Beauty Beat: Long-haired Ladies and Tall Men

A Lock on Love: The Luster of Long Hair

One inch off, or four? Men rate faces surrounded by long and medium-length hair as prettier, according to a study from the University of Pecs, in Hungary. And the beauty boost is most dramatic for women who are the least attractive to begin with. Men also associate personality traits with different cuts: Women with longer hair seem healthy, intelligent, and mature, while women with short hair are seen as more youthful, honest, caring, and emotional. In general, men prefer youthful traits in a woman's face because they signal fertility, so what's with the preference for long hair? The researchers suggest there might be a stronger signal at work: Demanding time and energy for growth and grooming, extended locks advertise both health and wealth. So that's how Rapunzel scored a prince.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

The Sheen Showdown

Here's what our team of testers thought about products that keep your hair looking healthy, no matter the length:

  • Avalon Organics Ylang Ylang Glistening Shampoo, $6 for 11 oz.

    "My hair feels smoother and more manageable after a few uses." —Rachel Dunlap, Seventh-grade teacher

  • Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner, $10 for 11 oz.

    "I've definitely noticed less frizz. My hair is softer, too." —Laura Beerits, Administrative assistant

  • Frederic Fekkai Glossing Sheer Shine Mist, $22.50 for 5 oz.

    "A few spritzes make my hair noticeably shinier, and it's extremely lightweight." —Liz Somes, PT Editorial intern

Aiming High: Are Height Preferences for Mates Hardwired?

No man wants to wear platform shoes for a date (OK, maybe some do)—a study reveals just how strong our preferences are for the taller-man-shorter-woman duo. Researchers mined Yahoo Personals (while at work!) and found that only 23 percent of men would consider dating a woman taller than they are. Women were even bigger size snobs: Only 4 percent were open to breaking romantic tradition.

Whether you have a height preference has little to do with being a feminist, at least among the younger generation. In the college students surveyed, there was little correlation between support for traditional gender roles and dream date stature.

The weakness of the link "suggests that our preferences are more deeply rooted in our evolutionary history," says study co-author David Frederick of UCLA. Of course this probably doesn't apply if you're Tom Cruise (5'7"). His copious resources dwarfed his Lilliputian frame and helped him snag Nicole Kidman (5'10") and Katie Holmes (5'9").

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.