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.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The survey was commissioned by a hair care brand.