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What do employers usually think about bald employees? I'm thinking about shaving my head because I have recently been converted to Buddhism, but if it will significantly hurt my chances at getting a job, it may not be worth it.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by jmac, RWY, ChrisF, bethlakshmi, JeffO Mar 19 at 16:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
There are lots of bald people and people with shaved heads. Many people get there eventually. The only problem is if you worry or are self conscious about it. If you don't worry about it, then no one else will. Like everyone else, you may get the occasional "You're Shaun again". Just smile and move on. –  cup Mar 16 at 16:28
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"Shaving my head because I have recently been converted to Buddhism" is a non sequitur, but to go into why would be fairly OT on this site. I think you should reconsider though. It sounds like you do not have a background in any particular Buddhist cultural context and are mixing ideas about conversion with becoming a monk. –  R.. Mar 16 at 16:51
    
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If you were female there would be more eyebrows raised for sure. –  user13107 Mar 17 at 4:07
    
It does sound like you're coming from desire and ego, not Buddhism. In that sense, it's not the shaved head that will be the problem, it's your need for approval that could be. –  Stephan Branczyk Jul 10 at 22:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

I think that most employers these days regard being well groomed in whatever style you choose to wear your hair as more important than the style itself, so for someone who was going bald anyway, a properly shaven head may actually be the better choice anyway.

If you're otherwise well presented and behave in a professional manner then I seriously doubt that the majority of employers would even notice a shaven head as anything worth commenting on.

If anyone does ask then explain its connected to your personal faith and beliefs. I think that most employers would certainly stop objecting at this point and I'm assuming that if they didn't accept this then you wouldn't want to work for them anyway.

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I was kind of worried when I switched to a Grade 1 shave - but, actually, there are a lot of professionals out there with totally bald (Picard style) or shaved heads. It's just not that unusual now. It's one of those changes that people who know you now will comment on, but nobody else ever will. –  Dan Mar 16 at 10:59
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Do you base this answer on the assumption that the shaved person is male, or do you believe that employers won't react negatively if they have a female shaved employee? If the second, could you expand the evidence? In my experience, shaved women are unusual enough to get regarded as "weird", which might reduce the actual chance of employment. (I understand that it seems plausible to write an answer geared towards men when the OP's nick is "George", but a fuller answer is still nicer). –  rumtscho Mar 16 at 19:11
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The only issue I'd have with being bald is if you have tear drop tattoos on your face with a felony history. In that case the baldness would pretty much ruin your chances to top it off. –  Michael Calkins Mar 16 at 21:06
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@rumtscho It's heavily implied the OP is male - George is a common male name, female Buddhists aren't known for being bald and I think a woman would mention it given how rare bald women are in nearly every society. I'd argue a girl choosing to go bald is a very different question with some extremely complex answers. –  Dan Mar 17 at 7:14
    
What @dan said. It shouldn't be this way but I'd suggest that a female choosing to go bald is a full question in its own right. –  RobM Mar 17 at 8:18

A recent study, "Shorn Scalps and Perceptions of Male Dominance", by Albert Mannes, PhD., has shown, that bald men are perceived as more dominant and assertive at first impression, but also as less attractive. Whether or not this will improve or reduce your chance of getting a job depends on what kind of person the company is looking for.

In Study 1, men with shaved heads were rated as more dominant than similar men with full heads of hair. In Study 2, men whose hair was digitally removed were perceived as more dominant, taller, and stronger than their authentic selves. Study 3 extends these results with nonphotographic stimuli and demonstrates how men experiencing natural hair loss may improve their interpersonal standing by shaving.

But remember that a good interviewer will not pay attention to your look but only to your competence and personality (unless it is a representative job). In short, this shouldn't hurt your chances.

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Hey Philipp, thanks for linking the study, but could you edit your question to add an answer to the question being asked as well? Based on the study, how will that affect his employment chances? –  jmac Mar 16 at 23:53
    
@jmac I think I answered the question: It depends on the job and on what kind of person they are looking for. –  Philipp Mar 17 at 0:09
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Hi Philip, great answer. Adding citations to answers definitely helps give your post a ton of credibility. as we know you've researched the issue more thoroughly. It also gives folks more to read if they want to dig deeper. With that said, there's an implied message that you believe this won't hurt the asker's chances. I edited to make that a little more direct (as well as to pull in some of the text from the link). Hope this helps. –  jmort253 Mar 19 at 0:58

It rather depends on where you will be working.

If you're going for a job in a call centre, I doubt they'll care if you have tattoos all over your face and only wear hot-pants. If, however, you're going to be interacting with customers, it may make a difference.

In most civilised countries, it is illegal to discriminate against a person due to their professed or apparent faith. Nor should they discriminate due to perceived medical conditions (they may think your baldness a result of, say, cancer treatment).

Before interviewing for a role, try to visit the office and see how people dress and, just as importantly, see how their clients dress. Most professional roles won't care about your hair-style, but may be reluctant to put you in front of customers.

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While you're correct, I think there's a big difference between someone who accessorises a shaved head with 'tattoos all over your face' and someone who simply has a shaved head, and is otherwise suitably professionally turned out, which is how I interpreted the question. Also, I really do think that shaved heads are more common these days. I think that most people who think about the OP's shaved head at all will simply think "Oh, he took the low-maintenance approach to hair styling" before they start thinking "cancer treatment" or "religious requirement" or "skinhead". –  RobM Mar 16 at 13:52

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