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What is Hatfishing?! 3 Signs of a Hatfish

Online dating brings a lot of opportunity, but with great things come negative aspects. This commonly includes lying or hiding aspects about yourself online, whether through images or your profile.

You may have heard Catfishing, but what the heck is Hatfishing? The term “hatfish” is one of several new terms derived from online dating culture, and has become a popular term among young single people today using online dating apps.

In this article we review what Hatfishing is, and what you should know.

What is “Hatfishing”?

Hatfishing is a term that means someone wearing a hat or other hair accessories to cover up their balding, receding hairlines, or thinning hair to seem more attractive on social media and dating sites.

The term stems from the popularized internet slang “catfishing” which is used to describe someone who hides their true identity online by using fake profile photos and information for the sake of appearing more popular or attractive to others.

We have seen this trend start to increase. Research done in the UK in 2020 indicates 16% of people who have thinning hair or are balding have used a hat to try and conceal their hair on dating apps and social media.

Hatfishing is generally used in a negative connotation, because people who encounter a hatfisher onlines often feel lied to about who they are and what they really look like. You might see people express their frustrations with hatfishers or even warn others about well-known hatfishers on social media platforms.

If you’ve been hatfished or are curious if your date might be hatfishing you, keep reading to find out how to navigate this often tricky playing field!

Is Your Date a “Hatfish”?

If you’re reading this, you’re likely wondering if your date is a hatfish. Maybe you met online and have been chatting back and forth for a while, but haven’t planned to meet in person yet. Maybe they wear a lot of hats or wigs in the photos on their dating profile, and you’re curious if this is something to watch out for.

There’s a high chance that your date might genuinely prefer wearing hats over not wearing hats. Maybe they like to wear wigs to make a statement with their outfit choices. Maybe they’re really proud of a hat collection they’ve curated over the years, you never know! That being said, here are 3 signs of a hatfish to look out for.

3 Tell-Tale Signs of Hatfishing

There’s a few ways to tell if your date is a classic case of a hatfisher.

1. They Wear a Hat or Wig In Every Photo
If your date wears a hat, wig, or other hair accessory in every single photo on their dating profile, there’s a high chance they’re insecure about their head of hair.

They might be unaware that they’re doing this, so it’s always worth it to check out their other social media accounts to verify your suspicion. If they always have a head covering on their social media pictures, it’s safe to say they’re hatfishing you.

2. They Refuse To Take Their Hat Off In Public
If your date purposely doesn’t take their hat off while out in public, it may be a sign of a hatfish. Notice if your date takes their hat off on your dates, especially when in public. If they refuse to take it off, the chances are very high that they are trying to hide their hair line.

3. They Don’t Have Many Recent Photos
Does your date only use photos from years past? The lack of recent photos could be because their hair thinning or balding is getting worse with time. It’s completely valid to ask your date for a more recent photo, especially when you’re still getting to know each other. After all, you want to see who you’re really talking to!

What to do if You’ve Been Hatfished

If you find out that your date hatfished you, don’t panic. There are a plethora of reasons why they might have concealed their hair from you.

Plan An Activity That Requires Him To Take Off His Hat
There’s nothing wrong with asking, however, if it’s too awkward to ask, there are less direct ways of finding out if you’re dating a hatfish. Consider planning a date with outdoor activities involved like swimming. Another idea is to also ask him to a formal date, for instance, a restaurant with a formal dress code.

Find Out Why He’s Hatfishing
It’s always best to ask your date why they chose to conceal the real version of themself to you. Maybe they were insecure, maybe they were trying to impress you. After all, we don’t know what someone might be going through until we ask. Try to withhold anger, disappointment, and judgment until you hear them out.

Hair has been associated with beauty since the beginning of time, especially for women. Lots of people take pride in their locks, so it can be really devastating to find out that they’re balding. Men, in particular, struggle with hair loss and mental health issues.

Is It Worth Continuing The Relationship?
Despite misleading you about being bald, there could be other redeeming qualities of this person. In many cases, whether the hatfish was intentional or not, men may hide the fact they are balding to win their dates over with their personality or other redeeming qualities.

Everyone has insecurities, which is why understanding the motivation for hatfishing is so important. At a certain point, you should see the entire picture of who this person is and whether the relationship is worth continuing.

For Guys

If you are a young guy experiencing hair loss in your 20s or 30s relying on photos with hats on, or older, misleading photos of when you had more hair, you should address this.

There are other options instead of hatfishing in a dating profile:

  • Rocking the bald look – shave your head and grow a beard
  • Hire a professional photographer – there are even dating app photographers you can hire to shoot great-looking headshots to use for your profile.
  • Fill out your dating profile to highlight your interests, sense of humor, and personality
  • Consider a hair transplant – it’s a big decision, but with financing plans, they can be more affordable

Closing Out: Hatfishing

People suffering from baldness might not always know the best ways to talk about it with new people, and therefore turn to hatfishing. Whether in real life, a dating app, or online dating, with so many people interacting with you, it’s not always easy to accept hair loss.

So, what if someone has baldness under a hat? What are they to do? If traditional methods of hair regrowth haven’t worked for them, there are other options. Consider scheduling a consultation with us at Natural Transplants Hair Restoration Clinic to learn more about our services. We have clinics in South Florida and Washington DC areas and offer travel incentives for our patients.