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How to Improve Your Hair

March 17, 2012
Kate Middleton
I am not an expert on women's fashion, let alone something so specific as hair. However, even the simplest observations about style can be difficult to make in the first person. I have the advantage of being in the third person, as well as being male and therefore having a good grasp of what is attractive to men. Here's what I have noticed about women's hair:

1. Time. This is the most common mistake women make when it comes to their hair. The women with bad hair are invariably those who are unwilling to put in the time it takes to make it look good. I use the term "mistake" loosely, because it is obviously a matter of personal preference. More often than not, "I don't have time" actually means "it isn't a priority." But priorities often change once the relative importance of the viable options is made clear. In this sense, a more important post than this one might be the one I wrote about the importance of hair. I am not interested in giving unsubstantiated moral imperatives, so I won't say that a woman should spend a given amount of time on her hair. However, I will say this: if you aren't spending at least 20 minutes a day on your hair, you aren't looking your best. Considering how important hair is to your overall appearance, and how easy it is to control, it makes sense to spend at least that much time on it - assuming you are interested in maximizing your chances with men.

2.  Length. Long, full hair exudes vitality. It is beautiful, elegant,  vibrant, sexy. It is the most prominent and recognizable indicator of femininity, and it transfixes the attention of men. I've often wondered if the story of Samson was originally written about a woman, because a woman without her hair is like a woman robbed her of life-force. Yes, there are a few men out there that claim to like short hair. (I am actually skeptical that they are being honest with themselves. I wonder if they once had a crush on a girl that wore it short, and therefore think they like it on all women). But their number is so low that it is statistically negligible and warrants no attention. Keep the length between your shoulders and the middle of your back, and always err on the long side if you are unsure. Short hair on a woman is like a mustache on a man - while in very rare instances some people can look good in spite of it, they never look good because of it. Only use extensions if they blend so well that other girls have to look twice to realize you are wearing them. Otherwise it will just looks cheap and trashy. Grow it out instead.

3. Color. Just like your clothes, your hair color needs to work with your complexion. Your natural hair color is always safe, but not usually as fun as the alternatives - and certainly not as dynamic (see #6). You also have a fair amount of flexibility in this regard, because your hair is one of the features that defines your complexion. Most hair colors can be made to work, but you need to make sure that you change the color of your clothes accordingly, and stay within the limits prescribed by the other elements of your complexion. I've seen some women who clearly don't understand this concept, and the result is unnatural-looking and unattractive. For example, bleaching you hair does not mean that you also need to lighten your eyebrows, since this is liable to wash you out. Likewise, red hair is not likely to work if you have olive skin.

4. Texture & Style. Most women can successfully pull off a couple different hair textures and at least a few different styles. While both will be somewhat limited by your face shape (see #5), you will still have options within those limitations. Most men prefer women when they wear their hair down, but there are some cases when showing off your neck and shoulders (one of the most feminine parts of a woman's body) can outweigh the benefits of wearing your hair down. In any case, I've found that my guy friends all have different taste when it comes to texture and style. Some like frizzy hair, some like straight hair, some like wavy hair. There aren't many guidelines here, except those imposed by your face shape. For example, a hairstlye that flatters your jaw line might be impossible to pull off with straight hair. I will say that, in general, more volume is always a good thing. Full hair is healthy hair, especially if you can maintain the shine after adding volume through curling or some other means.

Minka Kelly

5. Shape. There are all kinds of internet resources for figuring out what hairstyle works best with your face shape and hairline. Use them, but remember the following when you do:
  • While the various shapes are broken into categories, some women fall in between two of the categories (in the same way that your complexion might be halfway between a "clear winter" and a "clear autumn"). Realizing this might help you identify your own shape.
  • Ignore anything that tells you that a short hairstyle suits you best (see #3). While it may be true that short hair compliments the shape of your face, a hairstyle's suitability to your face is far less important than looking feminine when it comes to attracting men.
  • You should consider not only the shape of your face in portrait, but also in profile. Here is a blog post that describes this:


There is an article here: that makes an effort to illustrate the rights and wrongs of choosing a hairstyle. The website in general is interesting: they are trying to create a program with which you can visualize how you will look with different hair styles. While I think they need a lot of improvement on the visualization tools, the website (and the article in particular) at least helps you understand the underlying concepts. You can figure the specific applications for yourself. The general idea is to use the shape of your hair to give the impression of an oval-shaped head. For example, a woman with a square-shaped head would use her hair to round out the "corners" of her face, while a woman with a triangular face should use her hair to give the impression of added width to the top of her head and de-emphasize the width at the bottom.

7. Cleanliness. Dreadlocks and dirty hair are repulsive. I can't count the number of times my friends and I have seen a girl with dreads and all agreed how much we hated the way it looked. While a negligibly small percentage of guys might mildly attracted to the "look" it creates (hipster, etc.), there is nothing attractive about the hair itself, and I can guarantee you those same guys won't hold it against you if you wash your hair regularly. Your hair is most attractive when it projects an image of health. It does this when it is shiny, and it is shiny when it is clean. Full and healthy hair is an indication that your body is being supplied with the resources it needs to produce such hair (protein, vitamins, etc.), and also that you care about yourself enough to take care of it. Unclean hair implies a poor diet, bad genes, or apathy - none of which is going to attract your future husband. (Note that this does not mean you should necessarily wash your hair every day. In fact, this might do more damage than good in some cases.)

6. Dynamics. One of my favorite things about women is their ability to change their look. By coloring your hair differently or changing its shape and texture, you have dramatic leverage over your appearance. Your boyfriend or husband might like a particular look the most, but seeing the same thing every day is not something that the male mind is programmed to appreciate. If you can figure out a few different ways of doing your hair that he likes, switching among them periodically can offer your man some of the variety that he has given up by being in a committed relationship with you. As with everything else in life, you really only know whether or not something works by trying it out. Without taking risks, you will not improve.

Related Posts
1. The Importance of Hair
2. Hair and Makeup Variety
3. How to Avoid Looking "Fake"

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