double dose of deficiency.
Not to mention that mine was significant hair loss in my twenties when the majority of men deal with gradual hair loss well into their forties and later.
Taking a Bold Step
It is amazing how we can subconsciously carry our insecurities for years and years, not realizing just how much damage they cause.
I dragged my hair loss-induced anxiety along for years. Before long I knew my way around all sorts of hair fibers and hair sprays which I used to create the illusion of thick healthy hair. My wardrobe increasingly featured a wide range of hats that served as convenient solutions for a quick fix.
It was not until my early thirties that I finally decided to tackle my hair loss head-on. I took a bold step. I shaved my hair and walked into one of the UK’s best scalp micropigmentation clinics.
This was perhaps the best decision I ever made.
The light bulb moment
Can you recall a moment when the solution to a long-standing problem finally dawned on you? My light bulb moment in relation to height and hair loss-induced insecurities was when I finally linked it all to my confidence and self-esteem.
The one thing both these so-called flaws do is kill your confidence. It only follows that the best way to tackle them is to find ways to restore lost confidence.
Here are a few strategies I employed to restore my confidence and rebuild a positive self-image. They include hair loss solutions, a revamped wardrobe, and improved finances.
Restoring my Confidence
Hair loss solutions
I opted for scalp micropigmentation. This is a non-surgical treatment in which a professional technician applies pigments on the scalp similar to tattooing. It results in a signature short buzz cut look with the minute dots resembling stubble left after a visit to the barbershop.
You could choose from various other hair loss solutions depending on your budget. Hair systems, for instance, serve as temporary solutions which can transform your look without heavy financial commitment.
If you prefer to go all out you could opt for hair transplantation. This is a pricey surgical procedure in which surgeons harvest healthy hair follicles from the back of the head and implant them in balding parts of the scalp.
There is also the option of laser therapy which works by stimulating the scalp and hair follicles to encourage hair growth. Then there are hair loss medications such as minoxidil and finasteride.
Whether your chosen solution works by merely creating the impression of a full head of hair or actually restoring hair growth, it will help you regain lost confidence in no time.
They say that if you look good you feel good about yourself. When you feel good, you exude a confidence that women cannot resist. One of the best ways to look good is to up your game in terms of fashion. This was one of my most valuable strategies.
I made the decision to invest in well-fitting, flattering clothes in which I look great. Clothes that bring out my positive features and give me that swing in my step.
I started by doing some research. Just because a smart-looking pair of pants look good on the male model, doesn’t mean it will look good on me. I went out in search of clothes to flatter my short frame and compliment my bare scalp. Yes, there are clothes to compliment a bare scalp.
I now know better than to throw on the first shirt and pair of trousers I come across after my morning shower. There is value in putting some thought into what I wear. For starters, I have learned to avoid loosely fitting clothes.
These are ideal for both short men and balding gents. Puffy clothing – both shirts and trousers make you appear shorter. Slim fits also compliment a bald man whose upper body appears bigger.
Bright colors and similar shades
As a short, balding man I am advised to pay extra attention to the colors of shirts. To compliment my short frame, it is best to have the color up top and mix it with bottoms of similar shades because less color contrast makes me appear taller.
It is also essential to consider skin color when selecting shirt colors. Ordinarily, it is the hair on a man’s head that provides color contrast. In the absence of hair, it is the skin color of the scalp that should be complimented by your shirt.
Men with light skin tones do best with dark-colored shirts. Those with darker skin do best with brighter-colored shirts.
Accessories are a great way to compliment any look. For a short balding man, choose upper body accessories like watches and chains as these call attention to your larger torso, an illusion created by a bare scalp.
However, be sure to choose accessories that are proportional to your body size. A large watch on a slim wrist will not work in your favor. Large or long chunky chains are also to be avoided as they make you look shorter.
How do finances help restore confidence? You are probably also wondering how finances can help improve your dating life. Well, let’s start with the fact that we all feel better about ourselves when we are doing well financially. At least I know I do. It is an instant confidence booster.
When it comes to the dating scene, the truth is that financial status matters a whole lot. Most women want to date men who can afford to give them the best the world has to offer. Like height, financial muscle is definitely a factor to be considered before swiping in favor of a potential partner.
Strive to compensate
According to popular author and former philosopher Eric Barker, men who are ‘deficient’ in one status category can effectively compensate if they are high in another. He suggests that a short balding man can be just as attractive as a lanky 6-foot 2-inch guy if he makes significantly more money.
However, the jury is still out on a ratio or some sort of measure. We still have not worked out just how much more a shorter balding guy would need to make in order to match up to his taller brother in the eyes of today’s woman.
You don’t have to disclose your bank balance to a potential partner or anything like that. I am talking about the lifestyle you exude, your ambition, and your general demeanor. These have a way of betraying your financial status. If you are well off or at least comfortable, the girls will take a second look even if her other options are much taller.
Hit the Gym
Getting in shape brings all the commonly mentioned benefits such as improved muscle strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength, and improved energy levels. In addition, it could also significantly improve your dating life despite being on the shorter side.
Research shows that wide shoulders, a V-shaped torso, and a narrow waist are some of the traits women find most attractive in men. Needless to say, these are features earned from regular workout sessions.
Considering that 1 in 3 men is overweight, a well-toned man with an appealing physique instantly stands out from the crowd regardless of his height.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? If you don’t see an attractive, lovable gentleman then you need to work on your self-image. A positive self-image and the confidence that comes with it is perhaps the most essential part of the confidence restoration journey.
Rid yourself of the Napoleon complex
The Napoleon complex explains that anger and bitterness which often spews out of short men. I have been called all sorts of names and people joke about my height. Add to that a balding head when my peers were complaining about having to make weekly visits to the barber.
It is easy to let the frustration simmer, but that only makes me a bitter person, and in turn, makes me less attractive to potential partners. No one likes to be around a bitter, angry person.
How did I make sure I didn’t go down this road? I started by realizing and genuinely believing that neither height nor hair loss is a defect. We all have multiple imperfections. Mine are height and hair (or lack of it) and the next guy’s imperfections are something else.
Recognize what women want
Recognizing what women want and meeting that need was another crucial part of my dating journey. I finally realized that a woman’s attraction has little to do with looks and more to do with how I make her feel. Yes, looks do matter because that is what makes sure she doesn’t dismiss me at first glance.
After that, it comes down to my presence. Here is what I mean by ‘presence’
Many of us don’t realize it but we rarely pay full attention to the other person in conversation. We are constantly distracted by our thoughts or the things around us. Learning to give a potential partner my undivided attention bore amazing results.
Undivided attention makes her feel like she is the most fascinating person in the world. It gives me a rare charisma. Add to this strong, intentional eye contact.
Putting all these to practice effectively turned me into a magnet.
It is hard enough to navigate today’s dating world. Doing so with one or more shortcomings can be daunting. The harsh reality is life isn’t always fair. You’ve got to learn to deal with the cards you’ve been dealt.
There are lots of ways you can reinvent yourself to restore your confidence and make you far more attractive than you ever imagined you could be.
Improving on basic aspects such as your wardrobe can work wonders. Being financially comfortable also contributes a great deal since it boosts confidence, and women prefer men who won’t struggle to spoil them.
So is your dating life over because you are a short balding man?
Not in the least. I dare say that for any short balding man who heeds this advice and puts these strategies into practice… you are about to step into a new and vibrant phase of your dating life.