Your eyes may be the window to your soul, but your hairstyle can make or break a first impression. Dr. Marianne LaFrance, professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Yale University, found that your choice of hairstyle might project an image of intelligence and self-assurance, or one of insecurity and conceit.
Dr. LaFrance's study demonstrated that women wearing short, tousled tresses are seen as the most confident and outgoing, but that women with long, straight blond hairstyles are perceived as the sexiest and most affluent. Women with medium-length, casual-looking styles are viewed as more intelligent and good-natured.
On the male side of the equation, men wearing short, front-flip styles are perceived as most confident and sexy, but also as the most self-centered. Those with medium-length, side-parted hair are viewed as the most intelligent and affluent, but also the most narrow-minded. Guys with long hair are perceived as the least intelligent and most careless, but also as the most good-natured.
The researcher had study participants view digital images for four seconds and rate each "person" in ten categories. In fact, the pictures showed the same face with four different hairstyles. "We wanted to learn if 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."
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