What is the colour and length of hair that is found to be most attractive on a woman? A recent study has some interesting findings.
Lighter and longer hair makes women look more attractive, new research finds. Having lighter hair was most strongly linked to higher ratings for attractiveness, youth and health.
However, there were some kinks in the findings, so if you don’t have light-coloured or long hair, don’t panic just yet.
For example, these findings revealed that having medium-length blonde hair is more attractive than long blonde hair.
Long black hair, though, was rated as more attractive than medium-length black hair.
The study’s authors describe their results:
“…we found that lighter hair (blond and brown) compared to darker hair (black) is generally associated with perceptions of youth, health and attractiveness, and generally leads to more positive perceptions of relationship and parenting potential.”
For the study, 110 men looked at images of women with different coloured hair and of different lengths and asked a variety of questions regarding how they perceived the woman’s attractiveness.
The hair colours shown were blond, brown and black with varying lengths of short, medium and long.
They were asked about the women’s relationship potential, age, health and parenting capability.
Longer hair, though, was linked to higher perceptions of parenting ability. Who knew that having long hair makes you seem like an perfectly capable parent?
The study’s authors view their findings as supporting evolutionary theories:
“Hair that is healthy and strong signifies overall physical
health, which in turn can signify one’s capability of conceiving and carrying a child.
Because hair tends to be thicker, healthier, and grow more quickly in younger women (ages 16-24) than older women, one would expect that younger women would wear their hair longer than older women to provide a more perceptible and powerful signal to reproductive potential.”
Similarly, from an evolutionary perspective, blonde hair signals youth as people’s hair gets darker with age, until it starts to turn white.
Other studies suggest, though, that blonde hair only has a rejuvenating effect when women are under 40.
There is also evidence that preferences for blonde or darker hair depend on how prevalent that hair colour is in the area. Men seem to prefer blonde hair more in areas where it is already more naturally prevalent.
Basically, you are attracted to different aspects of a person for different reason. Let’s hope that people don’t judge us this harshly based on how we look, and count our personality and morals for something.
The study was published in The Journal of Social Psychology (Matz & Hinsz, 2017).
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