There is always that scene when the long and slim, bikini clad woman jumps out of the pool in slow motion. She slowly pushes the water off her face that drips down her long flowing hair. The male gaze says she’s sexy. She’s fun.

We all can agree that we are judged by our clothing. Walk in a high-end retail store with sweats and sneakers, then return dressed the next day looking like Tyra Banks and I bet you’ll receive different treatment (if you can even make it in the door the first time).

So, what about your hair? Are there pre-conceived notions about your hair color, length or style?

I had a bad hair year—no, a bad hair period, which I decided to end before the summer and my first internship in NYC. I did the only thing possible: chopped it all off up to my ears. Instantly, I went from cute and young-looking to “mature” and “sexy” (not my words). It was the same summer Rihanna brought back the bob and the little boys from the block I was staying on would taunt me after work everyday singing, “Umbrella…ella…ella,” which brings me to my first hair personality:

Short Stuff

Usually when women want to make a major hair statement, the first thought is chopping it off (or taking the tracks out like Sanaa Lathan in “Something New.”). It’s the most easily noticed hair change. That’s what Rihanna did–going from cute, fun and innocent to mature and sexy. She didn’t really have to prance around in little booty shorts, all she needed was a haircut. The lack of hair says, “I’m older,” or in the words of Tiffany Evans, “I’m grown now.” Little girls can’t rock the sophisticated short ‘do’s of Nia Long and Nicole Ari Parker.

Fu-long Diva

Beyonce. Diana Ross. Jennifer Lopez. Need I say more? Their hair can take on a life of its own. There’s a type of persona, the diva, that’s expected with this hair style.

Changing Hues

Some women, like me, change their hair color like the seasons. It’s comes off as fun and unpredictable. It says you’re bold, a risk taker, and maybe you don’t give a *what*? Oh, and forget the chemicals. If it starts to fall out, you’ll shave it off.


Our hair is our glory, so for some, shaving it all off is unthinkable. However, anytime I see a woman rockin’ a close crop like Chrisette Michele, I immediately think ‘fierce’ and that she has the ultimate amount of confidence. Also, rocking a baldy ensures you can really see a woman’s beautiful face and features.

Braids and All

Remember when Brandy used to rock the braids for years? That was before lakefronts. Braids and plaits give me this sitting-between-grandma’s-legs-on-the-porch-holding grease feel. My mother braids hair as a side hustle, and I used to love watching her work her craft. Braiding and plaiting is one oldest hair styling techniques, sowhen I see a woman rocking them, I feel she’s connected to her roots.

Curly Sue

Isn’t it the first style you wanted when you were a girl? “Mommy, I want curls!”

It always gives me a little giggle. I feel flirty and cute when my head is covered in curls. Unfortunately, this is one of the styles that can give off a less serious perception.

All Nat-u-ral

Though, unfortunately, we are still talking about good and bad hair, I smile big when I see a sista rockin’ a natural ‘do. Notice I said sista. I confess, I do want to throw up a fist in respect when I see a natural diva. In our most natural state, we can color it, twist it, shave it, and anything else. Fab!

While there are negative and positive assumptions that are made about you based on your hair, it’s ultimately your attitude, the way you carry yourself, and your confidence that shows when you’re rockin any ‘do. So, just wear the hair; don’t let the hair wear you.

What are some pre-conceived hair notions you have realized?

– Shavon Donnell

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