show longer hair considered more youthful and attractive
Despite the constant changing styles in Hollywood and on the
street, studies have consistently shown that both men and women
prefer women with longer hair. Long hair is seen as a sign of
youth. Long hair is seen as a sign of health. Long hair makes
women appear more attractive, to admirers of both sexes.
The journal Nature published a study some years ago that evaluated
the role hair-length plays in decisions of attractiveness. A test
group of subjects was shown a series of photographs of women and
told to rate their attractiveness. Women who were initially rated
lower received high scores when they reappeared with longer hair
later in the series. Researchers at the time thought perhaps the
long hair helped to slim the jaw-line, to hide undefined cheekbones,
and to cover up flaws.
Another study by Florida State University psychologist Kelley
Kline also used photos of women to with varied hair lengths to
measure attractiveness. The average age of that test group was
27, but the results stayed the same. By a large majority, both
male and female reviews found the women with long hair more attractive.
Men in the group also showed an overwhelming preference for brunettes
over blondes or redheads.
Despite these studies, most women prefer to wear their hair shorter.
Shorter hair is easier to care for and more practical. Our culture
also treats longer hair as the refuge of the young. Once a woman
reaches a certain age; she is expected to wear her hair shorter.
Some researchers believe that as women grow older and have children
they no longer feel the need for long hair to attract a partner.