Social Question

whitecarnations's avatar

Why do men for the most part of the world have short hair?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635 points ) February 28th, 2012

Is there any documentation of when short hair on men might have been largely accepted? Why do men keep short hair today? Why do women tend to keep medium to long hair for the most part?

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29 Answers

chyna's avatar

Because mullets don’t look good on men contrary to what some men may think.

wundayatta's avatar

As @chyna said, mullets don’t look good on men, contrary to what some men may think. Similarly, they do not look good on women. I think we can safely say that mullets look bad. Period.

Jude's avatar

Why does it have to be mullets?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Sexual dimorphism.

In some animals, humans included, there is an arms race to be attractive genetically. There is a theory that women with long hair are healthy and young, and therefore able to carry many children.

The equal and opposite of a young woman with long hair is a man with no hair, implying elder status and successful genes. Baldness is a trait which actually implies genetic success, misinterpreted in the western world as a negative trait.

chyna's avatar

@Jude It doesn’t have to be mullets. I was poking fun of mullets.

blueiiznh's avatar

Becaue they can’t grow it out AND do it justice.

zenvelo's avatar

For working men it is cooler and safer to have shorter hair. Long hair does not do well around machinery, and working outside with long hair in the summer is uncomfortable. As far as I know, shorter hair did not come into fashion until the industrial revolution.

Pandora's avatar

Because most guys like the long hair on the women.
Men have little patience for having to wake up a half hour early to shave and do their hair.
Because barretts would look stupid on a guy
Likewise, pony tails and braids can’t be carried off by most guys.
Because a lot of guys like to wash their hair every day. So really long hair would look like hay in a short time.
Because long hair and suits look stupid together.
Some guys look ok with long hair, but most of the time, they have to look very masculine and young to pull the look off. Otherwise they look like they are one of the apostles or they look like a girl if pretty, or a hippie that doesn’t know the 60’s is over. Very few can carry it off, look, clean, masculine, and drug free.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I disagree on the mullet. Barry Melrose looked cool in a mullet

wundayatta's avatar

Ah, @Adirondackwannabe. Sad. Sad. So sad.

Listen, if you ever feel like taking care of your little mullet problem, I know a really good therapist. And I think they even have a drug made specifically for this condition. One pill and you could be feeling all better in no time! Think about it.

@Jude yah. It’s a joke. @chyna went with it and I didn’t have anything better, so I went with it, too.

bkcunningham's avatar

It is a trend. Styles change like the seasons.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Ah wundy, I didn’t say I would go with a mullet. Melrose could. My hair curls like crazy when it gets longer.

ddude1116's avatar

I’ve never understood this. For virtually my entire life, I’ve had long hair and when I haven’t had long hair, I’ve felt awkward and naked. As far as I’m concerned, short hair on anybody is a sheer travesty.

Brian1946's avatar

I keep mine fairly short because it’s easier to maintain.

However, I think the short hair trend will be gone for good, once my Afro-Mullet style conquers the sartorial world! ;-D

whitecarnations's avatar

@ddude1116 I thoroughly agree. Like I don’t and will never understand why it’s wrong to look like a girl? If that’s what others want to say anyways. Like what is wrong with that? I simply cannot fathom that idea for some reason. I’m not saying I’m mad at the way the general consensus votes, it just logically will never make sense to me. I also have nothing against those who want to show off their awesome facial features and ears. I guess what I’ve gathered is that it is a sexual bias of our society. I just can’t see how having long hair can make someone better or lesser. The argument with machinery is absurd in my mind too, obviously hair can be wrapped up and styled appropriately. I can understand the preference and upkeep side of the argument however. Interesting answers.

Carly's avatar

Well on lions it’s the opposite… lol

lemming's avatar

I always thought it was so no one will grab their hair if they are in a fight…but I for one love long hair on a man:)

GladysMensch's avatar

I cut mine, because it looks ridiculous long. It looks ridiculous iat any other length than a tight crop. Especially so now that I have a massive bald spot and it’s has receded to the top of my head.
damn you heredity

Keep_on_running's avatar

I also thought it was historically for practicality – since men did most of the dangerous work – it wasn’t smart to have long locks of hair. I can’t stress enough how much long hair on a guy appeals to me. lol Hot.

rooeytoo's avatar

Because it is so much easier to maintain! It amazes me when I see so many teen aged boys with these elaborate hair do’s, all geled and moused into amazing swoops and swirls (the spell checker is going crazy, apparently do’s and geled are not words so I hope you know what I mean) when it is not only socially acceptable but desirable for them to have short, easy hair!
I live for the day when short haircuts for women become the fashion rather than the exception.

rojo's avatar

Social pressures and mores. I believe that you find longer hair on males who are either self-employed, retired, or in the entertainment industry. Not sure how much the approval/disapproval of females enters into it but would be interested to find out.
I do find it interesting how the hair lengths have changed over the years in the country music industry. Think of Merle Haggard, (Okey from Muscogee) and others of the genre from the 60’s/70’s and compare them with the latest country music awards.

GracieT's avatar

Is it because, maybe, of that Biblical verse about long hair being a covering and honor for a women but an insult for men? I know the US wasn’t founded as a Christian nation but many of our customs and traditions seem to have a Christian origin.

ddude1116's avatar

@Jeruba A travesty of hairstyle. It’s my belief that hair is meant to be long, therefore having short hair is making a mockery of hair by distorting its true form.

zenvelo's avatar

@GracieT What verse is that? I don’t know the Bible very well.

GracieT's avatar

It’s in 1 Corinthians 11, pretty much up until verse 15. I know that the main point of those verses is about praying, and that America itself is not a Christian nation, but the Christian influence is strong, and the long/short hair is pretty much the same in much of the Western World. I don’t know the statistics, or the customs in many of the countries in rest of the world, but as far as I can tell it is the same in the rest of the western world, with some exceptions.

zenvelo's avatar

@GracieT I think it is a stretch to say that motivated men to have short hair. It certainly wasn’t followed in Western Civilization for the first 1830 years of the Common Era.

And even the Catholic Church got past the requirement that women cover their heads in church as part of Vatican II.

GracieT's avatar

I realize that and its a valid argument, but traditions die hard and haven’t we seen more and more men with long hair and women with short
hair? I agree with you about
the influence of the church, I just was guessing!

rooeytoo's avatar

I never would have thought it was the bible! Here I was giving them credit for having common sense.

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