This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Why are men so turned off by women with short hair?(245 Posts)
Just idly musing.
I recently cut my hair quite drastically. Changed my photo on OLD to one with the new do (previous photo was very glam/pin-up style with shoulder length hair).
I've gone from a very steady average of 10-15 messages a day to zero .
It's not the first time I've observed this phenomenon. The few times before I've cut my hair very short I have noticed it's like a cloak of invisibility when it comes to men.
Anyone care to enlighten me? Is it because women with short hair are considered unfeminine? (What a crock of shit if so).
Can't help you much here but I can say my DH has always liked my hair short. Much to my relief I may add, as I really cannot do hair.
You can probably safely blame fashion and its vagaries. Also, if you're feeling brave, get a friend with an eye for these things to give you an honest opinion as to whether your current style actually suits you. (And if you're wearing your asbestos armour top to toe, try out Style and Beauty. ) If you have a strong chin and features, a very short style may well look too harsh. It's also a bit 'niche' as far as tastes go, less mainstream. You'll probably attract more unusual types.
I have a pet theory about this - I think there are groups of men who are socialised to be attracted to very feminine-performing women, usually women with larger than average breasts, long hair and properly done make up (i.e. significantly better than my attempts).
This is partially because they primarily value women for their attractiveness rather than their personality, but also because they want to signal to other men that they have the ability to attract such a woman.
These men, in my experience, tend to be drawn in by glamour and genuinely reverse their attraction to women based on how much effort they've put in - such as the idiots who suddenly realised I was female because I was wearing contacts and my hair wasn't in a pony tail (i.e. every make over film ever)
I have to say I've found the opposite. Despite being married I've had quite a bit more male attention, including someone being outright obvious, since having my hair cropped (very short pixie type cut)
I do think most men go for a set 'type' that is more portrayed in the wider media.
That's not of course to say that all men who are attracted to women with the long hair/glamorous make up thing only value their attractiveness rather than their personality but that men who only want that one look will disregard women outside it because they only value attractiveness.
In fact, my very gorgeous friend used to have a very difficult time sorting the decent men who actually liked her from the arseholes who were only interested in her as arm candy (which was never an issue I had!)
I think it can be a very difficult style to pull off. It suits very less face shapes than longer hair. You need an honest and skilled hair stylist. I think it is a bit like baldness in men. Baldness suits less face shapes than hair. I'm sure if a study of a man with hair and then the same profile with a realistic bald cap/make up would show similar results.
It is such an interesting phenomenon. I've had male friends in the past openly say that short hair just isn't attractive on women. It seems such an ingrained view, that you aren't womanly unless you've got Cheryl Cole waves down to your boobs! Which is what I notice a lot of younger women that I know try to achieve be it through weaves or extensions etc.
I am pretty sure I look good. I have killer cheekbones and big blue eyes. I actually feel like a badass a la Tankgirl or Charlize in Mad Max since having it cut .
I'm not on the sites looking for anything serious so am not too bothered but it was such a stark drop off in communication that I knew it was down to the hair!
I've been told by both men and women I look much better with short hair. I also have decent cheekbones and a small face, as well as (prepregnancy) being pretty weeny.
It is strange though. Funnily my dh thinks I look better with longer hair. He is literally the only one though.
i recently cut my hair very short, and i also had the same thoughts, like women MUST have long hair and big boobs to be a woman.
i shaved mine quite short and im not sure if it fully suits me but its hair, it grows :D
Good for you cutting you hair short!
I can't comment on the men finding it attractive though, DP loves shaving my hair, and I love him shaving it!
One of his workmates asked him if he didn't find it a turn off and he did this and said he found strong women sexy, and that nothing was stronger looking to him than a woman who shaved her head!
You need to look in different places, in my group of friends, weird and wild haircuts are the norm, and I actually know a couple of guys who wish more women would shave their heads!
NAMALT. I love short hair on women [ducks for cover having presumably made grossly sexist objectifying comment]. My OH has something approaching an early 90's-style undercut (with clippers involved and everything) and I think it's great.
I think you have to have very delicate features and a small slim face to pull off short hair as a woman.
So is the implication that women with short hair aren't glamorous, then?.
I've got short hair-always have- and I wouldn't consider myself as less glamorous because of it (though old and past my sell-by perhaps).
I actually think that short hair looks MORE glam on some women. Halle Berry looks meh with long hair, imho, for example, but stunning with short hair.
Would it not be people's opinions that men generally just do prefer long hair on women? So I know my dp says he prefers me with long hair ( obvs I do what I want with my hair) but if he finds short haired celeb attractive they tend to be the exception. I guess because it is seen as more feminine generally...?
When I had my hair really short quite a few guys I knew were a bit "why did you do that", which I found quite odd!
On the plus side, every time I went out at least one woman would come up to me and say how nice my hair was and how they weren't brave enough to get theirs cropped!
Being of a certain age, I have to say I love a skinhead cut on a woman. Crew cut and then feathered around the edge (not sure if that is a very good description!).
Every man I know says I look better with short hair. I'm not sure who these men are.
Longer, glossy, swingy hair can look and feel really sexy. Very short hair is suited to the elfin faced minorities IMO.
Is it a feminist issue?
Aren't we genetically programmed to find certain things attractive? It's all about reproduction isn't it? Perhaps longer hair signals youth. We are all subconsciously looking for a mate that we can reproduce with, hence why bald men come off worse.
...or maybe longer hair is synonymous with sexuality? Or availability?
Women in Tudor times, for example, were expected to keep their hair hidden once married. Long, free hair meant either youth and/or virginity.
they want to signal to other men that they have the ability to attract such a woman.
I think you have a point there. I remember my ex telling me his friend found women with certain features I have, as something positive.
I know that children below a certain age can't differentiate between genders i.e. they see a boy with long hair as being a girl / a girl with short hair as being a boy. Maybe these men haven't developed past this stage?
Also there is significant overlap between men who dislike short hair on women, and those who think that women with small boobs / athletic builds look like men.
I imagine there's a lack of intellect involved.
My dh is one of those men who don't like short hair. He can't explain why, he just doesn't find it attractive. I suppose it's quite normal to know what you are attracted too, for example I know plenty of women who would never date a man with long hair.
I think I read somewhere before that it's a primitive thing. Women with full, long hair are more likely to be more fertile. No idea if there was any proper science behind that though, I'm guessing not!
Interesting, I wonder if this is partly why Mary Beard is being given a hard time. Long hair on a woman over 60, they just don't like it and it's even a natural colour, grey.