Monday, February 5, 2024

Attention Women: Is Your Hairdresser Sabotaging You?

 Mine doesn't because I actually don't have one and never cut my hair:)

Intrasexual competition between women is often covert, and targets rivals' appearance. Here we investigate appearance advice as a vector for female intrasexual competition. Across two studies (N = 192, N = 258) women indicated how much hair they would recommend hypothetical clients have cut off in their hypothetical salon. Clients varied in their facial attractiveness (depicted pictorially), the condition of their hair, and how much hair they wished to have cut off. Participants also provided self-report measures of their own mate value and intrasexual competitiveness. In both studies, participants' intrasexual competitiveness positively predicted how much hair they recommended clients have cut off, especially when the hair was in good condition and the clients reported wanting as little as possible cut off – circumstances wherein cutting off too much hair is most likely to indicate sabotage. Considering data across both collectively, women tended to recommend cutting the most hair off clients they perceived to be as attractive as themselves. These data suggest that just like mating, intrasexual competition may be assortative with respect to mate value. They also demonstrate that competitive motives can impact female-female interactions even in scenarios which feature no prospective mates, and are nominally unrelated to mate guarding or mating competition.

Great discussion on VD's new substack, btw. 


  1. That's interesting! I don't have a hairdresser as there isn't anything to ''dress'' with my (long) hair. I had my ends trimmed in 2019 as I thought I had a lot of split ends but it turned out not to be the case. I was just obsessed over something that was probably age related.

  2. Well, now that I think of it i recall how when I was a student I once went to a hairdresser to have my hair trimmed and ended up with a short haircut and a perm which made me look 20 years older and it took me several months to get rid of it and grow my hair out again;) I thought then it was bad luck now not so sure anymore!

  3. I'll tell you more. A woman I knew once who had nice long hair herself was trying to persuade a young and pretty girl to chop hers off. These things happen more often than you think...

  4. Remember this fairy tale? Mirror mirror on the wall who is the prettiest of them all? It was based on facts;)