Men Prefer Great Hair Over Big Breasts?

Sixty percent of men would rather date a woman with great hair than big breasts. Fabulous hair also topped low-cut blouses when it came to alluring men in bars. So says a recent survey reported in Glamour.

Do keep in mind that 40% chose breasts over hair. So if you’re well-endowed, not to worry.

Is this true? Some wonder. After all, Pantene commissioned the study.

The research has been picked up and widely reported. Here are a few comments from men on the topic.

  • On my list of attributes I wanted, “hair longer than mine” ranked well above “a chest larger than mine.”
  • The face/hair falls #1 on the thing my friends and I notice first about attractive ladies. It’s not that we ignore the other blessings bestowed upon a beautiful woman, but what’s above the neckline determines approachability and friendliness and gives a much better sense of the person than cleavage. I have no friends who discriminate based on cup size, and bras today can make Betty White’s breasts appear firm. (NOTE: Admittedly, I’m almost 40. So maybe we older dudes judge by different standards.)
  • We would notice your curves first, ass, chest, legs and the way you stand. But your head will become our primary focus after that. Your face, your hair, your smile is what charm us. We really notice your hairstyle, especially if it’s a nice cut. It’s also a mirror of your personality, of how you can take care of yourself, it’s feminine and sexy.

The survey results make some sense. Keira Knightley and Paris Hilton have both landed on FHM’s “sexiest women” list. They both have great hair, but little cleavage. A past roommate of mine had gorgeous hair and face but very little “up top,” as they say, yet men went nuts for her.

Related research shows that men usually rank face over body in some circumstances too. Surprising? Given a choice between seeing a woman’s face or body, 75% of men preferred to see face for long-term relationships, compared with 51% who wanted to see body for a short fling.

Overall, I would call this good news. First, maintaining beautiful hair is not dangerous, unlike going under a knife for implants.

And, I appreciate the sense that face and hair reveal personality and give a sense of who the woman is, while cleavage does not. Men caring more about women as people than objects. Who knew?

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 6, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, men, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I think the reason hair would be more attractive is because it’s the thing that frames and draws attention to your face, so It would be more noticeable than breasts, which are usually not framed by anything, lower from the eyes view, and thus less noticeable. For me, clean and well groomed hair, hands, etc shows that the woman (or man) is clean and hygienic. When you see a man or woman with really greasy or just dirty hair or dirty trapped under the nails, it kinda shows that they aren’t very clean and don’t take care of themselves in a hygienic way! (or at least that’s how I see it). Breasts are breasts and are always attractive in my view, but being and looking clean always makes the most impact on whether or not I find someone attractive. So I can see why men would prefer clean hair over breast.
    I think the reason there is a stereotype that men prefer breasts over anything else is due to movies. I always see in movies and shows how they guy would look at a girl and only notice the physical body first. Ever notice how the camera will start from the women legs, travel up slowly, then finally settle on her face? That’s how a lot of attractive women are introduced in movies and shows. I don’t believe that it is just a camera technique…

  2. This is an amazing article because this is something I notice first about women. I usually like to believe that hair is the key to a woman’s personality. If she up keeps her hair in a clean and orderly fashion than that’s how she is as a person. Breasts are additional assets that men like to prefer to look at it, and it’s always nice to touch and feel them, but hair is a visual attraction that mainly gets the man. As a woman, I love to do my hair and have it done up in so many different styles, but there are just some days that I cannot keep up with my hair. Those are the sloppy and “help, I am having trouble getting out of bed” days. Breasts attracts men sexually, while hair attracts them in a more goddess like way.

  3. i feel that great hair accentuates the face which is what most guys see first (even before the cleavage in the breast) and also great hair is fun for guys to play with. I read in a study that men are very tactile so they enjoy the feeling of say things like soft hair, smooth skin, body warmth, and other things. Most men dont actually like big breast once they have them because most men dont know what to do with them (at least when they are TOO big) they distract. Most men report that a little jiggle is perfectly fine. I believe that men loving large DD sized breast is a front for the homies and from the media.

  4. This is absolutely true. At leasst, to me, it is.

    I’d say that I’m among the 60%!

    In my opinion:

    A cleavage reveals nothing but a woman’s celebration for the beauty of women. I would guess that’s the one and only reason why some women would choose to show their cleavage.

    While women are celebrating their beauty by showing their cleavage, it could also be misleading for men. In my collective social experience, I’ve gained this notion from many that men are no different than dogs die trying to mate, and because of that, in some cultures, women are repressed for their benefits and safety. In those cultures, women are to dressed fully-covered. Their right of showing their cleavage is taken away.

    Hopefully, through this research by Pantene will show the world that men are now, perhaps, less interested in breasts and more interested in the the hair on women’s head. Moreover, I hope that through this research report, woman can celebrate their beauty (for example, showing their cleavage) as much as they want without having to worry that they’ll be raped.

  5. This is not surprising to me at all. Breasts represent sex so of course a guy that puts breasts over hair is just looking for a hook up and not a relationship. You can tell a lot about a person by their style so when guys are looking for a good girl to have a relationship with, they choose which girls to approach by how they present themselves. There was a study similar to this one that proved guys find an average looking girl with a smile more attractive than an above average girl without a smile. It is all about how you present yourself and approachability. A girl with a good smile and dolled up hair is going to attract a mate while girls in skimpy outfits with piles of makeup on and pouting trying to be sexy will only attract guys looking for sex.

  6. As a woman, I believe that it shouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a man to be attracted to a woman’s hair as to her big curves because you can tell much more hair than a big rack. When you see that a woman has nice hair and styles it, it means that she takes good care of herself. And when you look at a womans rack, there is not much you can tell from there, except that she has a big rack. Who can judge, there will always be someone who would prefer big breast over hygiene. That’s what makes our society unique because everyones preference is different.

  7. As a guy, I’ll admit that I don’t find the rest of this survey to be very surprising. As one of the comments provided in the article mentions, the face/general head area of a woman is the determinant in whether or not a man will approach a woman. I personally agree. Facial cues are important, and that’s where the hair can play a part. The way a woman’s face is framed by her hair can really affect her appearance (as with guys). There are other things you can pick up from hair too, for example, if she has long hair, and it looks really nice and maintained, then she’s probably a clean person. And has good hair genes, if that’s your thing. I know that I look for hair over breast myself. A nice face, and nice hair is far more desirable in a mate, especially long-term, then a nice set of breasts.

  8. Personally, I’m not surprise that more men choose great hair over big breasts. I don’t think a guy can tell much about a girl by looking at their breast. But rather by looking at a girl’s hair can reflect them directly such as if they have a good sense of style, are the hair clean or if they look greasy from that you can get some idea of what the person life style and personality might be like. I don’t think body parts should be the number one thing for guys to look into. Some prefer great hair and some prefer big breasts over great hair or some do not care for both. This is an interesting topic to read about and learn what men prefer and their logic behind this.

  9. Men actually do seem to prefer great hair over big breast (that is not to say that men prefer small breast over big ones). I actually get more attention from men when I have my hair down and styled, as opposed to when I wear my hair up in a ponytail. Having great hair is important; I’ve heard from many guys that if a woman doesn’t have touchable soft hair, it is a turn off.
    I once was obsessed with changing my hair style and color, every three months a new style. My hair is medium length now, but I’ve had my hair short and long as well. My boyfriend who I am with now told me, changing my style frequently was what attracted him when we first met. He is also a fan of big breasts, but says that is not the #1 physical feature that attracted him to me.

  10. Jessica Bailey

    After reading this post I was ecstatic!  Just for the fact that my boyfriend loves my hair and I have a small bust line (34B). We met when we were sixteen which was when I wore nothing but ponytails, and now that we are twenty-two and dating I have grown my hair out and go to the hair salon on a regular basis and he loves it. No matter where we are he always is touching my hair. Past my boyfriend, as I got older I took to being more feminine and the older women that I looked up to as a child and teenager always keep their hair done as a statement of up keeping themselves and feeling better about themselves. So agreeing with the Glamour “It’s also a mirror of your personality, of how you can take care of yourself, it’s feminine and sexy.” I totally feel more sexy and confident whenever my hair is kept up!

  11. I find this topic very interesting. When I used to go out when I was single and meet the men at the bars, I was fully aware of the fact that what men looked at. I grew up with four sisters that were well endowed and somehow I got short changed. I figured they were all out of the breasts by time they got to me. I looked to all my other great attributes and made sure men would see my eyes for one. I find that women that do have large breast either want them to look at their breasts or their eyes. So I was on the right road by discovering this.

    Like Georgia, I am appreciative that the census is that men do appreciate more great qualities of the female than breast themselves. I am very concerned that younger girls are so self-confident about their breast size and are getting breast enlargement at earlier ages these days. I say shame on the parents for allowing this and not spending more time with their kids on all of their positive qualities. They should wait until their forties and after having kids, when they could make a better decision.

  12. Hi, I agree with your post, my boyfriend would hate it if I cut my hair, I have long layered hair that reaches the middle of my back, but I also have a big chest. Most guys think that short hair kind of make a women look manly, so I can see where the long hair may be more attractive, not only does the short hair make a women look manly but it is also a good stereotype for lesbians (sorry to those with short hair I don’t think this is true!). Most men that I have talked to have said things about women with short hair with congruence to lesbians and I always correct them that almost all women who have short hair are not lesbian. As a closing note all women are beautiful weather they have short or long hair, despite what the normal statistics say because the statistics are always changing like the seasons!

  13. First thing that comes to my mind after reading this is, if a man is more worried about your appearance than your personality hes a loser, no good, get rid of him. I understand appearance is what you see first and looking good is always something woman are trying to accomplish, but thats what woman worry about, not men. I must say though, hair is easy to make exactly how we want it. For someone who is not too into the whole plastic surgery thing, we did not create our body therefore it is how it is, and thats the way you were supposed to be. Our hair on the other hand is something we have complete control over and we can dye and style our hair without having a knife cutting our skin. Also if appearance is what’s so important, your hair is the # 1 most noticed aspect of a woman, if changed. So dye your hair and get a boob job and see where you get the most complements!

  14. Tonya (Facundo) Kamaloni

    Before I had my son, I had long shoulder length hair. Post birth, I can tell you, with lack of sleep and little time, my hair would always be up in a pony tail or bun. After a while, I felt like the frumpiest mom out there. So I got a short cut that is stylish and manageable to fit my new lifestyle. I truly believe this new cut saved me from going past the point of no return into “frumpdom.” With that being said, I did this for me. While I appreciate the statistics that show that men prefer women with great hair over large breasts, I am part of the group that believes that the beauty within will shine through and attract others. My new cut gave me the confidence to be me again.

    • I agree with you about beauty being within. At the same time, to the extent that men prefer things that aren’t dangerous to women, I see that as good — fewer women may risk harm to themselves.

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