Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hair personality

This hairpisodes blog is subtitled "What we do to hair, what hair does to us" for a reason. Because it goes both ways. We style our hair for what we like and what we think looks good on us, and also as a form of self-expression. Meanwhile, hairstyle "authorities" are out there making claims regarding the impressions our hair makes on others. Generalizations run rampant:
Dark Hair -- You're thoughtful
Red Hair --You're fun-loving
Blonde Hair --You're a man magnet
Gray Hair -- You're confident
(from Reader's Digest, 13 things your hair could reveal about your personality)

Well, that's just silly. Quintessential White People Problems.

Cosmopolitan's article 20 Things Your Hairstyle Says About You is more intriguing, based on author Jean Haner's "studies in 3,000-year-old face reading derived from Chinese medicine."

Image from Book of Research
Wait, face reading? I am so going there. Apparently, Haner is interpolating her hair wisdom in the "20 Things" article from the Chinese ancient practice of Mien Shiang.

"The age-old Taoist practice of Mien Shiang is an art and a science that means literally face (mien) reading (shiang). It is an accurate means of self-discovery, and a great way to help us understand others. As the ancient Taoists said, the face records the past, reflects the present, and forecasts the future." (from The Book of Research)

The Book of Research web site offers a lot of info on Mien Shiang. Next to nothing about hair, though, except for discussion of the hairline (related to socialization) and eyebrows:

6. House of Siblings (Xiongdi Gong) -- Eyebrows and the areas directly above them represent it, and it also oversees your relationship with your friends and colleagues. The state of your hair has a direct connection to the physical conditions of your parents at the time when you were conceived, which means it has a lot to do with your genetic make-ups. Brows that are dark, thick, long, smooth, orderly and located high above eyes indicate a healthy hormone level that gives rise to affection, calmness and courage. If they look sparse, thin, pale, short, or chaotic, or too close to eyes, or marked with a scar, you could be tormented by your own physical or emotional states.
Okay, we're talking rampant generalizations again. But it's got me thinking about the reality of "hair reading," about the human tendency to generalize about a person's personality based in large part on their hair. It is what it is.