Does a bad hair day affect your well-being?
Having bad hair may lower self esteem.
We all have them—bad hair days—the morning you wake up that no matter what product you throw in your ‘do, it’s not ‘do-ing’ what you want it to. So you leave the house in a funk and secretly have a slightly less elevated mood, no matter how much you try to convince yourself this is not the case. But little did we realize, having a bad hair day can do more than affect your afternoon. Bad hair can have a serious impact on your overall mental well-being, says a new study.
Researchers have found that people have a tendency to perform well below what they are capable of when they believe their hair doesn’t look good. The study, conducted by Proctor & Gamble, found that even the thought of a bad hair day made both men and women feel less intelligent. In addition, it was reported that men feel less self-confident and more nervous when they don’t like their hair, while women feel embarrassed and ashamed.
“There is a strong correlation between what we see in the mirror and how we feel about ourselves,” Amy L. Flowers, PhD, a psychologist with expertise in self-esteem and body image and with a practice in Macon, Ga, tells San Jose Mercury News.
“Thomas Cash, a famous researcher in body image, states that up to 25 percent of our self-esteem is determined by how we feel about our bodies — you can't hate the way you look and still love yourself,” Flowers said. “Also, we assume that others see us the way we see ourselves, so if we don't like a particular feature (like our hair), we assume that others find it repulsive, too.”
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“I think hair can say a lot about how we see ourselves — if it looks like you just fell out of bed, it implies that you don't care about your appearance, which to me indicates poor self-esteem,” says Flowers. “I don't think you have to have on a full face of makeup before going out to get the mail, but a person who is going out in public should be clean and tidy. It shows self-respect and makes a good impression.” And she urges people to "remember that old expression: You only have one chance to make a first impression.”
Tell us: Does your hair affect your mood?
Photo: Courtney Bell/Getty Images
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People tell me I'm pretty, but I suffer from female pattern baldness. Some days I can camoflauge it, some days, not so much. So, yes, it does affect my self esteem. I'm also a 4 year cancer survivor, so I'll have to say getting breast reconstruction effected my confidence and self esteem more, albeit in a positive way. Not having a breast in this culture was the hardest thing I've had to deal with.A bad hair day doesn't seem so bad when I remember what it felt like having a crater in my chest! :O)
My suggestion for a bad hair day are to have plenty of cute barrettes (adults can wear them too) and a Scrunchy or two in your arsenal. Better yet, start from scratch if you can't get your hair to behave.
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