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Are women with straight hair more attractive?

Is it better to have straight hair? Good Morning America’s Taryn Winter Brill set up a “beauty behavior lab” to answer just that. With flat irons blowing off the shelves and once curly celebrities going straight (i.e. Nicole Kidman), one wonders whether there’s something to the notion that straight is better. Does it effect the way people see you? Are you more likely to get a date with straight hair? How about a job?

And though I don’t typically find much of interest on those morning shows, I found this segment REALLY interesting as I’m always coveting other girls’ straight hair (yes…I’m talking about you, Sara). And I’m not convinced that it’s just a bad case of the “grass is greener” syndrome.

Anyway, Ms. Brill undertakes a compelling (though arguably unscientific) study in which she goes both curly (her natural hairstyle) and straight, and then has guys, kids and job placement professionals rate her.

The bottom line: she’s more likely to get a date with straight hair, more likely to get a job with curly, and the kids…forgetaboutit – they think she looks like a two bit ho with curly hair.

And apparently her findings aren’t surprising to people whose job it is to specialize in first impressions and hair (and I have NO idea what kind of job THAT would be, but…whatever). Whereas straight hair is seen as more physically attractive by men, it conjures up images of someone who is self-centered and preoccupied by employers. In contrast, curly-haired gals are seen as more trustworthy, lower-maintenance, and more dependable to job recruiters (albeit more “frazzled” by potential suitors).

And now that I think about it, I’m not sure where that leaves those of us who are somewhere in between…with usually-wavyish-but-straightish-if-it’s-not-humid-frizzy-if-it-is hair. Did that make any sense?

But my favorite part of the clip has got to be when one poor fellow gives a picture of a curly-haired Ms. Brill only 3 points out of 10 (10 being the highest). She marched right into the room (from behind a one-way mirror) and told him that that was “unacceptable”. His response, “Sorry about that.”

So, go straight…get a date! Go curly…get a sweet job!

By the way, I tried REALLY hard to make that last part rhyme.


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Tags: beauty

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Emily // Aug 12, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I find this really interesting! I’m constantly trying to figure out what’s better with my hair. If my hair is blow dried straight I feel more professional and together and I honestly think that crews (albeit predominantly male) seemed to respond to me a lot better than when I was curly.

    I also have a lot of women tell me they prefer my hair curly but I have NEVER had a guy tell me that!

    Great post!

  • 2 Rob O. // Aug 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Chiming with (at least this) guy’s perspective, chicks with curly hair seem more exotic or wild and is, therefore, much sexier.

    Not always, but often. For example, Nicole Kidman is elegant with straight locks, but was smoking with curls! And even as much as I used to like Med Ryan’s perky short ‘do, I thought her longer curly hair in “When Harry Met Sally” was sizzlin’ – especially in the diner scene!

  • 3 Monkeytoemomma // Aug 13, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Huh, I’ve always wanted curly hair. My oldest daughter had ringlet curls like Shirley Temple which has weighed down to waves. I love her hair. So, maybe I want a happy medium.

    Interesting article, however, I think Ms. Brill could have done a better job styling her curly locks. Maybe the outcome might have been different had the cut and style been more up to date.

  • 4 Lori // Aug 13, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I don’t seem to have much choice in the matter. My hair is straight as a board and won’t hold a curl to save my life (even with perms!!) Looks like I’m destined to be out of work but having a great social life!!

  • 5 Frankie // Aug 13, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I want straight hair

  • 6 Carmina // Aug 13, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Funny how in the 80’s and 90’s curly hair was in and looked great. However, now, seems like straight hair looks much more stylish and refined. Honestly, when I see someone with curly hair, I wonder if they realize curly hair is out. Or maybe they don’t care and its just easier for them. But also, on the other hand, it depends really on the face and hair type, because even though I think curly is out, sometimes it looks really good on certain people.

  • 7 Kelly // Aug 14, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I have naturally wave hair, but have gone through torture to straighten it through most of my life. However, recently I’ve been wearing my hair in curls, and my boyfriend has really responded. So don’t be down if you don’t feel your hair is “in”, let you be you, express the image you want to, and stay confident. Different hairstyles look good on different people.

  • 8 Stacy // Aug 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    My hair is naturally wavy/flat/floopy. I have taken to putting mouse, leave in conditioner, anti-frizz serum, and curl spray (in other words, the first two steps of your Cosmo hair link you posted, and then I get bored and quit). It actually comes out somewhat nice.

    I have curly waves and I am STICKING TO IT. I can’t be bothered to straighten.

  • 9 Maria // Aug 16, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    My hair is very curly, but I feel like I get more respect when it’s straight. Maybe because I look like Mufasa when it’s curly…


  • 10 Suzanne // Aug 18, 2008 at 9:59 am

    How about “go curly, and get a job, surely!”

    Just a thought. I have stick-straight hair that doesn’t hold a curl and just won’t take a perm. So, like Lori, I’ll be poor, but can get drinks paid for by cute men! There’s a compromise for ya!

  • 11 a man // Aug 22, 2008 at 9:20 am

    i will be frank…

    dead straight hair makes women look gorgeous…

  • 12 socalgirl // Oct 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    This was such an interesting clip and the responses were a bit unexpected. I polled my guy friends (unscientific, I know) and their responses were mixed. Some liked straight, some curly. None of them, however, thought that a hair style that looks like it was very “done” or took a lot of time to do, was sexy.

  • 13 gavintiegirl // Dec 11, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I wear my hair very straight most of the time and occasionally I wear it wavy and back in a headband. I always feel more confident and put together when my hair is straight. I get more attention when my hair is straight than when it is curly. I have noticed this my entire life. My husband perfers both styles, but neither one for too many days straight (no pun intended). I agree with the study on the dates vs. jobs. Makes perfect sense. I have sent this to all the girls I know.

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