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What’s In A Woman’s Hair?

Joy Ofuonye in this report deciphers men’s preference for a woman’s hair.

One of the first noticeable features about a woman is her hair. Even the Holy Book acknowledges this fact; the hair of a woman is her glory; a woman’s hair is her crowning beauty, says the Bible in a verse in Corinthians. The woman’s hair is therefore considered to be one of the most important and attractive aspects of her physical appearance. For this reason, women tend to give more attention to their hair spending a great deal of time and money to ensure that it is healthy and as attractive as possible. This energy is often spent so that she comes out feeling more confident, attractive and appealing to men. Karen Moore, of TRE Semme Philips, hair appliance said, “Hair is such a defining part of a woman’s appearance.

Hair is as important to a woman as her profession, and any other assets she’s got and is one of the primary ways to declare her identity.” Long hair is traditionally strongly linked to feminity. It’s interesting to see that men still favour this traditional stereotypical looks for women with long hair, despite the massive popularity of shorter styles. Research has demonstrated that there is an evolutional reason for men’s preference for long hair to short hair on women.

Experiments and observations have demonstrated that a woman’s hair plays a major role in how men rate a woman’s attractive. The quality and length of her hair serves as a marker of genetic strength and overall health. Several studies have demonstrated that men find women with medium length to long hair more attractive than their shorter haired counterparts. The research also revealed that men also rate longer haired women as healthy and fitter than shorter haired women.

The debate goes far back as the 17thg century. According to James A. Rawley, during the transatlantic slave trade (17th century), the time when blacks were deported from the “Dark Continent” (Africa) into the Caribbean and America; black women were dehumanized and made to feel inferior as their hair was viewed as wild and animalistic. This made these black women to start using heat to straighten their hair for a better relationship with the whites. With the introduction of relaxers in 1920s by Madam C.J. Walker, African women were able to secure better jobs among the whites. Most black hair care companies today are still owned and controlled by Caucasians with their advertisements geared towards discrediting black hair for better sales. Thus creating an impression that natural hair is animalistic.

In another study published in the research Journal Human Nature, researchers found that women who had originally been rated by a test group as being less a-t tractive were rated far more highly when shown with a longer hairstyle. The experimenters concluded that longer hair helps to disguise less desirable features. Also, as described by many men during the experiment, long hair also contributes to a more feminine and youthful appearance. 70% of men describe long hair as sexy and admitted that they love running their fingers through ladies hair.

A young lady Brenda who spoke with our correspondent confirmed this. In her words, “my boyfriend broke up with me the day I had my hair cut. We have been dating for two years, I knew he loved seeing my hair long but after seeing some beautiful short hairstyles on a fashion show, I fell in love with it and decided to get a haircut. His reaction was quite the opposite of what I had expected; when I enquired to know why he gave me the unpleasant look, he bluntly replied “you don’t look attractive to me anymore”. While it could be true that most men love to see their ladies with long hair, a great number of them are the happier if the hair is natural devoid of any hair extensions. This is brought to fore by John Amadi, in his response “When I see a woman with long hair that is neat; it’s a great attraction for me especially if it is her natural hair. There is nothing as good and cheap as a woman having her natural hair.

Even if she wants to put something to it, I don’t mind her using the attachments to braid the hair.” Despite a large percentage of men preferring long hair as their top style, most women create this style using extensions or styling tools as not many are endowed with these natural looks, especially in this part of the world. However, some other women prefer shorter hair and have their reasons to choose a shorter hairstyle. Some of the reasons, out of so many reasons are;   some feel it is easier to maintain a shorter hairstyle. They are of the opinion that short hair is easy to style and less expensive to maintain.

However, some women still think long hair is easier to maintain. Chris a businessman, said that apart from the fact that he can easily run his hands through his babe’s short hair, “I prefer short hair because I do not like artificial things. It is not that I cannot afford the expensive hair, the truth is that short hair brings out the simplicity in a woman and I love things that are simple.” Short hair especially if treated, requires that the woman would regularly visit the salon. Sophia, a student says, “I used to have short hair. Then, I used to visit the salon every two weeks to style it. One thing I hated with short hair is that if my hair looked messy there was no way to hide it unlike now I have a long hair.

I can wrap it in a pretty bun with a pretty hair stick and I am good to go. Another thing is that with long hair you can do loads of ‘updos’ because long hair is very versatile.” For Paul, a political scientist, he would give anything for a woman with long hair. “The longer the hair, the more beautiful she looks. I really love women with long hair especially all those oyibo hairs that they fix. It really makes them beautiful” he said. While most men appear to have a strong preference for long hair styles or whatever the length of hair, maintaining the hair’s healthy appearance is what matters to them.

So says Ahmed, a media practitioner. “I actually do not have any problems with my woman’s hair. It’s her choice though I prefer my woman on short hair. I love it when my woman is adventurous with her looks. If she is comfortable with the short hair, I am okay with it; if she says it is long hair, I still do not mind.” There are some men whose preference is a short hair that is healthy and lustrous. For Junior, a psychologist, “I love women with natural hair be it long or short and braids. There is this thing about women with natural hair; it brings out their face and makes them look like the African beauty that they truly are.” But whatever choice one prefers-long or short- the key thing is to keep the hair neat and healthy.

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