Hair & Sex

My experience as a hairdresser and coffee shop people watcher is that hair is indelibly linked with Sex for many of us whether we are conscious of it or not.

Take a minute to think about how many times per day we check our hair in a mirror or the reflection in a window as we pass by.  How many times do we touch it or for that matter, how often we think about our hair throughout the day? It can’t be just me!

Why do we spend more personal care time on our hair than any other aspect of our appearance?  Why does the way our hair feels, look, or move affect our mood and confidence so powerfully?  Why when an attractive member of the opposite sex enters our area of possible encounter does our hand shoot straight up for a final touch-up of our hair?  Maybe we just remember that we often describe others by referring to the style, colour and quality of their hair and just want to make sure we give a good impression but I think that our hands through our own hair has a far deeper meaning!

It simply isn’t possible to appreciate the importance of hair in our daily life without examining its role in a sexual context.  Whether we realize it or not, when we smell, touch, fondle or caress someone’s hair, the behaviour is a sexual act. When you caress yours or someone else’s hair, it releases pheromones into the air, subtly communicating not just visually but olfactory.

Regardless how much money we have, what we do for a living, or how perfect and flawless our body and attire might otherwise be, when our hair isn’t right, we don’t feel right.  How our hair is cut, coloured or styled, telegraphs to the world our sexual aggression’s insecurities, confidence and personal feelings.  Hair, for better or worse, is the single most important part of our anatomy affecting our psyche.  We will readily reschedule an appointment with our Solicitor, doctor, or accountant, before we will risk losing an opening with our favourite hairstylist.

If our genitalia are a primary sexual object, then hair is a secondary sexual object.  In most countries and cultures it is socially unacceptable to openly display one’s genitals, and usually unlawful too, just ask George Michael. It is precisely this social taboo that gives hair most of its power as a sexual object as it can usually be openly displayed and even flaunted.

Some societies recognise the sexual allure of hair and for this reason have laws or customs requiring the covering or removal of hair.  Often the shaving of the head is used as a form of punishment, or as in the case of the military, to destroy the psyche of self so that the soldier can be programmed as one of a team where all are alike, if not exactly equal.

Female hair is usually viewed as seductive with the colour and length being used to categorize.  Redheads are labelled as fiery and wanton, brunettes as sassy and dominant and blondes as passive and submissive. These stereotypes are alive and well in Hollywood along with our own celebrity magazines. Long hair is often seen as expressing sensuality and an indicator of fertility and availability and short hair as independent, assertive and forceful but maybe some men are just wishing!  The thinning of female hair can sadly have a huge impact on the wearer’s personal feelings resulting in how attractive they feel.  Lack of lustre and body could be interpreted by some as indicating poor personal grooming.

Male hair is symbolic of virility and strength.  Thus the loss of hair can represent the loss of virility, strength and stamina, a symbolic castration of a man’s masculinity.

When a divorce is filed both parties make a dash for their salon.  Subconsciously understanding that they need to make themselves back into a desirable acquisition for the opposite sex as dating will soon resume.  A savvy hairstylist could make a fortune hanging out at the courthouse passing out cards.  I am pleased to say that we  have not felt the need to go down this route but I have named this particular hair appointment which is usually a restyle as a ‘Break over’

If sexual attraction were not reason enough to keep one’s hair in the best possible shape and condition, in addition, hair also determines our careers, promotions and friendships. We not only love hair and covet the hair of those that are blessed, we may well view ourselves as superior as we use our hair to attract, flaunt, and seduce.

The next time you sit in a bar or coffee shop and find yourself watching people having a conversation you may just find that you know more about what is going on than the person’s in the frame.