Hair loss can have a pretty far-reaching impact on a man. Although it may not make total sense at times, it’s important not to ignore the facts. So, how exactly do you deal with a balding boyfriend?
Easing the transition from denial to acceptance is the best way of dealing with and supporting a balding boyfriend. This could involve reminding him you don’t care and eventually even gently joking around about it. Discussing options such as changing hairstyles can also be helpful.
Although that’s the gist, as a man with thinning hair I wanted to delve a whole lot deeper.
Let’s get to it.
15 Tips For Dealing With A Balding Boyfriend
Right from the start, it’s important to note that there definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting a balding loved one.
While some may respond to a certain tactic, others may be put off or even angered by it.
Consider this a guide to be used together with your own in-depth personal knowledge of your boyfriend. Figure out what he might respond to and what he might not respond to and give it your best shot.
1. Figure Out Whether He Wants To Talk About It
This is easier said than done.
There’s always a chance he may be waiting for you to mention his falling follicles so he can finally unload his woes.
If he himself makes the occasional comment about it to you, he probably does want to talk about it to some degree.
In which case, broach the subject (gently) and see where it takes you.
If, however, he never mentions it but is clearly conscious of it, there’s a good chance he may not want to talk about it at all.
It’s also quite likely that he won’t want to talk about it with you. Insecurities are amplified when it comes to your own partner. He may be fine with mentioning it to his friends or family.
He may even hope you haven’t noticed it yet. Fears over whether or not you’ll still find him attractive are probably at the front of his mind.
But don’t let this stop you.
You want to get to a stage where you are able to talk about it with him freely and openly. It’s just a case of treading more carefully.
2. Ease The Transition From Denial To Acceptance
It can be easy to fall into the trap of constant reassurance.
“No, you’re not balding – not even a little”.
“I honestly can’t see it”.
Although these comforting chirps are always good-intentioned, they can only ever be considered short-term relief.
Eventually, it’ll get to a point where the balding is so advanced that it’s downright impossible to keep up the charade.
At that point, he may even resent you for not being upfront with him.
Plus, you probably lost many opportunities to help him deal with the problem head-on.
Instead of feeding his denial, ease his transition from denial to acceptance. Because if he truly is losing hair, that acceptance will have to come eventually in any case.
The best thing you can do is speed up the process.
To do so, honesty is usually the best policy. Don’t be too harsh – take it easy on him. But do acknowledge the fact that some of that hair might be shedding so he can start the slow process of learning to embrace it.
The next tip should form part of that acknowledgment.
3. Remind Him That You Don’t Care
This assumes that you really don’t care. Considering you’re reading an article on how to support him, you probably don’t.
Although you may think it goes without saying, you’d be surprised.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a good chance his insecurities are going to be super-sensitive when it comes to your opinions.
The thoughts that can run through a man’s mind when he’s worried about what he perceives as a “loss of youth and masculinity” can be wild.
A lot of these thoughts may revolve around you and what you might do when you realize his hair going and then gone.
Once you get to that point where you feel it’s OK to start talking about his balding, telling him you don’t care should be one of the first things you say.
Say it out loud.
Don’t assume he knows it already. Even if he does, don’t underestimate the relief that hearing it out loud can have for some men.
4. Discourage The Quick Fix
There’s a reason hair loss is a billion-dollar industry.
It leverages their emotional despair.
If you find that your boyfriend has entered a spiraling vortex of research about the newest and shiniest balding solutions, try and pull him out of it.
For one, it can be a pretty expensive vortex to enter. In addition, results can definitely vary, even for the legitimate ones.
Unfortunately, this can be a difficult thing to handle. Men can become pretty obsessive about this research.
Instead of straight-up putting down his research, take the time to discuss it and express your concerns over these quick-fix solutions.
Ultimately, embracing baldness and transitioning into acceptance is the best fix. This will just form part of the journey.
5. Avoid Comparisons
It may feel tempting to remind your boyfriend of all the ridiculously handsome balding celebrities out there.
“So-and-so looks great and he’s bald.”
Although this is, once again, well-intentioned, most of the time it doesn’t really work and isn’t worth trying.
Well, for one, men don’t generally like their partners talking about other guys – so this route probably won’t help get any sort of point across.
Plus, he will most likely be quick to point out that his situation is somehow different, even if he doesn’t do so out loud.
“He looks great bald but I don’t have a bone structure or a body like he does”.
To sum that up, avoid comparisons with other bald or balding guys. Focus on him and his specific concerns.
6. Joke About It If And When Possible
This time may never come for some couples. You may be able to get to a point where you’re able to talk about his balding openly and comfortably – this alone is great.
But the ultimate form of acceptance is when a man is willing to joke about his balding in front of those he cares about.
If you’re able to get to this point, you really have done well.
It isn’t easy, especially if the guy is particularly sensitive about it at first. He may take offense.
But if you get to a point where you’re able to talk about it comfortably, test the waters by poking a little bit of fun at it.
Nothing too harsh and nothing mean-spirited. Just a taste.
If teasing doesn’t come naturally to you, avoid this tip and focus on the stuff you can pull off. But if you’re able to start the process of joking about it and get to a point where he actively makes fun of himself, you’re both winning.
7. Encourage Hobbies And Other Distractions
This may seem like trying to ignore or neglect the insecurities at hand, but it really isn’t.
One of the reasons some men focus so much on their balding is because they temporarily forget that there’s plenty more to life than a full head of hair.
During these periods of short-term obsession, it can be difficult to say this to him explicitly.
It’s usually better to remind him of it in other ways. Encourage other, non-hair-related hobbies – perhaps stuff you can do together.
Go on a few extra nights out or even a vacation.
Have fun – lots of it.
Ultimately, worries and obsessions do fade. Giving it time is important – sure. But even more important is what you do with that time.
Fill it with stuff that reminds him that there’s plenty of fun to be had out there, even as a balding man.
8. Compliment Other Physical Features
This one is a difficult balancing act.
The risk here is that you soothe a man’s ego to the point where he becomes reliant on your praise and assurances.
Nobody wants this.
The occasional compliment of other physical and non-hair-related attributes can work a treat sometimes.
But take it easy. Don’t do it too much, don’t force it, and don’t make it seem obvious. Only use them when it actually makes sense or fits.
It’s usually OK to use one as a response to when he makes a complaint or moan about his balding. But again, don’t make it seem too forced or too much like a reflex.
In general, spontaneous compliments usually work better.
9. Discourage Attempts At Hiding It
Hats, headbands, hoods – they could all come out of the woodwork and you may find it strange.
Although it may seem harmless enough, trying to hide balding with accessories is generally a step in the wrong direction.
What you want is a transition into acceptance and away from denial and cover-ups.
Gently discourage the use of these accessories if you think they’re actually being used as cover-ups and they’re not just genuine fashion choices.
This can also be tricky because a man looking to hide his balding or receding hairline like this is likely to be in a pretty sensitive phase.
It’s usually more helpful if you can offer an alternative. That’s where the next tip may come in handy.
10. Help Him Choose The Right Hairstyle
Although this may just seem like another form of “hiding it”, it’s generally a more positive form of it.
Choosing the right hairstyle can definitely make thinning hair or a receding hairline look less obvious.
It will vary depending on the actual distribution of hair. The best person to give you this opinion would be a trusted barber.
But hairstyles such as buzz cuts are great for thinning hair. Making the hair very short and even like this often makes thinning hair look less obvious.
Buzzing the hair short like this is a pretty liberating experience. It’s a great way of embracing the balding instead of simply trying to hide it.
Not everyone is going to be into this option – just know it is an option and there are going to be others out there.
For example, French Crops or Caesar Cuts where the hair flops forward into a neat fringe can make receding temples look less visible.
If a medium-length hairstyle such as this is preferred, it’s definitely one to consider.
Have a discussion with him. Maybe encourage him to have that first chat with his barber to ask him what style would be best.
11. Consider Proposing Shaving It All Off
OK – this definitely won’t be for everyone.
But ultimately, a lot of balding guys look a lot better with completely shaved heads compared with thinning patches here and there.
A lot of guys won’t even consider it at first. But once that hair starts to rapidly fade away, shaving starts to become appealing.
He may not be into it. There’s a pretty good chance you may not be into it either.
Yes, there are certain head shapes that suit a shaved head more than others. Do take this into account.
At the end of the day, knowing what options are available is important when helping and supporting your boyfriend through balding.
A fully shaved head is just another option that works for some.
12. Up His Style Game
If you’re into style or fashion yourself, this could be where you could really make an impact.
At the risk of contradicting tip #5 on this list, there are many outrageously well-dressed bald guys out there.
You could help your boyfriend become one of them (if he isn’t already).
Up his style game.
Dressing better can make a man feel a lot more confident in himself. It’ll also take some of his attention away from what’s on his head and direct it elsewhere – his wardrobe.
13. Work Out Together
Getting physically fit and built is another great way to direct attention away from balding.
The benefits of exercise don’t need to be elaborated on here.
To cut a long story short – bald and ripped will always look better than bald and not-so-ripped.
There are definitely some aesthetic benefits, but it’s also just a great way to make him feel more confident in himself and comfortable with his looks.
14. Bald And Bearded Is A Proven Concept
Bald or balding heads often go great with beards. If you could get into this, definitely consider suggesting it to him if he isn’t already bearded.
The main reason for this combination often being a winning one is that losing hair from the top of your head can make a head look rounder than it did before.
This is because you don’t have as much hair on your scalp to work with and add height with in the form of a quiff or a pomp, for instance.
But having a beard allows you to adjust the shape of the face from the bottom end instead. For example, goatees work well for men with round faces because they emphasize and add length to the chin.
This is yet another one of those options which some men just won’t be into. But it’s a proven concept and definitely one to consider if you think both of you could get into it.
15. Don’t Stress Too Much About It
This one is directed at you.
At the end of the day, it isn’t your job to hand-hold or stroke egos all day long. Sure, you should be supportive and sensitive.
But being upset over balding is, for the vast majority of men, a phase. It’s one they get over once they reach a stage of acceptance.
The quicker and smoother the transition into acceptance, the better. But it will eventually come.
I mean, how many 70-year-olds do you see stressed over balding? Not many at all, despite it potentially having been a big deal once those first strands started to fall all those years ago.
There’s a good chance that being in a long-term relationship already will allow your boyfriend to transition quicker than if he was single.
Try to ease that transition into acceptance if you’re able to by using the tips in this article.
But don’t stress too much about it. It’ll most likely come on its own in any case.
How To Tell Your Boyfriend He’s Balding
To tell your boyfriend he’s balding, be subtle and hint at it first to gauge his reaction. Avoid blunt comments and humor at first. Figuring out how much he cares will guide how you approach further conversations around the topic.
But this is going on the assumption that you really feel you need to tell him he’s balding in the first place.
There’s a good chance he already knows. But even if he doesn’t, what good would it do for him to be made aware of it sooner?
If you feel as though he’d resent you for not telling him sooner, then go for it. But it’s more likely that telling him sooner would just cause unnecessary stress if he’s someone that would actually care.
If you do feel the need to tell him, there really isn’t an easy way to do it.
Hinting at it and underplaying the extent of it is usually the best way to do it at first – although this isn’t the best long-term strategy.
Definitely avoid blunt comments and even joking around about it when first broaching the subject.
As I mentioned earlier, once you’re both comfortable talking about it openly, joking around about it is a great way to go.
But when first telling him he’s balding, be subtle and hint at it to gauge his reaction first.
Hopefully, this article has left you bursting with ideas and given you different approaches you could try out for yourself.
Again, consider it a guide and nothing more. The chances of all of these tips being relevant to your boyfriend are pretty slim.
But try out the ones you feel are worth trying out and take it from there.