Research Article| Volume 6, ISSUE 4, P93-101, October 1988

Psychologic and sociologic dimensions of hair: An aspect of the physical attractiveness phenomenon

  • Gordon L. Patzer
    Address for correspondence: Gordon L. Patzer, PhD, Loyola Marymount University, 7101 West 80th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
    From the Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California USA
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      Hair is more than meets the eye. Despite arguments that the study of its psychologic and sociologic implications is frivolous, hair is important. Another person's hair is one of the first characteristics we notice upon meeting. Our own hair is one of the first and last characteristics we attend to before a meeting or a social engagement.
      Observations of contemporary culture suggest that hair has significance to society as a whole and in the lives of individuals. Existing social science research on hair is not voluminous but recently has noted that “the psychology of hair is a subject of growing interest.”1 At present, social science research addresses hair both directly and indirectly. Direct research focuses on psychologic and sociologic dimensions of hair. While scant, this research investigates color, length/style, and amount (in terms of baldness). Indirect research reflects a greater quantity and involves hair as a determinant of an individual's physical attractiveness. As such, selective social science data about physical attractiveness that is partially determined by hair can be reasonably generalized as social science data that specifically focuses on hair. Given interdependences between hair and physical attractiveness, these relationships reflect a straightforward extrapolation of knowledge. As a result, psychologic and sociologic knowledge of hair exists in a robust body of social science reseach.
      Accordingly, this article discusses research on “the physical attractiveness phenomena” as well as an overview on the psychologic and sociologic dimensions of an individual's hair.
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