View Full Version : Psychology of Hair

August 14th, 2008, 11:16 PM
I remembered reading an article many years ago, and wanted to share the gist of it.

Do people seem to imply that women with long hair are hiding something? Don't want to let go? Blah, blah, blah?

Well, tell them this!

A study done many years ago took one hundred women in a shelter for abused women. They took a hundred of them and gave them free hair cuts/color. The results were amazing. Those women ended up boosting their self esteem enough to get jobs faster than the women who did not, and managed to get an apartment, feel better about themselves. It doesn't solve their issues from their past, but it proved that looking good DOES make you FEEL good.

Bottom line? If we love our hair long, who is it really hurting? It makes us feel good about ourselves, right?

Thought you'd like to know that :D

August 14th, 2008, 11:29 PM
I think the bottom line is what good is a hairstyle long, short, or other without a smile?
No amount of layering, coloring or straightening is going to make a frown look good.

Do the things you want to do. Strive for your own goals. Try to stay positive. Hair really shines when there's a glow coming from the person wearing it.

August 15th, 2008, 05:55 AM
i know i feel my best when i am having a great hair day :)

an as for the abuse women make over- as a victim myself i know i use to hear horrible things all the time - really made me feel like crap/ if some one pampered me , gave a "fresh" start and raised my spirits i would be more out to improve in life as well. Thats great that they gave those woman that chance.

August 18th, 2008, 07:34 AM
Maybe I'm just reading that wrong, but it seems like the "study" says that cutting/coloring your hair makes you succeed in life.


August 18th, 2008, 07:45 AM
I have to disagree with you, podo. While that was the method used in that study, I think the bottom line was that these women were not used to being pampered or making a priority of making themselves feel good or looking good.

I think that if someone were to have taught them how to make attractive updos and give moisturizing treatments for their long hair, there may have been similar results.

I think it was less about the colouring and cutting than about letting the women know that they are worth the time and effort to look and feel their best. For some women, having a "professional" look for the first time could be quite a boost for their self-esteem.

August 18th, 2008, 08:12 AM
When I was in beauty school we often went to our local homeless shelter to give haircuts and you wouldn't believe how such a simple act could change someone's life. I don't think that the article is saying that these women needed shorter hair to feel good about themselves, it's just as everyone knows when you look your best, you feel your best. Most of the women I worked on didn't want drastic changes, just a little pampering and few compliments would do it! Great article Darkhorse1!

August 18th, 2008, 08:38 AM
I should think that part of the issue at a shelter is basic access to things like regular haircuts.

Think about it. If you're in such a bad situation that you decide your best option is to move yourself (and kids) to a shelter, some ordinary parts of your life are likely to wind up neglected. Haircuts, even if just a dusting, cost money. In times like that, every penny counts. It's only logical that making the time for a bit of pampering would create the impression of a return to normalcy and improve their outlook on life, regardless of how much hair was trimmed in the process.

August 18th, 2008, 09:01 AM
I think the study was about showing that if you looked good, it DOES bolster your self esteem. While that's not the secret to life, the caption on the article read something along the lines of 'good hair day' and I can't remember the rest.

Of course, feeling beautiful on this inside shows through, but for women who have left abusive relationships, I can only imagine how they felt. To have someone pamper them must have been a great feeling :)

August 18th, 2008, 11:06 AM
There have also been studies on treatments like massage - even of the hands and arms - involving the elderly in hospital. They found that the people who had it done recovered more quickly and had a more positive outlook than those on the same ward who didn't get it.

I bet if you had a load of long haired people who were victims of abuse and took them in, treated their hair, detangled it and put it up or did something nice with it, they'd feel a lot better too. :D

August 18th, 2008, 11:34 AM
I think its true that even a simple pampering can make you feel better. I get really happy when I take the time to do an experiment on my hair, and then it feels soft afterward. I guess my version of the "haircut" is a hennaing or an experiment. :)

August 18th, 2008, 11:48 AM
I can certainly relate to this article, although I've never been abused or in a shelter. When my hair was short, it usually looked like cr*p because I couldn't afford the upkeep to make it look good. I then felt bad about *me*, unattractive and unworthy, because when I looked in the mirror I saw "ugly" and that image stuck in my mind and made me feel ashamed. Now that my hair is long, I can make it look neat and put-together any day, even when it needs to be washed! Talk about empowerment! And I'm not any prettier than I was, not at all, being much older and rather wrinkly! ;)

There's no doubt about it, a Good Hair Day is a spirit lifter no matter what your circumstance. :)

Having someone else take time to pay attention in a positive way is a real boost.

August 20th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I don't think you need to be abused, in a shelter or in any related situation to reap the benefits of this kind of treatment. You can do a lot by pampering yourself when you need it, but there is something extra when someone else does the work for you and allows you to just relax into the experience, be it a haircut/color, massage, manicure or what have you. I also think this is part of the reason so many women cut their hair drastically post-breakup. You're hurting and in need of some attention and change, and a trip to a salon can provide both and the result can be the boost you need to help get past the really horrid parts. If you happen to be stuck in a shelter with kids and absolutely no opportunity to take care of yourself the way you normally would I can totally see how the attention given during a salon service could have a hugely positive impact. Sometimes you just need a little push to get everything rolling back to where you want to be. So short hair and highlights won't get you a job faster, but feeling that you matter enough to take care of yourself and that you're worthy of that job probably will help make you more attractive to employers than someone who doesn't believe that they're good enough.

August 23rd, 2008, 06:17 AM
How I hate such stupid stereotypes... :( There are 6 billion people on this planet with the same amount of personalities.

Many women wear long hair, are they all the same???? NO.

As for me, I've had long hair for 10 years now, I don't need a shelter, I'm not looking for one, I'm very strong and free, self conscious and assertive, and my self esteem knows no bounds :P I'm quite narcissistic I can say :D Actually, I had less of all these, when I had short hair as a kid.

I've never thought of cutting my hair, even when my BF left me or when I lost a very close friend.