Why Do People Care When A Woman Cuts Her Hair?

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Looks like it's time for yet another scare-story telling women that a short 'do is a "don't" if they want to attract men. Why are short cuts on women so controversial?


First things first, I should state that I am probably a bit biased: I have the shortest hair of all the Jezebel staffers, but I have also had very long hair. Hairstyles do not work universally: "sexy" long hair on one woman can look like a wet mop of Muppet hair on another; a cute pixie cut on one gal can look like a cry for help on another.

One good part of having short hair? It weeds out the slimy creeps, which brings me to the male "experts" that the Daily News found to weigh in on how un-sexy short hair is:

"If you cut your hair you might be making a statement that says, ‘I don't want to be seen as a sex object,' " says sex therapist Dr. Aline Zoldbrod, who agrees that men are usually more sexually attracted to women with longer hair.

"Men love long hair; the touch and the smell stimulates our senses," says Matt Titus, Manhattan dating guru and author of "Why Hasn't He Called?"

"The three physical things that attract a man are a great body, beautiful long hair or great lips. So cutting off one third of your beacons of attraction doesn't increase your chances of having Mr. Right approach you. It's like sending a nonverbal message that you're not interested in sex," he declares.

Why does everything on a woman's body have to be some sort of signal to the male sex? Articles like this rub me the wrong way because they give men ownership over women's bodies. Suddenly, a hairstyle becomes a "statement" to men and women are basically being told that they should consider how men look at them when they are making choices about what to wear and how to style their hair.

And the thing is, men are not so simple when to comes to attraction to women. It's understandable why Mr. Titus wants to fit men into generalities: it helps him sell books if he can make women believe that all men are the same and he, and only he, has they key to unlock them.


It's interesting that the only man who approved of short hair on women in the Daily News article is a gay (just guessing!) hairdresser who, just a few months ago, said he "didn't love" short haircuts. Curious! I suspect that the inclusion of the hairdresser's opinion is meant to communicate that the only men who want women to cut their hair short is their gay hairdressers — because no straight man would ever think to look at a lady with a cropped 'do.

Edgy Pixies Haircuts Are Back, But Do They Kill Your Attraction? [NY Daily News]
Hairstylist Ricardo Rojas Doesn't Do His Own Hair [NY Mag]


Previously: Does Cutting Your Hair Mean You Don't Want Sex?


Erin Gloria Ryan

If that's true, why didn't Cousin It ever grace the pages of Playboy?