Medium-length casual-looking styles are judged as making women look more intelligent, a survey finds.
These styles are also linked to being good-natured.
Shorter, highlighted hairstyles on a woman make them look more outgoing and confident.
However, in one of those inevitable and irritating trade-offs, shorter hair is seen as less sexy on women.
The hairstyle that gives an intelligent sheen to a man was medium-length side-parted hair.
The bad news for men with these haircuts is that they were also seen as narrow-minded.
The sexiest hairstyle for a man was rated as short hair with a ‘front-flip’.
Actors Matt LeBlanc and Ben Affleck both often sport the front-flip.
The front-flip, however, was linked to being self-centred.
Some other findings from the survey:
- Long straight blond hair on women made them look sexier and richer, but also more narrow-minded.
- Men with shorter, highlighted hair were seen as confident and sexy, but also self-centred.
- Long hair on men is linked to lower intelligence but being good-natured.
As you can see, there was no one perfect hairstyle.
Many had a balance of positive and negative effects on people’s perceptions.
However, there were a couple of neutral hairstyles that did not seem to affect personality perceptions:
- Long, dark curly hair on women.
- Medium-length, centre-parted hair on men.
The results come from a survey in which people were shown pictures of the same man and women with varying haircuts — everything from long hair to bald.
Participants rated each photo on a number of different scales.
The survey was carried out by Professor Marianne LaFrance, who said:
“We wanted to learn whether the frame around the face — the hairstyle — can significantly alter how a person is seen.
We found that different hairstyles quickly lead others to ‘see’ different kinds of people.”
→ Try one of PsyBlog’s ebooks, all written by Dr Jeremy Dean:
The survey was commissioned by a hair care brand.