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First Impressions

What does your appearance say about your personality?

Research has demonstrated that we begin to form an impression of an individual's personality and character within seconds of first meeting them. While a multitude of factors ranging from makeup to clothing choices contributes to the impressions we create, hairstyle has been shown to be one of the most prominent factors in impression making. In real life, however, people have complex personalities that cannot be summarized or fully described simply by hairstyle. Because of this, it is important to consider the various aspects of your appearance, including hairstyle as well as clothing and makeup, in order to be sure that your appearance is accurately conveying your true personality. This can be especially important in situations where a good first impression is vital, such as job interviews or dates.
 
brunette girl with long hair So what do your hairstyle and clothing choices say about your personality? What type of image are you trying to convey? A study conducted by Yale University researchers indicates that it is essential to consider these factors when choosing a hairstyle. Experimenters discovered that women with sexy hairstyles were perceived as less intelligent, while women with short hair were viewed as more confident and outgoing. These stereotypes were influenced by other factors including hair length and hair color. Women with long blonde hair such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet were viewed as more affluent and sexier while women with medium-length darker hair such as Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Garner were perceived as smarter and more fun loving.
 
Women are not the only ones burdened with these appearance-related stereotypes. Men with short hair that is longer in the front were described as sexier and more confident, but were also seen as more self-absorbed. Those with medium-length hair parted on the side were described as being more intelligent and competent, yet were considered more narrow-minded. Men with extremely long hair were viewed as less intelligent but more good-natured.
 
These descriptions of personality and character reveal how influential a hairstyle can be on creating an impression. In order to avoid becoming stereotyped based solely on a hairstyle, it is important to consider other factors that contribute to the response that we create. Selecting clothing and accessories that offset negative reactions and express your true personality are an excellent way to create an accurate view of your character. Consider the following personality descriptions that are based on hairstyle, clothing, and general physical appearance. Which category does your current look fit into? Are you projecting the image that you want to convey? If not, consider incorporating other elements into your look that will reinforce the personality traits you want people to notice.
 
1. Ingénue and Romantic Styles
 
Women described as ingénue's often appear very girlish and young. They tend to have a delicate bone structure, with fine features and large eyes. If your look falls into this category, you usually look good with long hair that creates a very soft, feminine look.
 
Because of your sometimes-dainty appearance, however, it is important to avoid hairstyles and clothing that are too "cutesy." Such choices can cause you to look almost childlike, which can lead people to perceive you as immature and irresponsible. However, do not try to compensate for this by wearing excessively bold clothing that will overpower your small frame.
 
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