It's Not "JUST" Hair

It's Not

Anyone who says, "it's just hair," should talk to actress Keri Russel about the fall out after she famously chopped off her long bouncing curls between seasons of her late 90's tv show Felicity. Fans of the show went nuts. They gave her so much hate about her new more boyish cut and many actually stopped watching that season, as even she has said in interviews over the years, "over just a silly haircut."

But it wasn't just a silly haircut. All of us sitting in our chairs right now can name a couple of people we know as "the hair." Maybe they have a big fro, or long full hair down their back, or they have gotten so bald you wish they'd cut it, or that sexy wavy thing we like, or nicely peppered hair, or clean shaven they look like a young Michael Jordan. It's not just a television character's hair we care about either. Ask any young man or woman for that matter, who has had, in many cases, the misfortune of going bald early about how they are treated in the dating world when they post pics of their balding heads vs. before they started to go bald or anyone who's lost their hair to alopecia.

Hair says a lot of things to us. A full head of hair signifies to us on a subconscious level that this is a healthy, usually young or younger person. It may mean to us they are more popular, sexier, more respected, and more well liked. Now whether these are actually true, is something one finds out by getting to know the person, but this is something that is communicated without saying a single word the minute you meet someone or see them for the first time.

If hair were so utterly meaningless, you could walk into your corporate America job right now with electric blue hair and no one would say a word and you would still command the same respect as you did with your naturally styled and colored hair the day before...but it isn't just hair. It, along with the way a person is dressed, speaks, acts, informs us about someone. It can tell us they have cancer, they are old, they have a crazy side, it can tell us they really don't care about their health/appearance, and it can sometimes hint at their genetic origins.

We all judge hair like we tend to do with weight. Very few people simply pass by someone who is morbidly obese or disturbingly bony thin, and have no thought whatsoever about them or their health or the way they look. We notice these things, just like we notice someone who chops off, colors, or dramatically differently styles their hair. For example, one day, you may barely notice the person who serves you coffee everyday, but if they walk in the next day with bright orange hair, they become alive in front of you--you notice. A great haircut or color change can actually make you seem sexier to people in the same way a new hair cut can update you into this century or give you a more respectable appearance. It really isn't "just hair."

Humans, like all other animals in the kingdom, have always used looks to classify people. It's had to do with our survival, with how we group ourselves, and with how we protect ourselves. That's changed for us in a more modern world, but the basis of why we judge or use looks to determine some things about the people we meet, is still very much in play.

BeeNee is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • I agree with your analysis to an extent. However, the fact is, that *treatment* for MPB isn't very good (in fact it's a joke), robs one of dignity, and means one's perpetual waking moment, or at least, more than one would like, is worrying about whether a gust of wind is going to blow some hair out of place. So of course, hair is *ideal* aesthetically, but most of us are deviating from the perfect 20 or 25 year old fairly sharpishly in every sphere. All one can do is make oneself healthier, more exuding of 'energy', the ageing process will take care of itself. If you're inwardly young, it will be reflected externally. Most people who bleat on about the absence or not of hair, would do well to understand and practice this.

    Pointless battles and narcissism are just abject circle of misery. Trying to pander to every woman - ain't got no time for that :) Ultimately you have to trust that people who will like you for who you are, and your other qualities, features and aesthetics should more than make up for it. People who don't like you now, ain't going to like you in the future... And what a shallow joke of a relationship in any case.

    So of course, Zoey Deschanel with a fringe is ideal, but I'm willing to settle for her without one ;)


Most Helpful Girl

  • Hair is one of the things that can really change appearance (not to mention style) in a major way. Also, going from long to short can undo years of investment in growing the long. It's also a question not just how much there is, but how it's styled. It has to work with the general shape of your face rather than against it. I imagine on Poldark and Downton Abbey, when they want an otherwise-attractive person like Verity or Lady Edith to come across as frumpy, they do it by choosing hair that clashes with their faces. So the question isn't whether it's just hair. It certainly isn't. If you want to ask whether appearance in general should be as important as it is, that's a legitimate question, but claiming that hair doesn't matter to appearance is silly.

    • It's an accessory essentially that can literally determine how someone views you. If someone walks in for a corporate job interview with a giant purple and red mohawk, one cannot prentend that that employer is going to take that job application seriously no matter how talented that person is, because a company has an image, and clients, and there are so called professional hairstyles that aren't distracting from the job and no matter how you slice it, in that world, a mohawk is distracting. So when people say, oh it's hair, people shouldn't have any views about it or care... I'm like really, how is that possible. Who doesn't notice something right in their eyeline every single day on practically just about everyone. It's the reason dress codes include lines about hair or why when people get make-overs, hair is the first thing done.


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What Guys Said 7

What Girls Said 6

  • I was one of those pissed fans! Felicitys hair was gorgeous and i only watched for her hair and the love triangle! But the love triangle was nothing without her hair!!

  • I do not want to go back to a prehistoric era to pre-judge a person just because the hair on top of his head (body hair is all over the place, really) looks funny to me. Back then, people were more collectivist, so such things might indicate what tribe he belonged to. Now, people are more individualistic and base the hair on the individual's style.

    • I agree to some extent in that we have evolved to a stage that is less about men have short hair, women have long, and no in between, but we still judge people by their appearance and anyone denying that is an absolute liar. We all have eyes in our heads and if they are functioning, when someone new approaches we see their appearance and make a snap judgment on them in our heads, and then what they actually do beyond that is either prove that judgment right or prove it wrong. There isn't anything actually wrong with that... as long as you actually let the person prove who they actually are rather than assume that judgment in your mind is right/wrong. As far as being collectivist... look around... how many people are wearing a set of jeans and a t-shirt and some Nikes? We like to think we are so individualistic now, but we aren't as unique as we'd like to think.

    • I don't think personal judgments really matter, as long as one keeps one's mouth shut and remains tactful and considerate. The problem is, too many people don't keep their mouth shut. They reveal whatever is on their minds regardless of tact. I don't know about you, but I find that behavior disgusting and morally reprehensible.

      Personally, I prefer collectivism over individualism. Just because one is unique doesn't mean one is useful. Sure, one may think that one is some kind of special snowflake in the world, but really, every one is just like everyone else - the same basic human feelings, the same DNA, the desire to live, the fear of death. No one is absolutely collectivist/individualist, but Far Eastern cultures tend to be more collectivist than Western cultures, and in my opinion, collectivism as manifested in Far Eastern culture is superior than Western individualism.

  • I don't care what anyone says, they can call me sexist, but for the most part hair is very important on a female (on males as well.) One time my sister cut all of hair off except for a small bit and my family freaked out. I personally don't mind when someone cuts their hair, so I was all "Power to her." but she still looked good with it. Some females can't pull off short hair or no hair what-so-ever. But then again, at the end of the day, it's their life, their head, their hair. Cut it if you want to. Rock that bald head, giiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrl. Slay all day. You look good. :3

  • Hair is just hair to me. I've been every colour you can think of and I've had it down my back and I've shaved it all off. And nothing bad every happened and my life stayed the same. So I don't know some people yeah it's a big deal but it's only as big a deal as someone else makes it and who cares what anyone else thinks :)

  • totally agree it makes big changes

  • we cannot deny that looks often define us

    • Finally, someone who gets it, LOL. Really have to roll my eyes when someone says one of the following:... I don't see color... no one's opinions on anything matter to me... I don't judge people's looks. They think it makes them seem like a better person for coming up with these lies... like, look, I seem less shallow... but the truth is we all judge in our minds, but its what we do with those judgements that inform the world about who we are, and who others are. It's totally cool to be known as the red haired girl, or guy with big fro, or girl with nice long hair, or guy with cool beard. Those are compliments and they inform us a little bit as to who that person is.