Hair salons and hair care products continue to be a thriving industry. There’s a good reason for that. There’s no shortage of demand for thick, silky hair. We’re bombarded with hair ads every day. Hair technology is continually improving. Bet you didn’t even know what a blow dryer diffuser is until today.
Whether it’s extensions, coloring, styling, curling, straightening, anti-hairfall, anti-frizz, you name it – people will buy it to perfect how they look.
Looking at the science and the billion-dollar industry surrounding hair, there must be an explanation for it. One that justifies our natural tendency to look at hair as some life-changing, make-or-break asset.
According to psychology, the answer is simple. We judge a book by its cover, and the cover is most often a mop of locks.
Hair and First Impressions
According to this 2001 American study, people need only a few seconds to form an opinion about you based on your hair. That means, your hairstyle is a strong-enough basis to determine how outgoing, sexy, wealthy, poor, intelligent, or narrow-minded you are. And we’re just talking first impressions.
Hair, then, plays significantly into the human nature of positive self-presentation.
‘You might even say, projecting the right image depends on creating the hairstyle that’s right for you,’ said Diana Shaheen from North American Marketing Director for Physique, the group that commissioned the study.
This means with the right hairstyle or the right hair product, people feel they’re putting their best foot forward in meetings, job interviews, nights out with friends, or even their wedding day.
What Does Your Hairstyle Say About You?
The study confirms that no single style is good or bad for everyone, but their findings were able to link everyday hairstyles to shared personality traits.
For instance, ladies with short, tousled hairstyles are generally perceived as the most confident and outgoing. On the other hand, women with long, straight, and blond hair are seen as the sexiest and most affluent. While medium-length and causal hairstyles exude good nature and intelligence.
For men, short and front-flip hairstyles are seen as most confident and sexy. Think Brad Pritt and Hugh Jackman. Long-haired styles are perceived as the least smart and most careless but radiate good nature. Finally, men with side-parted, medium-length project intelligence and affluence.
Especially in the world of glamour and fashion, appearance is everything. American music producer LA Reid says success in the music industry takes a good amount of talent and personality, and you guessed it, hair. He even claims that hair is equally important as the chorus of the song.
Whether in music, Hollywood, or any setting that you find yourself in, hair plays a key role in opening up career and social opportunities. It’s up to you to express yourself with the hairstyle that brings out the best in you.
In the words of philosopher Alain de Botton, “We are using our hair to speak. We’re trying, through the syntax of colored protein filaments, to express key aspects of our soul – and to communicate some of the deepest truths about who we are.”