Womanly or Manly

Women with very short hair and long hair
Photo: Gpointstudio/Shutterstock
Q: Why is long hair womanly and short hair manly?
A: Unfortunately, this is an old concept that has been propagated by many different groups who claim "tradition" as a virtue. While not willing to deny that there is much to be respected about traditions, we need to remember that most traditions only remain in place until they are challenged or altered according to the changing times.
Some of the concepts of "womanly long hair" have to do with scriptural references, where passages of various religious texts speak against cutting a woman's hair. A man's hair was sometimes shorn in order to be more comfortable as he worked. However, men's hair in classic representations of the time periods being described are often shown as being far longer than that of many women we see today.
When we look at art and representations of the human form from throughout history (using these representations as a reflection of the period they were created in and not necessarily representative of the periods that they portray) we see that hairstyles (specifically lengths) for men and women have varied widely from generation to generation. Many gentlemen and nobles of varied periods in the age of chivalry had long hair, and who could look at the short-cropped flappers of the roaring 20s and think they were anything BUT ultra-feminine?
While it IS traditionally accepted that longer hair is common amongst women and shorter hair is common among men, the lengths involved are relative according to the regions of the world and the era in which you live. Modern hairstyles are all about referencing classic looks and updating them according to modern developments. Today's traits of masculine and feminine styling have less to do with overall length, and more to do with finishing techniques and cutting angles.
Here's hoping that this helps your understanding of the question.
See also:
Hair length and gender
Why do men prefer long hair?
Why do women cut their hair short?
What are the secrets of seductive hair?