Hairstyles and Skull Exposure

Life, Genetics 2009-04-20 11:18

Hairstyle has a dramatic effect on how a person looks. I’ve been through 4 hairstyles in the last 18 months (long hair -> dreadlocks -> shaved head -> short hair) so I’ve gotten some direct experience with this. People respond to you very differently depending on your haircut.

One element of hairstyle that I find interesting is skull exposure. It’s like this: exposing the forehead (where the skull is most visible - no muscle or fat, just skin on bone) makes a person look fiercer. Covering the skull makes them appear soft and approachable.

The obvious example here is the shaved head, which is the fiercest look of all - the skull is completely exposed. Probably why it was favored by Anton Lavey:

On the other extrme is what is now called emo hair, where the forehead is completely covered:

This person comes across more soft and sensitive than they would with a shaved pate, or even with their hair swept back from the front of the skull.

Covering the skull is more common in girls, i.e., bangs:

Bangs are evocative of little girls. The very antithesis of fierce.

I’ve also heard the theory that this is why male pattern baldness exists. Males who expose their skulls appear fiercer, and thus have an advantage in defending their mates and children.