Does “bad hair” really equate to a bad day?
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As Hilary Clinton once said at a commencement speech, “Hair matters.” And, while she was being cheeky, studies have shown that when a bad hair day strikes, it can leave a devastating toil that goes beyond a lackluster appearance.
Many of us have experienced various feelings of unease when roots are exposed, a new tuft of gray hair appears, or a trip to the salon goes wrong. It runs the gamut from denial, anxiety, remorse, shame, to feelings of futility. And unfortunately, it’s all been confirmed by Yale psychology professor Marianne LaFrance, whose study concluded a bad hair day affects self-esteem, increases self-doubt, intensifies social insecurities and self-criticism. Even more alarming is that “individuals perceive their capabilities to be significantly lower than others when experiencing bad hair.” It’s enough to take our hair, very seriously.
In another study with related findings, Professor Margaret Neale at Stanford Business School found that seeing yourself as attractive gives you an edge at work. The reason? When you perceive yourself as desirable, you think yourself superior, and act accordingly. While some egos do not need to be stroked, Neale suggests using this finding the next time you go into an important meeting or job interview. Channel the confidence you experienced when you felt alluring, and it will make you less nervous in your interactions.
Whether you use your hair as a power play, there’s no doubt your best hair is a happiness conduit. Obtain it, and it’s powerful enough to turn around a negative attitude and inspire courage. When every strand is in place, shiny and lustrous, you feel like you’re on top of things, and you can take on the world with confidence. If you look at it another way, when you feel happy and capable, you feel your most beautiful, and the best part? It has nothing to do with age.
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