Prince William Shaves Hair: Four Men On Making The Tough Decision To Embrace Baldness

'I felt a boost in confidence and authority after it.'

Prince William’s decision to shave his head has become global news, despite the fact millions of men around the world are affected by male pattern baldness.

Whether you’re royalty or a regular guy, making the choice to go under the razor and embrace baldness can be tough.

But for some, the decision to ditch thinning locks can mark the start of a new era of body-confidence, with a badass look to suit.

In light of William’s new style, we spoke to four guys about their experience of hair loss and coming to terms with a new look.

Nick Chowdrey, 29: ‘I couldn’t bring myself to shave it.’

Nick Chowdrey

“I first started noticing I was losing my hair about the age of 19. I think I was in denial for a pretty long time about it and it took me a while to even accept it was happening,” Nick tells HuffPost UK.

“At such a young age it had a massive impact on my self esteem and I spent the next five years trying various remedies to reverse or cover it up, some of which I believe were seriously damaging to my mental health.”

Nick shaved his hair off in August 2015 after deciding it had gotten to the stage where “there was no use trying to cover it up”.

“I was using microfibers to conceal it, but when I went out to clubs or gigs I would sweat and they would start running down my face. The fact I was covering it up became more embarrassing than the hair loss itself,” he explains.

“It took two of my best female friends to convince me to finally do it. I couldn’t even bring myself to it - one of them had to shave my hair off for me.”

Despite his reservations, Nick felt he looked “loads better” after he’d stopped trying to hide his baldness.

“I got generally great feedback, which made me feel a lot better about it. I feel I gained a lot of respect from other men, especially other bald(ing) men, for shaving my head,” he says.

“I felt a boost in confidence and authority after it. I think it’s quite an imposing and serious look, but also I think there’s the appreciation that it takes balls to be a skinhead.”

Although he feels more confident bald than when he was balding, Nick said he sadly does “feel less attractive than when [he] had a full head of hair”.

“I don’t fit the stereotype of male beauty and I know that many women don’t find baldness attractive,” he says.

As a result, he's thinking about paying for micro pigmentation - when small pigments of colour are tattooed onto the head.

"I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but sadly this is the society we live in," he says.

Scott Hanton, 41: ‘I don’t think being bald matters.’

Scott Hanton

“I noticed I was losing my hair in my late twenties, but it was mild at first. My dad and uncle went bald early, so I suspected it was coming,” Scott tells HuffPost UK.

“Both my younger brothers were also bald by their mid twenties - it felt inevitable. My hair was crap and hard to style anyway.”

Scott chose to shave his head, before he lost his hair completely.

“The Prince William/Bill Bailey look is not good. I had it shaved it before going bald and it looked okay, so wasn’t worried,” he says.

“I got married at 35 and still had hair then as my wife wanted it for wedding pictures, but shaved it off soon after.”

Today, Scott doesn’t think being bald is a big deal.

“In normal life I don’t think being bald matters, other than prematurely ageing you a bit,” he says.

“I couldn’t care less about my hair loss, although I went bald later than some. I can certainly imagine very early balding, say early twenties, could be a bit heartbreaking.”

Scott also believes hair loss could be harder for men in the public eye.

“You don’t see many bald blokes on TV though,” he says.

“Johnny Vaughan has often stated it’s the reason he’s no longer on TV, and he may have a point.”

Scott Hadley, 29: ‘I found my desk littered with hair.’

Scott Hadley

“I first noticed I was losing my hair when I was 18 and on a trip to London with some school friends,” Scott tells HuffPost UK.

“It was the first time I’d been loose in the big city on my own and we were playing proper tourists, running around the city and taking photographs everywhere (probably to post on MySpace, this was pre -Facebook).

“In a photograph my friend took of me posing next to the road sign at the end of the Portobello Road, my hair blew back in the wind and a terrifying widow’s peak was revealed. It made me feel old when I was only just beginning to feel young.”

After continuing to lose his hair, Scott made the decision to shave his head when he was 26 years old.

“I’d just taken on a very stressful job and I found my desk littered with hair at the end of every day. I thought about it and decided I’d rather be bald than balding, so I took myself to a barbers and had them cut off my remaining beautiful locks,” he says.

Despite hair loss affecting men from all backgrounds, Scott believes people tend to have preconceived ideas about who bald men are.

“I think a lot of people presume young bald men have done it to look tough, more macho, more intimidating. I’m not very muscular or sporty, but the way people started responding to me after I shaved my head was to treat me as much more of a ‘bloke’ than they’d treated me before,” he says.

“I was more likely to have men start up conversations with me about laddish topics, and I’d often find people were a little intimidated by me, even though all I’d changed about my appearance was my hairstyle.”

Scott now “feels great” about his look, but acknowledges going for a complete head shave isn’t easy for everyone.

“I think shaving the head might be harder, more exposing, to men with weird shaped heads, but I think that’s not actually many people and that, to be honest, most men look better and feel more confident with a shaved head than with a scalp decorated with wisps of receding dust,” he says.

“I’ve embraced my bald head and become happier, more confident and a better person all round for doing so.”

David Costin, 46: ‘I shaved it straight away.’

David Costin

“I started to notice I was losing hair about the age of 25. It was a tough one to be honest as I knew it was coming -baldness is very much a feature in the men in my family but still found it hard to accept,” David tells HuffPost UK.

“I felt a little bit less confident and less attractive. All of my friends at the time still had their hair so it was difficult being the one without, especially in a period (1990s) when hair was a major thing.”

David decided to shave his hair “straight away” because it was thin and “easier to deal with when it was gone”. He says getting rid of his final strands “was a relief”.

“I don’t think that there is the taboo about baldness any more,” he says.

“When you see the likes of Jason Statham and David Beckham, who have both shaved their heads at some point, it has even progressed into a fashionable state now, which from a positive point of view, I have all the time.”

Today, David feels very positive about his appearance.

“I am in a fantastic relationship with a fiancée who is adamant that my hair stays short now,” he says.

“I tried to grow it once and it was dreadful! We have two kids and they were produced while I have had no hair. All of that might not have happened if I still had a full head of hair.

“I am very comfortable with it now and wouldn’t go back even if it was possible.”

James Corden

Male Body Image Heroes