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written by Sam Greenspan

Some people look better without their hair. Here are actors, politicians, singers and a wrestler who certainly qualify.

A few nights ago, I flipped over to Inside the NBA (I didn’t watch a full NBA game this year but do still enjoy the postgame show for background noise). My girlfriend pointed out that all three of the ex-players on the show (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaq) have shaved heads. And we decided it made sense — all three of them probably look better that way than they would with whatever’s left of their hair. Even though baldness is stigmatized, sometimes it actually works in people’s favor.

So… I put together this list of 11 famous people who actually look better now that they’re bald than they did back when they had hair. With photographic proof, naturally.

1 | Larry David

For someone who built about 40 percent of his comic persona around kvetching about his baldness… it did him a favor. No one should ever have hair that can best be described as “a worse version of Art Garfunkel’s.”

2 | Mikhail Gorbachev

Gorbachev without his visible head splotch just ain’t Gorbachev. And clearly his body knew it; even when he had hair it was trying to part itself to show his birthmark.

3 | Sinead O’Connor

She’s the only woman on this list, and the only one who made the transition from bald TO hair. It seems strange, since she’s at least as famous for her bald head as she is for her music. (Or her Pope photo tearing abilities.)

4 | Paul Shaffer

Somewhere under all that hair, both head and facial, you can see Paul Shaffer — but not the one any of us know. He was always meant to be bald, rocking sunglasses indoors and wearing a bedazzled jacket. (Side note: While researching him just now, I found out he co-wrote and -produced It’s Raining Men. Fascinating.)

5 | Jason Statham

What a good call he made in shaving it off. His entire ass-kicking persona would be completely betrayed by the “faux hair plug” look in the photo.

6 | James Carville

He seems a lot less venomous with that little tuft of hair on the top of his head. Like everything in life, this reminds me of The Simpsons — in this case when Homer’s coworkers refuse to listen to his speech because “Some nerve he has telling us how to run the plant, he doesn’t even have hair.”

7 | Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan should never have a full head of hair. He should be orange and bald on top, with a crown of long, stringy blonde hair flowing down from the sides. That’s how we’ve known him his entire career. He managed to lose the hair on the top of his head at least three decades ago but keep the rest — and in a reverse Samson situation, he rarely ever lost once that happened. That bald head defeated everyone from Paul Orndorff to Andre the Giant to Zeus.

8 | Howie Mandel

His career has been in a great place ever since he completely shaved his head. If only he’d shaved off his soul patch too, he’d be the king of the world.

9 | David Cross

It’s good that David Cross lost that wild mess of hair — his brand of humor fits particularly well into the “angry, short bald man” genre. But I am disappointed he lost that bowtie.

10 | Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner was known as one of the world’s handsomest men… but only after he was bald. Because with hair, he looks like someone who’d be cast as “FBI Agent #2” in a period piece about a glamorous starlet’s murder in the Hollywood Hills.

11 | Christopher Meloni

Elliott Stabler with that haircut? Maybe if they do Law & Order: ’70s San Francisco. Which would be like SVU, only with hilly car chases and Ice-T calling people “turkey.”