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Hair body language


Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Hair body language

Appearance | Tossing | Touching | See also


The hair is a part of the body and hence is used in various ways for communication.


Hair can be cut and shaped into a wide range of styles which contributes to the overall image and hence sends non-verbal signals.

A conventional and tidy cut indicates a conventional person who follows basic social rules.

Well-styled hair can indicate a desire to be attractive and so get the approval and admiration of others.


Conventionally, men usually have a very limited social style, with hair cut reasonably short.

Very short hair may signal aggression, perhaps echoing army crew cuts. It has also been used by 'skinheads' and is popular with club bouncers and other 'heavies'.

Long male hair is typical of young 'drop-outs' (or those who would like to, but cannot afford it :). When unkempt it can show a lack of care and perhaps lower self-esteem. Longer hair can also be a sign of rebellion and assertion of identity.


Women are socially permitted to wear a much wider range of styles, probably to attract men (and compete with other women in this).

Long hair frames the face and may partially cover it, teasing about the beauty behind this curtain. Particularly when covering the eyes, long hair over the face provides a barrier behind which the woman can hide, perhaps when she has lower confidence or self-esteem.

When women cut their hair short, it can indicate a desire to be male, like a man or perhaps to be unattractive to men. It may also be a rebellion against womanhood, for example when they have been mistreated by other women when they were young.


Tossing the head throws the hair backwards (actually or virtually), drawing attention to it. It can thus be a romantic gesture ('Hey, guys, wouldn't you like to stroke my gorgeous long, blonde hair!').

Throwing long hair back also exposes the face, which may be an invitation, opening the doors to communication. It can also be an aggressive act as the person now gives you more unwanted attention.


Stroking the hair is a preening gesture, which can be deliberate checking that it is perfectly coiffed or an invitation to stroke also.

Playing with the hair is particularly flirtatious and invites the other person to do this for you.

See also

Head body language

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