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‘Hair theory’: What your hairstyle says about you

ANN/THE STAR – What does your hairstyle say about who you are?

The idea is proving popular on TikTok, where users are demonstrating how a simple hairstyle can speak volumes about personality, and affect how we’re perceived by others.

This is what’s known as “hair theory”.

Professional, bold, adventurous, confident or disorganised, here’s what your hair says about you.

Cherry cola hair colour, the shaggy bob, curtain bangs and the butterfly cut are just some of the must-have hair inspirations for 2023.

But before taking the plunge, you might want to consider “hair theory”.

According to TikTok users, our hair can reflect our personality, and that a simple hairstyle can influence the way we are perceived – and treated – by others.

Through the dozens, if not hundreds, of videos posted on TikTok with the #hairtheory hashtag, which currently has over 70 million views, we learn that the hairstyle we create in front of the mirror in the morning – or later in the day – determines how our fellow human beings see us.

A Barbie pink hair colour? You’re bound to be bold and adventurous.

A bun tied up in a hurry? You’re a laid-back person who’s generally easygoing.

A ballerina bun? That’s a sign of sophistication. A perfectly smooth blow-dry? You’re sophisticated too, and certainly more so than those who step out with curly or wavy hair.

This theory is clearly a little simplistic, if not reductive, and even prone to discrimination, but users of the Chinese social network seem to swear by this concept.

And we even learn that hairstyle can speak volumes about personality depending on where they are worn.

A casual bun at work will not be perceived in the same way as when it is worn in a gym.

Just as a sleek blow-dry will not be viewed in the same light at a fancy party or a bowling alley.

And some users go even further and say that a blonde hair colour allows them to get more dates than when their hair is brown.

This theory, which draws on many stereotypes, seems to be supported by many TikTokers, who attempt to highlight its veracity with some particularly perplexing videos.

We see the users in question static, but flipping between different hairstyles, to demonstrate that a few strands moved several centimetres can make all the difference.


If it seems obvious that a hairstyle can change the appearance of a person, whatever it may be, all the means undertaken to demonstrate this theory seem a bit farfetched.

Nevertheless, some users support their statements by basing them on another more widely-known concept called “enclothed cognition”, which describes how clothing impacts human cognition.

So, a white coat will be associated with the medical profession, a suit with a formal event or leggings with a workout.

The phenomenon, which is the subject of scientific research, is said to result in changes not only in the wearer’s self-perception but also in the way others might behave towards them, depending on the clothing they wear day to day.

A theory that TikTok users are now applying to hair.

While “hair theory” might claim to base its foundations on a scientific concept, it certainly doesn’t mean that a hairstyle should define the person who wears it, far from it.

To take this theory to the letter would be to submit to new social constraints and expectations, when a hairstyle is often nothing more than a simple form of expression.

The important thing is to have confidence in yourself, and in your hair choices, no matter what others might think.

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