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By Tom Miller
Traditionally, I don’t put a whole lot of time and/or energy into other people’s hair. I generally blurt out, “It looks great!” followed by, ”I was just about to ask about your haircut but got a little bit of spittle stuck in my windpipe and I couldn’t talk for a couple seconds, but I’d rather die than not tell you that hair of yours is GORGEOUS,“ when asked if I like someone’s presumably new hairdo.
I naturally assumed that either I had no opinion or liked change for the sake of change. But a lady in our office with really wonderful long, black hair announced she was thinking of cutting it very short, and I must have spit out a pound of kale yelling, ”NO!“ Evidently, I do care.
A college English teacher came in one Tuesday morning with a very short haircut. I complimented it and she warned me about complimenting women who recently chopped off a ton of hair. She insisted that while it might be a fashion statement, it’s just as likely that she got something caught in it or is in the midst of major career or relationship turmoil.
In her case, she was in the middle of a vicious 15-round title fight with menopause and was just sick of doing her hair. Respect. We then spent the next 75 minutes discussing why she didn’t appreciate certain assumptions I made about Flannery O'Connor, that I had to read much more Southern Gothic literature written by women, and who the hell did I think I was anyways? A good man is hard to find, indeed.
Since, I’ve made an effort to investigate the origin of an aggressive hair makeover before commenting.
That said, this is the internet, and what would this thing be without kneejerk reactions? Here’s what I (and basically all men) think about the 11 most popular women’s haircuts.
1. The Rachel
Upside: It’s a haircut named after a character on a TV show that left the airwaves, if not our hearts, a dozen years ago. This is a pretty good one. It says, ”Hey, I really, really care about how I look, and if we get in a relationship, please know to add 45 minutes to any estimate I give you for getting ready.“
Downsider: You’ll draw back a stump if you ever attempt to pull it during amorous times.
2. The Shag
Upside: It’s a haircut named after an English slang synonym for doin’ it. Great. In addition, the style sorta has a bedhead feel to it.
Downside: While the illusion of low-maintenance is appreciated, it takes some science, art and magic to get it right.
3. The Bob
Upside: Little known fact: this hairstyle was originally called “the Robert” but everyone thought it sounded too formal. It’s elegant and, in some ways but I won’t say which, it calls back to a very glamorous time.
Downside: The more you look at it, the less practical it becomes.
4. The “Sleek” Pony
Upside: Dudes like a ponytail because it says either, “I haven’t totally given up” or “I play sports.” Lots of men seem to appreciate both. Bonus for going with a side-pony because everyone likes to get kooky here and there.
Downside: Sure, any hair of a certain length and texture can be pulled into a ponytail. It’s only a “style” inasmuch as having skin is a style. But who cares? It’s a thing you can do with your hair.
5. The Chignon
Upside: That is a classy cut, lady. And not like Don Trump says “classy,” but like Old Hollywood minus the sleaze and overt misogyny classy.
Downside: I’ll be honest; I have no idea how to pronounce this word but I know the style does remind men of proms, weddings and Topsy Tails. Three things that are either terrible or great depending on your experience in limousines.
6. The Farrah Fawcett
Upside: I’m not sure if we call this wavy or curly, but it does look like you just stepped out of a shampoo ad or a day at the beach. Again, both pretty good things.
Downside: While this gives the impression of carefree, it gives off a simultaneous vibe of slavish usage of hair rollers and addiction to synthetic drugs. You may end up chewing someone’s face off while wearing a house coat.
7. The Bangs
Downside: Outside of containing the word “bang,” this haircut is a snooze. Sincerely, what are you trying to hide on your forehead? If it’s a third eye, let that thing see, ma.
8. The Curls
Upside: You seem fun because it looks like there was a party on your head and everyone was invited.
Downside: Either you spend a ton of time making those curls or a ton of time straightening them out. Plus, there’s like a 96 percent chance my watch is going to get stuck in there, and it’s either buzzcut for you or the coyote treatment for my poor wrist.
9. The Pixie
Upside: Per the glossies, I’m supposed to love long hair, but an ultra-tight ‘do is delightful. It’s a glass of cold green tea and whiskey on a warm summer afternoon. The real upshot is that I can introduce you to my friends as 2012 Justin Bieber for a quick laugh.
Downside: All hairdos require some maintenance, I’m told, even the short ones. If female head hair grows like man head hair, you will have to have the back of your neck shaved more often.
10. The Layers
Upside: Your insecure friends will fawn over your gorgeous tresses. And if you stand near me at a bar long enough I will buy you a drink and talk to you but I don’t have to like it.
Downside: You have felt betrayed by a hairdresser before. You have felt like the world is out to get you for your beauty, talent or strength. All things considered, you’re probably wrong. Other than that, great job!
11. The Skrillex
Upside: Maybe it’s the current crush I have on Natalie Dormer or the lifelong one I’ve had onLisa Bonet, but this is a winner. Symmetry, when applied to wholly superficial things like hair, zippered jackets and warfare, is totally overrated.
Downside: Some dudes might say you’re trying too hard but I think you’re trying the exact right amount. Oh, and are your glasses prescriptive or decorative?
BONUS: 12. The Thor
Upside: With the exception to a periodic rinse in the shower, you really don’t do anything to this hairdo.
Downside: Everything else. Just keep eating your feelings and someone will love you because you’re so “powerful.” And your apartment looks like the golden retriever who lives there had total spontaneous alopecia.
Note: If working at YourTango has taught me anything, it’s that literally no woman ever has wondered what I thought of her hair. Keep it cute (or don’t), keep it low effort (or don’t), and keep it fresh (or don’t).
This article originally appeared on YourTango.