Saturday, July 27, 2013

Seriously, don't cut your damn hair

Still don't believe me?  Then perhaps you will believe the royal hairdresser and personal stylist to the Queen of England:
The Queen’s hairdresser is adamant that most women in their mid-40s and beyond are making a big mistake by having their hair cut short in a bid to turn back the clock. Ian Carmichael, Her Majesty’s personal stylist for the past 15 years, says women of a certain age believe they are too old for tousled tresses. Yet many celebrities would have lost their sex appeal years ago had they chopped their hair short, he claims.

‘Women in their mid-40s and 50s at one time would rush to cut their hair off. It was like they became wives, mothers, a “certain age” and they cut it all off,’ he said. ‘But actually hundreds of women, as long as their hair is healthy and in good condition, look much better with soft long hair.’
Note that Her Majesty's hairdresser is ADAMANT about it.  The reason is that women with short hair are advertising their sexlessness.  Now, that's fine, if that's the intent.  But don't be misled into thinking that it is "cute" or "youthful" or whatever adjective your friends attempting to sabotage your sex appeal are using.

60 comments:

Bobby Dupea said...

I've never met a man who was attracted to short-haired women. And just as butch lesbians always have short hair, I just assume that any middle-aged women with that sort of "practical" cut is making a virtue of her masculine appearance. I've never met a middle-aged woman with those ugly cuts who genuinely liked and valued men. In the professional classes it's a useful flag that one can spot at 50 meters: aggressive feminist on the perimeter; divert.

yttik said...

This is an interesting subject, mostly because there is no logical, rational explanation for it. It must be biology, wired into us or something? Most of the men I know prefer long hair, even on older women. I have an irrational dislike of long hair, especially on older women. Of course, all the older women around here who still have long hair are flaming liberals and raging feminists, so perhaps my prejudice isn't so irrational after all?

SarahsDaughter said...

I have an irrational dislike of long hair, especially on older women. Of course, all the older women around here who still have long hair are flaming liberals and raging feminists, so perhaps my prejudice isn't so irrational after all?

Or perhaps your missing the fact that your opinion (as a woman) does not matter in the least regarding how women should wear their hair if their desire is to be attractive to men. Only the opinion of their husband, if they're married, or the opinion of the majority of men, if they're looking to attract a man, matters.

Weouro said...

I love long hair especially when they do things with it and don't just tie it back.

SarahsDaughter said...

Public service announcement for women: If a married friend asks you what you think they should do with their hair, please respond with: "I think you should find out what your husband honestly prefers. It is important to men that their wives remain physically attractive to them so your decision should be based on his preference, not mine." If she says he doesn't care, challenge her to observe what the women look like who turn his head.

yttik said...

"Or perhaps your missing the fact that your opinion (as a woman) does not matter in the least regarding how women should wear their hair if their desire is to be attractive to men."

Oh no, I'm well aware of that. What's interesting is that women spend so much time catering to other women's opinions, rather than mens, which is kind of crazy if you're trying to appeal to a man. Much of the time, winning the approval of your girlfriends becomes more important. I'm not sure why.

Vox said...

Much of the time, winning the approval of your girlfriends becomes more important. I'm not sure why.

Pecking order.

Conscientia Republicae said...

Miss Kitty hates long hair and is irrational.

Quelle surprise!

Weouro said...

I'm talking about real long hair, though, down to her middle/lower back minimum. Shoulder length doesn't qualify as "long."

Jehu said...

Men who are genuinely attracted to short hair on women do exist. They're maybe 5% of the male population though. With most of the rest of men you're voluntarily surrendering almost a full sigma of attractiveness by going pixie. That's enough to take a 80 to 90ish percentile woman all the way back down to the 50th percentile or so. Considering the men you can get in the 80-90th percentile vs what you can get down at the mean, it's one of the worst moves a woman can make.

Jill said...

Whenever I ask my husband how he likes my hair, his eyes instantly glaze over. So I don't ask.

verusconditio said...

Jill,

He probably thinks it's a fitness test.

~ Stingray

Stickwick Stapers said...

Public service announcement for women: If a married friend asks you what you think they should do with their hair, please respond with: "I think you should find out what your husband honestly prefers. ... "

Women sometimes get defensive when you put it that way. One of my friends finally grew her hair out, and was contemplating cutting it short again. She posed a "what should I do" question on FB, and I was one of the few women who recommended she keep it long. I told her it was pretty and made her look youthful, and she liked that. Then I added, "and your husband probably prefers it that way," and she got defensive. This seems like one of those things that could make your average woman cut her hair out of spite, because "he's not going to dictate my choices!" Next time a woman asks me that question, out of kindness to her husband I'm going to emphasize the benefit to her to keep it long, since most women don't seem all that concerned about what their husbands want.

Jehu said...

My wife makes no bones about the fact that her long, very touchable hair is for my benefit. I don't grok the popular nonsense about being unwilling to do things simply because your husband prefers it that way. God knows he does plenty of things for you that he wouldn't were you not in the picture.

Malcivus said...

The "chick mullet" is almost as bad as the chopped off hair. By creating a squared-off frame, the feminine lines of the face are ruined. Carly Rae Jepsen, I'm looking in your general direction here...

xandohsa said...

My wife cut her hair short over my objections once. Then came the question, "How do you like it?" A hot seat question. I went with the truth on that one. Much hand-wringing ensued, but she grew it back out and that was the end of her questioning to me about whether she should cut it short or not. I count it as a minor victory.

Jill said...

Stingray, I think he has the underlying assumption/expectation that I already know. And even if I didn't, which would be really stupid and willfuly obtuse of me, he has zero interest in being a hair consultant.

yttik said...

Do you think some women tend to value their girlfriend's opinion before their husband's because of some sort of pecking order, as Vox said? I've honestly never really noticed any female pecking order, it seems more like, you're either in or they're stoning you to death.

Stickwick's explanation, "he's not going to dictate my choices," that I've seen many times. I'm sure there are also women who simply don't like getting their long hair tangled up in everything.

Stickwick Stapers said...

yttik, there does seem to be a pecking order with most females. There will be a dominant woman in a group, followed by her second in command, and on down until you get to the lowest ranked women. There seems to be some fluidity in the ranking, with women ascending and descending, depending on how well they conform to some standard (which is largely inscrutable to me). There is a strong drive in women to be accepted as part of a group, and exclusion is very painful. A husband is presumed to stick with his wife no matter what, but not so with friends, which is why a lot of women will hew to female standards more than to male standards. Anyway, if you've ever seen the movie Mean Girls, then you're acquainted with the pecking order dynamic.

As for tangled hair, that was the context of my friend's question about whether or not to cut hers. She was about to have her third baby, and was thinking about clammy little hands getting wound up in her now-long hair. But that's so easy to deal with: bun, pony tail, braid, etc. I've got almost waist-length hair and will be having a baby in January. I will keep my hair long and braid it, as my mother did when she had babies.

Conscientia Republicae said...

Congratulations, Stickwick Stapers!

I assume you will name him Dwayne Elizondo Hector Camacho Mountain Dew Stapers?

Stickwick Stapers said...

The "chick mullet" is almost as bad as the chopped off hair.

I haven't seen the chick mullet in ages, but there's a strange new hair trend with chicks that's part of the mullet multiverse: Skrillex hair, with one side of the head shaved, but the rest of the hair long.

Stickwick Stapers said...

Thanks, CR, but it's a girl, so probably not. Maybe Britney Katie Beyonce Madonna Kim Kardashian Superhot Stapers. With Skrillex hair.

Conscientia Republicae said...

Probably not? So you're sayin' there's a chance!

IrishFarmer said...

I've known only one man who likes short hair, but he also likes small boobs and he's practically an omega. When we were at the bar, two girls invited him to play pool with them (they were only 6's, but still) and he basically told them to f*** off.

Point is, he described to me once his ideal woman and I had to force myself not to ask, "So you're attracted to 13 year old boys?" Because that's what he described.

Cut your hair short, ladies, and that could be your prize. Actually, he's got a girlfriend now who doesn't look like his ideal, and has long hair...So even short haired girls aren't gettin with that.

yttik said...

"yttik, there does seem to be a pecking order with most females.......There seems to be some fluidity in the ranking, with women ascending and descending, depending on how well they conform to some standard (which is largely inscrutable to me)"

Congratulations on the baby.

Inscrutable fluidity, huh? I think you're right because I've sat in committees with women and altered between fantasizing about suicide and trying to figure out if anyone was in charge.

There is some kind of pecking order between women and children of course, or women and their younger siblings. Grandmothers sometimes have higher status. Beyond that, I can't say I've ever seen it.

Weouro said...


"And even if I didn't, which would be really stupid and willfuly obtuse of me, he has zero interest in being a hair consultant."


So it is a kind of fit test you're saying. Note to self, don't notice chicks' hair.

SarahsDaughter said...

Yttik,
Have you lived under a rock? I'm having a hard time thinking of a social setting that involves women that doesn't have a pecking order of some sort. Whether it be based on looks, social status or something. Women quickly identify the most attractive woman in the group and then nestle themselves into place of where they perceive they should be.

I have a hard time believing this is new information for you. What we find most often among snowflakes is they attempt denial or oblivian in order to secure their snowflake status - yet another pecking order of sorts. See how this works?

Amy G said...

@Stickwick, congrats on the girl! The bun/braid idea is great - I'm due in December and have had several friends advise me to cut my rather long hair off to prevent it being pulled. I'd think shorter hair would be just as easy to pull for a baby, unless you shave your head bald. Braids and buns are less accessible to tiny hands (in theory).

cailcorishev said...

Maybe Yttik is just missing the pecking order-sensing gland, but the pecking order is there whether she recognizes it or not. Most women know instinctively where they stand in it at any given time, too -- not necessarily as a number, and she may not know exactly why she is where she is, but she knows she's below Betty and Veronica and above Daphne and Velma, and Jessica is the lead hen while Sharon is at the bottom -- except for Helen, who is currently in the penalty box for some anti-social act, but she'll be let back in a couple spots below her previous one after she's done some penance.

Heck, I'm a guy and I know this, and can kinda see it if I look hard enough.

SarahsDaughter said...

I always found a quick two finger slap to baby's hand to work well to end hair pulling. And yes, when they possess the digital dexterity to pull hair, they are old enough to receive correction.

yttik said...

"I have a hard time believing this is new information for you."

I assure you, I am being completely honest. I'm rather surprised myself. No, I haven't been living under a rock. I have always noticed collectivism and the dreaded consensus when in groups of women, but not a pecking order.

I think I get it. I was probably placed in the penalty box one too many times as a girl and simply stopped caring about winning other women's approval.

Stickwick Stapers said...

Thanks, and congrats to you, too, Amy G. Sounds like you're resisting the pressure to cut off your long hair. I have photos of Mom and her sister holding babies with their lovely hair all wound up in buns and braids, and it was well out of the way of sticky little hands. It's not a problem if a baby can reach the braid, anyway -- it's when they get just a few hairs in that clammy death-grip that it really hurts.

Reflecting on this notion of 40+ women keeping their hair long, the funny thing is that it's been a while since anyone's pressured me to cut mine. When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I was under constant pressure to cut my hair. "Oh, it would be so cute at chin length!" Once I got into my late 30s, the pressure stopped. I guess at that point I was no longer perceived as a threat.

Weouro said...

A full-length dress or skirt has nearly the same effect on me as long hair. I remember once this Pentecostal girl had community service with the city parks dept where I was working, for driving without insurance. She had waist length hair and a long skirt. She was assigned to us along with some DUI short-hair party girls. They were too confused and fearful of her even to talk to her directly. Funny to watch.

e96dd1c6-d05b-11e2-ad29-000bcdcb2996 said...

I find it incredible that a woman could believe short hair is attractive. Convenient I can understand...but attractive? Are they out of their minds?

Minna Koponen said...

I've had short hair for quite a while now, happily listening to my hamster why it's so nice to look unique and different from other women... Though I mostly kept it because growing it back felt troublesome. And of course all the ladies insisted short hair looks great on me.

I got angry when I read the other post on the subject. Not at Vox, but at myself, for listening to other women and for cutting it in the first place.

So, yeah, growing it back now... And I'll keep extra good care of it so it will be smooth and silky when it's long. Then I'll sit back and enjoy all the whining "how the short looked so much better on me."

SarahsDaughter said...

Next time a woman asks me that question, out of kindness to her husband I'm going to emphasize the benefit to her to keep it long, since most women don't seem all that concerned about what their husbands want.

Doesn't this feed the beast?

You're right, women do tend to get defensive initially with me. But what I've been seeing is that often times what I say to them is a catalyst to them considering their husbands preferences.

A couple examples: One friend posted on FB how excited she was that she chopped off her long hair. I emailed her and as politely as possible explained that while it might not matter to her husband, posts like that often encourage other women to do the same which greatly disappoints their long hair loving husbands. She was angry with me for about a week (women usually are when they've been corrected for anything). However, she told me she asked her husband and the only thing he cares about is the color and one week later, she colored it the way he wanted it. She also has started calling me when she wants advice about biblical marriage. She's told me that she can't talk to any of her other friends because they all suggest for her divorce her husband. She might be rare but her FB posts now edify her husband and encourage other women to do the same.

Another friend (who cuts her husband down whenever possible) said to me on FB after I had posted something positive about RLB, "That's right, you actually like your husband." A few months later she posted something that edified her husband (very rare for her). I told her it's great to see her saying something positive about him. She emailed me (angry) and we had an exchange where I reminded her what she had said to me. She proceeded to write a lot about all the things she loves about her husband. I haven't seen a post bashing her husband since but have seen several positive posts.

Another young acquaintance, was recently married to one of RLB's friends. He had just deployed and she posted a picture of herself in lingerie as her profile picture after we had recently had a discussion about married women posting provocative pictures of themselves. I emailed her and told her it was inappropriate, that her boudoir photos should be kept between her and her husband. She was highly embarrassed, told me she appreciated me keeping her in check, wrote a public apology and deleted her FB account.

Stickwick Stapers said...

You've made a good point, SD. The times I've stood on principle with my female friends and relatives have often been followed by positive changes in attitude and behavior. Thanks for the reminder.

Justthisguy said...

Ah, I mind the gal I was sweet on in high school. She had magnificent hair, long enough to sit on. A fellow bandsman, she played a mean piccolo. She braided the hair and stuck it up inside her shako for football games. Later she left for grad school at the University of Wyoming (math) and cut it short to preserve it. It seems that the climate was so dry her hair kept getting shorter, so she cut it off, wrapped it in tissue paper, and saved it in a drawer. Dab hand with a shotgun she was, too. Her dad bought her a special left-handed autoloader to use in killing those clay birds.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. Later, after I read "Time for the Stars", I realized why I never really had a chance with her. In that book, the protagonist is sweet on a gal in the astrogation/physics department, and she lets him down easy by telling him something like, "I think a woman should look up to her man, and I just can't look up to a man who, for instance, can't solve partial differential equations in his head."

Bogey said...

http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/looks-he-hates/p93312/page2

Not quite as bad as those inky eyes that women love and men hate so bad, but short hair still ranks as a turn off.

randian said...

Short hair works for some women. Like Audrey Hepburn. Or Katherine Heigl in The Big Wedding.

pdwalker said...

randian,

no, no it does not. These women manage to remain somewhat attractive with short hair because they are incredibly attractive to start with.

Compare the photos of them with short and long hair and it's plain to see.

Sarah's Daughter - nice inspiration work.

Amy: keep it. Don't ever let them convince you to cut it short. My mother managed 9 kids with almost waist length long hair.

Minna: grow it back and watch the difference in mens reaction. And Womens too, I suppose, but who cares about them.

Full disclosure: I think long hair on a woman adds to her attractiveness.

River Cocytus said...

There are certain face shapes that work better with shorter hair. However, this just relates to the SHAPE of the hair, not its actual shortness -- there are ways to wear one's hair that give it that shape without having to cut it, so the notion that these face shapes MUST have shorter hair to be attractive is tautological.

Agree on the 'advertising your sexlessness', which if a woman does shorten her hair severely, I hope is her goal.

Markku said...

I would agree that there are faces so feminine and delicate that when they have short hair, the result is still feminine enough to be pretty.

But I haven't yet seen someone whom I would think PRETTIER with short hair, and would challenge anyone to present such two pictures where over 50% of men here would say that the short hair version is prettier.

It is adequate to define "short" as "doesn't touch the shoulders when hanging free", but extra bonus if it is what would be short hair on a male.

Peregrine John said...

Years ago (early 90's) I coined a word for the peculiar version of a mullet so many wore at the time: the femullet.

I am always amused at the predictability of the dodge that appears the instant this subject does. A discussion of what's attractive instantly takes a sharp turn to what's convenient to work with.

CarpeOro said...

"yttik, there does seem to be a pecking order with most females.......There seems to be some fluidity in the ranking, with women ascending and descending, depending on how well they conform to some standard (which is largely inscrutable to me)"

Just a guess, but undefinable something? May just be the SMV of the man they are attached to. He goes up in value that bumps her value. Not a 1 to 1 correlation perhaps, but a definite boost.

mina smith said...

Horse women leave their hair long because they are too busy riding and doing barn stuff to go to the beauty parlor.

Also braids are easy to stuff into helmets.

Last but not least, we spend all available money in the months May-October on horse shows, tack, grooming products for the horse, chiropractor, special hoof care, lessons and diesel to afford any type of hair care.

Yes, if you want to find women with long hair, go to the barn.

My hair was bra length this past spring, it's now in braids and most of the way down my back. Its normal mode of being also includes horse hair and bits of hay.

randian said...

But I haven't yet seen someone whom I would think PRETTIER with short hair, and would challenge anyone to present such two pictures where over 50% of men here would say that the short hair version is prettier.

For me at least, style matters. Hair that is long but perfectly straight doesn't do much for me. Such as how Anna Torv often styled her hair on Fringe. Compare with this shorter hairstyle on Katherine Heigl, which I think is quite pretty: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/1500000/K-Heigl-at-Chrysalis-Butterfly-Ball-katherine-heigl-1526203-1083-1500.jpg.

I agree that few women can make a pixie haircut work.

Or if you're familiar with professional track and field, Jordan Hasay's hair. Sure it's notoriously long, but she manages to make it boring and ugly. Length for its own sake doesn't work in my opinion.

Weouro said...

Yes, if you want to find women with long hair, go to the barn."

That's true. Many 4-H girls and their moms have long hair. It's closely related to domesticity.

AwesomeMe said...

Thanks for convincing me to keep my hair short. ^_^ It is cute. ^_^ and I don't live to please the desires of men or women. ^_^

Markku said...

For me at least, style matters. Hair that is long but perfectly straight doesn't do much for me. Such as how Anna Torv often styled her hair on Fringe.

It has to be pictures of the same woman with long and short hair, to eliminate other variables.

Markku said...

Now, as for Minna there, who is my sister, how is it possible that she would cut her hair short (and I mean short-short), what with me being who I am?

Because I didn't have hand in the diplomatic relations regarding the issue, and I generally decide to not be cruel if I'm reasonably certain that I can't change someone's mind. I would have either had to have overwhelming statistical evidence that it's not just my personal opinion (though I myself knew it wasn't), or I'd need to have had at least our mother on my side on this.

mina smith said...

"It's closely related to domesticity." Haha! Apparently someone failed to notice the more important link to horse women and long hair:

We have neither the time nor the money to deal with human hair, esp during the very long horse show season.

Horse care gets prioritized above pretty much all else from May-October.

This isn't to say that a lot of us don't prefer long hair or are hat-tipping to domesticity. But according to my anecdotal evidence the preponderance of long hair has more to do with time/money resources than anything else.

Being part of the lifestyle and like to think I know of what I speak.

WendyRaf said...

Now, as for Minna there, who is my sister...

So that's the relation.

Well, there are certainly worse things for a woman to do. Live and learn. Thankfully, hair grows back.

Markku said...

There is also the fact that she was already out of the market, and the party guilty of that had previously claimed preference to short hair.

I was always a bit :/ about that statement, but I figured hey, it's your own grave you're digging, bro.

Weouro said...

Haha! Apparently someone failed to notice the more important link to horse women and long hair:

We have neither the time nor the money to deal with human hair, esp during the very long horse show season."

That accounts for doing nothing with it but not for the length itself. Plus a lot of women in the barn who don't do horse shows have long hair. Anecdotal evidence from women usually isn't reliable, especially out in the world where domesticity is unfashionable.

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Ned said...

I'm a guy and a hair person. I have a past-chin-length bob which I trim myself and a beard (think a slightly neater version of Che Guevara) and like most men, I like long hair on women. However, I also like short hair if it's cut in a bob. On some women, even "man-short" hair can look OK if the sides are tapered and completely off the ears or and neck (no shaggy or mullet-like hair). and the crown is not thinned or spiky, though I doubt I would prefer that look on many of them, and would generally rather that a woman have at least a bob. I have seen women who I thought look better with a bob than with long hair. In general, I would prefer a woman keep her hair long if I already know her with long hair, but if I met her with short hair and it's the kind of short hair I like, I generally would be OK with her keeping it that way. But there are other things that I care more about than whether the hair is long. In particular, keeping it natural and chemical-free. I would prefer that my woman not dye/bleach/highlight or (God forbid) perm her hair and I would rather she have a nice chemical-free bob than long hair with something in it that nature didn't give her. Also, more important than overall length is that the hair have only one (or graduated) length. E.g. in general, shoulder-length hair that's all one length looks better than waist-length hair that's been all layered.

As for the issue of wearing your hair long or otherwise for a husband or boyfriend, of course it's the woman's prerogative to make the final decision as to whether or not to honor his requests, and no one should be forced to do so. On the other hand, a relationship requires each party to give something of themselves, and while a relationship is not all about the physical side, it does have that component too. Therefore, I think pleasing your partner with this sort of thing (within reason and to the extent that you are comfortable in doing so) is a good relationship practice. You probably wouldn't like it either if your clean-cut husbanddecided to get a hardcore 1980s mullet and a fu-manchu mustache going.

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