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Why does longer hair on top hide baldness?

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Many guys I've noticed, older time guys, if they were a NW Class 3 or 3V or even slight 4 would grow the hair on top very long and push it back, and it made them appear less bald then they actually were. Like if they had short hair on top, it'd look bad.


Take for example my grandfather. He is likely a NW 3V, with diffuse loss in the front as well. He grows his hair long on top and pushes it back and if you were to look at him from the front or sides you'd think he had a full head of hair.


Or look at Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson. Likely both Class III or 3V respectively, but their hair was so long on top that they didn't "appear" bald per se:






How does it work per se, growing it long on top makes it look fuller? I've noticed myself that since I cut my hair really short, people have (for the first time) noted that my hair looks like it's receding. Before I used to have it very long on top, down to my eyes.

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I don't think it's any different to the principles of comb-over except the examples above are 'comb-backs'.


Visible scalp equals bald appearance so you minimise what can be seen by growing the hair to lay over it.


I was a NW2/3 for years and definately looked better with medium length hair - the weight of the hair pushes the strands flat. When I would cut it short it would stick up and expose the scalp (very much like asian hair).

Edited by 1978matt

4,312 FUT grafts (7,676 hairs) with Ray Konior, MD - August 2013

1,145 FUE grafts (3,152 hairs) with Ray Konior, MD - August 2018

763 FUE grafts (2,094 hairs) with Ray Konior, MD - January 2020

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It's because the longer hair covers a larger area. That build up domino effect hides scalp.

My Hair Loss Website


Surgical Treatments:


Hair transplant 5-22-2013 with Dr. Paul Shapiro at Shapiro Medical Group

Total grafts transplanted: 3222

*536 singles *1651 doubles * 961 triples,

*74 quadruples.

Total hairs transplanted: 7017



Non-Surgical Treatments:


*1.25 mg finasteride daily

*Generic minoxidil foam 2x daily

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