Impressions and Hair Impressions Study
the world of beauty, hair serves much the same role
as does a frame-it surrounds the picture, or face,
and has the potential of illuminating desirable
features, downplaying less-than-desirable ones and
creating balance and symmetry. Just as a frame should
be chosen to compliment the face it surrounds.
A person's face is one of the first things that
a person notices about someone else. Now, there
is data that indicates that they see more than the
face itself. Hair not only frames the face it appears
to substantially transform it.
Dr. Marianne LaFrance
Dr. Marianne LaFrance, director of the study, First
Impressions and Hair Impressions, Professor of Psychology, Professor
of Woman's and Gender Studies at Yale University, asserts that
until now there has been no investigation of the unique effects
hairstyle has on first impressions. "We wanted to learn whether
the frame around the face-the hairstyle-can significantly alter
how a person is seen," says Dr. LaFrance. "We found that different
hairstyles quickly lead others to 'see' different kinds of people".
Faces alone suggest what someone is like, nonetheless, different
hair-styles significantly over-power whatever initial impressions
were based on the face alone.
Within seconds of meeting you, people begin forming a first impression
about the type of person you are and it's not your face that gives
you away, it's your hairstyle! So what does your hairstyle say
about you? Dr. LaFrances study confirms that no style is all good
or all bad, and that we do, in fact judge a book by its cover.
The following key findings demonstrate that different hairstyles
are linked to perceived personality traits. Those range from positive
qualities to the not so flattering:
KEY STUDY FINDINGS FOR WOMEN'S
*Can women have it all? It appears that this is not the
case, as the study showed that any hairstyle (relative to base)
increases a woman's perceived sexiness, but decreases a woman's
Ever wondered how stereotypes start?
*Short tresses=successes? Women wearing short, tousled
hairstyles (think Halle Berry and Charlize Theron) are
seen as the most confident and outgoing, an asset when meeting
But don't go cutting it all off just yet.
*Does length matter? It is not surprising that woman with
long, straight, brunette or blonde hairstyles, like Katherine
Zeta Jones and Renee Zellwegar, are perceived as the
sexiest and most affluent. By contrast, women with medium-length,
casual-looking hairstyles, like Liv Tyler or Sandra
Bullock, are viewed as more intelligent and good-natured.
Hair-styles significantly alter the first impressions people form
about each other. At first glance it might seem that hairstyles
might effect impressions that people have of women, the fact of
the matter is that men's hairstyles also effect what others think
of them. Long hair on a man suggested that he was probably less
well-off than his counterparts, but it also suggested that he
was more open-minded than them.
KEY FINDINGS FOR MEN'S HAIRSTYLES
*Who's the sexiest of them all? Men wearing short, front-flip
hairstyles (think Ben Affleck and Mathew LeBlanc) are perceived
as the most confident and sexy. It is not surprising that men
with this hairstyle are also perceived as the most self-centered.
*Why Wall Street men walk tall? Men with medium-length,
side-parted hair are viewed as the most intelligent and affluent-great
for that job interview. However, men with these styles are also
seen as the most narrow-minded.
We all know how important it is to make a good first impression,
whether you're looking for a new job, getting ready for a first
date, or meeting the potential in-laws. Your choice of hairstyle
might project an image of intelligence and self-assurance, or
one of insecurity and conceit, so make your style work to help.
Ever walk into a hair salon armed with a magazine picture of a
truly "great" haircut, only to leave an hour later looking
ridiculous , even though the style was exactly what you ordered?
If you've ever had that experience and many women have, you may
have fallen prey to a common misconception. A haircut, is a haircut,
is a haircut. When it comes to individuals, nothing could be further
from the truth. Believing otherwise is like saying it is okay
to put a picture of Mona Lisa in a 1960's, psychedelic frame.
Read more about hairstyle strategies (click
here for haircare advice)
Read another related article: Haircut
Disasters: Reasons by Karen M. Shelton
this topic with others right now at the
Tips Discussion Board!
Marianne LaFrance joined the Yale faculty in 1998. Her
research focuses on how gender and power are reflected in and
maintained by subtle communication processes. Nonverbal behaviors
are of particular interest because they lie out-of-awareness and
typically operate off-the-record. Also, nonverbal cues can simultaneously
reveal information about an individual's identity and attitudes
as well as shape and sustain social relationships. LaFrance's
goal is to determine why facial expressions like smiling, or linguistic
strategies like apologizing, reveal clear gender differences.
Her conceptual model, called Expressivity Demand Theory, aims
at specifying when people display such behaviors and what functions
they serve in social interaction.