Losing Your Mane? 9 Tips for Choosing Balding Haircuts

Man slicking his hair back

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Balding can be a rude awakening for men. It’s a reminder that your youthful days are over. It can alter your self-perception, forcing you to rethink your appearance and salvage your self-esteem as you face this reality. You may think it’s the end of an era, but it’s a new beginning. You can give yourself a balding haircut makeover and and rock the look.

Stages of Baldness

Knowing the androgenetic alopecia cycle can help you plan your look as it runs its course. According to the Hamilton-Norwood scale — the measure of the extensiveness of hair loss affecting half of all male quinquagenarians — there are the seven stages of male pattern baldness: 

  • Stage 1: The initial stage begins in adolescence. Some boys with full cranial hair may appear to have a broader forehead because of their hairline, but actual baldness comes later.

  • Stage 2: Seeing your brow’s uncovered area expand signals the start of hair loss. About one in four men experience this before becoming an adult. Your frontal hairline may recede by approximately 4/5 of an inch, and you may also observe slight evidence of alopecia at the top of your skull.

  • Stage 3: Noticeable vertex balding characterizes this stage. More of your temples’ scalp will be visible if you experience fast frontal recession.

  • Stage 5: The band of hair connecting two sides of your head thins. 

  • Stage 6: You enter this stage when you lose all your hair on the crown. Your vertex resembles a bay, shaping the remainder on the sides and the back.

  • Stage 7: The last stage of baldness progression leaves your pate completely bare, while the back and sides stay hairy in varying thickness and density.

Tips on Choosing Balding Haircuts

No one haircut is suitable for men at different stages of alopecia. The hairdo you should consider depends on your hair loss severity, intention and your attitude toward your situation. Follow the tips relevant to your case to look and feel good in your balding days.

Widespread Thinning


Thinning hair is arguably the least confidence-shaking kind of baldness. How thin is it? Is it obvious? How do you feel about it? Answering these questions will help you realize which of these three grooming paths you should take.

1. Go for a Textured Cut

A textured head of hair involves snipping off the more voluminous sections to make the thinner ones less prominent. This trick will create an illusion of fuller strands, allowing your hair loss to progress without anyone noticing.

2. Get Everything Razored

Cutting your hair uniformly can mask your bald spots. How short should you go? Attach a guide comb #4 to your clipper to reduce the length of your strands to half an inch if you have a round face. Use a guard comb #3 to cut your locks to 3/8 inches if your face’s shape is square, diamond or oblong to soften your facial features.

3. Shave Every Last Strand

Ready to cut your hair off and embrace your baldness? Use a clipper with a #1 or #2 guard to shave your strands down to 1/4 or 1/8 inches. It’s one of those balding haircuts that will dramatically change your look if you have a mop of hair. People will note the difference but appreciate the character your shaven head lends to your appearance.

Receding Hairline


Is your hairline getting higher? Choose from four haircut options to control the narrative. Make the conversation about your fresh look instead of your ongoing hair loss.

4. Crop the Sides and Back

Shorter hair on the sides and nape can camouflage alopecia. Trim all hair below the rim of your head with a clipper with either a #4 or #3 guard to deemphasize your receding hairline. Equip your clipper with a longer attachment to shorten the hair-covered area above. Lift your hair at the top of your head with your fingers and run your electric razor over it to your desired length.

5. Do a Buzz Cut

Going with a buzz cut is dealing with hairline recession in style. You can still have a thick head of hair, and the short length will render the sight of your expanded forehead less prominent. Using a trimmer or a manual razor, do a shape-up to shave off the rough edges along your natural hairline and have cleaner brow contours.

6. Add a Slash

Want to look badass while going through the second stage of baldness? Embellishing your hairstyle with one or two razor slashes on one side will draw attention away from your receding hairline and give your head a new center of attraction.

7. Flatten the Top

The flat top neutralizes balding temples. A hairy crown will make clean-shaven sides inconspicuous. Unlike buzz cuts, this haircut has flair because of its slightly longer front area.

Hairless Crown

Are you starting to look like a Buddhist monk? You have two options to go about it.

8. Own It

Nothing exudes more confidence than a man comfortable sporting the power donut. Think of Jack Nicholson, Larry David, Sean Connery and Ed Harris. These men are the epitome of “bald is bold.” They walk with an aura of unassailability, facing the world unbothered by their naked scalp.

Donning the power donut is a sign of acceptance, not a white flag. It’s your way of telling everyone that you embrace the new you and broadcasting that you have a positive body image.

Not resisting the will of nature differs from leaving your cranium’s remaining hirsute parts unkempt. Only a few men can pull off Albert Einstein’s hairdo and look fantastic, so keep your hair from overgrowing to appear neat.

9. Go Full Clean-Shaven


Shave your entire head if most balding haircuts are off the table. Having a chrome dome will eliminate your bare scalp areas and boost your attractiveness, making you appear more masculine, dominant, intelligent and successful. Compare before-and-after photos of Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel and see which versions of them look more manly. Billionaire Jeff Bezos looks the part because of his bald head.

Maintain an impressive beard if you have soft facial features. Only some have the genes to grow thick facial hair without patches, so consider using products if you have gaps to fill in.

Make Hair Loss Your Gain by Embracing Balding Haircuts

Going thin on the top is a natural phenomenon. Regardless of how it makes you feel, embrace it. Considering the positive effects of many haircuts for balding guys, losing your mane may be a blessing in disguise.