What Guys Really Think About Short Hair

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Short hair vs. long hair? We’ve heard porno stars give advice to women like, “Never cut your hair short,” but then, they’re porn stars. What’s the real deal?

mark_luczak_100Straight Single Guy (Mark Luczak): I truly run the gamut on this one. I dated a girl who was a competitive dancer since childhood and was always required to have her hair long uniformly with everyone else — she now keeps it super-short and she’s adorable, cute as a button. I even had a long relationship with a girl who lost her battle with cancer — she was as beautiful to me when the radiation and chemo took her hair as she was when she still had her signature long, curly locks. But I gotta say I do dig the long hair for the most part. All done up to go with a formal ensemble, or held up with a pencil and ready to fall at a moment’s notice, or just simply pulled back with a hair tie for comfort and convenience? Yes please! I’m a runner, so if I see a girl on the street with a pony tail bounding behind her, that sexy/sporty look really resonates with me. Put that pony tail through the back of a cap and couple it with a sports jersey, and it’s a home run. So, while beauty can come in all cuts and styles, keeping it long gets my vote…by a [groan] hair.

daniel_100Gay Single Guy (Daniel): I honestly think the question of hair length is secondary to general hair aesthetic – meaning, it’s more important that one’s hair has an appealing cut, shine, and feel. Think about all those makeover shows when Jane McDull-looks is unveiled at the end to her husband/boyfriend/oddly close brother and they marvel at the usually chopped off hair. See, these “before” women stopped caring about split-end maintenance, hot oil treatments, and, well, brushing. What should men think about a woman who doesn’t even bother to take care of her own hair? But if you’re already split-end free with a killer $150 cut and you just wonder what turns your mate on more — short or long hair — the only thing to do is ask him, “Honey, do you like my hair longer or shorter?”

However, if a woman is trying to decide to wear her hair long or short just to attract a man, then she needs to take a step back and remember she needs to look good for herself first and she shouldn’t let theoretical men “out there” dictate what she should look like. Think of it analogously to this: if straight men prefer large breasts, how far are you willing to go to stay aligned with that preference?

anonymous_suitStraight Married Guy (Fred): What’s this about guys not liking short hair? I think everyone can agree Carrie-Anne Moss looked pretty freakin’ good in The Matrix. I don’t give a crap what length of hair a woman has; if it looks good, I like it. Okay, everyone has their own preferences, blah blah. This is a perfect time to mention my number one tip for women in monogamous relationships: It’s unfortunate, but guys crave variety. So give him some! If you have long hair, cut it! If you have long hair and you don’t want to cut it, wear a short wig one night. If you have short hair, wear a long wig one night. Choose a wig that is a different color from your own. I think you get the idea. He gets the thrill of someone new, but it’s you! So, short hair vs. long hair? I say both!

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University; and our straight married guy is shy. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. a girl might be able to pull off short hair (and when i say short i mean above shoulder length) but girls with short hair are EXTREMELY less attractive than they would be otherwise HANDS DOWN.

  2. First of all, I’m straight and a girl.
    Personally, I prefer girls having short hair (and remember I’m straight) because I see too many girls everywhere with long hair. Though I don’t think girls should just cut it off randomly to such a short length (Emma Watson) because some girls just can’t pull it off if they’re aren’t attractive enough (yes I think this is an issue). Some girls (with chubby faces) just look bad with it because it highlights their negative (basically it makes them look fatter). Girls with thin faces look better because it emphasizes this trait). I think the perfect length (despite having my hair up to my waist) would be as far down as your shoulders, and anything longer depends on you (your confidence and how you wants others to see you and also the community you live in). I would love (I actually think about this everyday) to snip my hair off down to my shoulders but what always stops me is the fact that I have a chubby face, and if I cut it off, I feel like all everyone would see is my fat face. Another con includes the community I live in have a mixed variety (southern California highschool kids must I add).

  3. I went short in 2003. I was really bold when I was 18. I cut 10 inches off of my hair. I was young, hot, and had the face shape to pull it off. It was an interesting experience.

    I guess the small unfashionable area in northern Fl where i’m from wasn’t ready. I found my best friends saying things like “Wow..I just have to get used to “this” being you now” or “I need time to adjust”

    When I would go out in public some people were very rude to me. I over heard people saying things within ear shot like “Is that a boy or a girl.” and “Here comes that dorky looking lesbian”. Customer service in stores gave me dirty looks.

    At the hight of it all someone mistakenly called me “Sir”. What sucks is that it takes so long to grow out. Waiting about 3 years to get my hair back into a decent length and style seemed excruciating. If you have an adverse reaction to cutting your hair short it takes so long to get it back.

    Don’t get me wrong. Like I said, I was hot and someone who could pull it off. I heard a few flattering now and again, “I like it…because you know only the really hot girls can pull that off.” I attracted some admirers who really liked it. And after I grew it out I had a lot of people tell me years later that they knew me from around and thinked it looked amazing.

    Over all, I heard more harsh words. It could have been the timing or where I lived….the fact that every girl I knew had hair to their butts. It really rattled my confidence. My long time boyfriend started looking at other girls right in front of me. He told me he “just liked long pony tales”. We broke up. It was hard to find out how much people judge you by how you look. It made me appreciate what people in the gay community must go through.

    Just thought I’d put my story out there.

  4. I have Natural hair and I feel I’m not pretty enough unless I have long hair. I started wearing my hair in a slightly “natural-Afro” style with a headband-thingy and I actually look cute. But, when I go outside and see Ads and posters with black girls with weave/long hair (and that annoying natural hair twisty-thing) I feel less pretty. I’m on a mission to grow my hair long, but for now I’m trying hard to accept my hair the way it is now. This is a very touchy subject for black women and black teenager girls such as myself. Pop Culture has idolized long hair: you can run your fingers through it, it can flow down your back, etc.

    I’m only interested in White guys, and being Black I can’t grow my hair long in a matter of months!

    But, I can make my short hair look good, but it’s hard to find a good outfit to fit my hair. It’s even more stressful when when the most beautiful person in my family has long hair. She’s mixed, so she was saved from this curse of kinky Afro hair. I’ll keep trying hard to be comfortable with my hair, but it’s hard to feel attractive with it.

    A Concerned Citizen (a refrence to the Half Life comic, Concerned).

  5. I know that men like long hair for a fact most of the time.
    But I never got any attention when my hair was long – NONE whatsoever.

    But now I cut it short and i actually turns heads! I think I pull it off really well and it makes me look cleaner and more gorgeous than I already am.

  6. if a dude dumps you b/c u got a haircut that’s just psychotic. i expect him to be working in a wig store or something.

  7. ok i just got my hair cut to my shoulders and it used to be down to my boob and it looks really cute! if you can pull it i say go for screw those men who say short hair isnt hot. im a straight girl and i still think that women with short hair are really pretty and just sayin that guys with really short hair is a big turn off… and also think about this, guys like girls with confidence so be proud of your hair and who you are.

  8. I am seeing someone who loves long natural hair. I am very hurt by this because he makes me feel as if i am less than a woman. I wear extension, and wigs when I want a certain look. The look that I love is impossible for me to achieve with my natural hair. I am to the point where i want to break up with my boyfriend because of it.

  9. I normally wear my hair in a short cropped Afro…but an ex (cue the scary music) who had a thing for long hair, kept asking me to let it grow. It took over a year to get six inches of hair, but he was thrilled. We were in bed and he kept playing with it, twirling it around, happy as a kid in a toy store…until the inevitable happened. He got his fingers stuck in my hair. He freaked out and started yanking to get his fingers free. I was screaming from the pain, which only freaked him out worse. We managed to hobble into the kitchen, where I had to cut my hair to get him loose. Of course, I couldn’t see what I was doing and ended up looking like I had mange…which meant I had to shave myself bald. I will keep my iddy-biddy ‘fro from now on. 😉

  10. I personally think that women should embrace their short hair. They should love it because THEY LOVE it. They shouldn’t try to grow it out long or cut it short for a guy. Yes, I’ve heard that most guys love the “long, flowing hair” but shouldn’t it be up to the women of the world to choose how to wear it?-After all, it IS their hair! 🙂

  11. While the only genuine answer to this is that different hair lengths suit different people, I have to admit I have a “thang” for short hair.

    This is mostly down to the woman I’ve spent nearly 8 years with having short hair and looking amazing with it, but it predates her.

    I’m sure it’s irrational, but it seems logical to me: anyone can wear their hair long, but only certain women can pull off a close crop. Therefore this small elite of women, including Winona Ryder, heyday Grace Jones and of course my wife, are the hottest.

    It’s gotten to the point now where I don’t understand why anyone would choose to wear their hair long. They look so… hairy.

  12. Well, as a straight married man, I have to disagree with the whole wig comments. My wife has super long hair (think just below her knee) and I wouldn’t prefer it any other way. I don’t think I would ever be aroused if she showed up with a short wig on. However, there are plenty of other ways to do variety, such as, curly, straight, pony tail, bunned up pigtails, etc.

  13. My own personal taste is mostly in line with what Rogue wrote, though I have dug bald on women before.

    Daniel’s second paragraph in the original post is the most important point, I think.

  14. @Spes
    I noticed the same, most men start their compliments at the hair. Probably because it’s “safer” than complimenting boobs or hips.

  15. Perhaps it’s because I was a New York City kid in the 80s, when short hair on women made a revolutionary statement about gender and preferences. Or maybe it’s because most of my friends in life have been women, and many of them were bisexual, if not lesbian. Or maybe it’s because I love to bite the nape of my lover. Or because I adore Annie Lennox.

    But short hair on women, more than anything else, stops me dead in my tracks and makes my chest crumple like a falling blossom in the rain. It’s my first fetish, and on a woman whose face carries it well, forces me to remember how to breathe.

  16. By and large any guy who has ever made a pass at me started by complimenting my hair. (Or at least I respond to it like it’s a compliment because I know not how else to respond to: “Wow you hair is really long.”–“Well, duh. Thank for stating the obvious,” just doesn’t seem very nice.) In my experience if one’s hair is long enough (mine ranges between upper thigh and mid-thigh length) men start getting all kinds of dirty ideas and fantasies. I get questions from total strangers like, “Has anyone ever tied you up with it?” (possible, but it doesn’t work very well), and “Have you ever been strangled with it?” (that does work very well).
    On the flip side, I did meet a guy once who turned his nose up to me because he liked girls whose hair length was less than a couple inches.

    For guys hair, I love it long. My husband’s is long and he makes my day by letting me wash it, comb it, and braid it for him, thus providing me another special way to take care of him. And bonus it gives something to grip onto in bed.

  17. @Fruit Taster
    I guess a (long) Ponytail is sexy because the neck is in turn hidden and revealed. And let’s not forget all that sexy action heroines with ponytails. Association will do a lot.

    And boys: long haired men are sizzling hot 🙂

  18. I agree with Straight Single Guy. I find a pony tail to be super sexy, for reasons I have never been entirely sure about. It might be the reveal of the neck, which is very sensual. But there is more, because the shape of the pony tail and how the hair is cut and how this affects how the hair hangs out are all things I notice when looking at an attractive woman.

  19. Hi, yeah,
    why do we care so much about this? What about men’s hair length for a change? Let’s not be gender biased here…

  20. Katie said: “I’ve had my hair pretty short for about a year and I still get compliments on it…I went a step further and dyed it platinum blond…. (WOW! I’ll bet you look HOT! Some girls look great plat blond! 😉 I think it’s really sexy. I could never pull it off, with my complexion, (Mediterranean) but I often wish I could.) …..and it stopped most of my guy friends in their tracks (although I’ll admit most of them said I look like some hot video game character… plus or minus?) For most men, looking kinda like a game character is a definite plus! 🙂

    Yeah, there are women who look GREAT with shorter hair. They have the face, features, neck and attitude for it. It IS a personal preference. I was just going with the norm of “what most guys like.” Being different is a definite YES for a lot of women. There should be NO “uniform” look. IMO.

    Johnny, you’re a true man, short, sweet, precise and to the point! 🙂

  21. I know one guy who is wildly attracted to girls with very short hair (though he has said this is probably due to the fact that they are more likely to have the kind of personality he is attracted to), and another guy who is incredulous that straight men can be attracted to short hair, and who insists that any woman will look better with long hair. So there you go… To a certain extent it depends what image you’re trying to give off/what kind of guy you’re trying to attract, but it really is completely a matter of personal preference!

  22. As a guy, I can say that I much prefer longer hair. And Yes Mlle. L, I have never known any guy (and I mean ever) that thought the “mommy” cut was attractive in the slightest. However, some guys like a girl with a pixie cut or a short whatever you call it as long as they look like they take care of it. My girlfriend usually has a shoulder length cut or chin length “bob” I think it’s called, and while she’s always beautiful to me, I much prefer the longer hair and would hate if she cut it.

  23. I dunno…I’ve heard some guys say this but I think my short haircut gets me more attention. And it’s so convenient when I exercise…and during other activities 😉 If you can pull off a chic, short haircut, you look glamorous all the time, even when you slick it back right out of the shower. I think it can also be more sensual than long hair because it exposes your neck, shoulders and back.

    I’ve had my hair pretty short for about a year and I still get compliments on it…I went a step further and dyed it platinum blond and it stopped most of my guy friends in their tracks (although I’ll admit most of them said I look like some hot video game character… plus or minus?)

  24. When I was 16, I cut my hair from the middle of my back to a chin-length bob. Judging by the reaction of the guys I knew, I had done something really horrible. Short hair! gasp! I think most men prefer long, my boyfriend now does,but it depends on the woman. Some women have really adorable tiny features and look great with short hair. It depends on the cut too.

  25. My boyfriend begs me NOT to grow my hair long. I’m 5’8″ thin frame short haircut, almost pixie, and I love it. I love to be different, a little alternative, and sexy. It all depends on your attitude and how you wear it.
    I say let haters be haters, but everyone says I can pull it off.

  26. From my experience, men really LOVE long hair. I recently departed from my usual “Grateful Dead Tour” long, parted in the middle look for something more updated, and The Man was almost panicked when I left the house to have it done. “They aren’t going to make it……short…..are they? Don’t let ’em make it short. OK?” I did long side bangs, with some light feathering, nothing off the back except the ends and he LOVED it.

    It’s still pretty long, and he was enthusiastic about my decision to do the whole thing “Blackest Black” in color. I sat there with the box, ruminating with him going, “Do it, do it. It’ll be different. It will be fun!” (from the usual kinda red, with more gray lately than I was happy with.)

    Men like what they are comfortable with AND they like variety. Fun having to work withing those parameters….

    I have to comment about the “Mommy Cut” (think Jon and Kate, don’t know much about them, (but HOW can you avoid them?) but I have seen her “Mommy Cut” dead short, (or something similar) on a lot of women with small children. Men, am I wrong, or is is just…..blah? Not really sexy, is it?

    It isn’t hard to put longer hair into a pony tail. With bangs or side bangs, a few barrettes or a headband and you are good to go out with the toddlers. Then shake it loose when he gets home……….

    Not that one should feel obligated to “dress for a man” but there’s nothing wrong with, like Daniel said, taking care of yourself and your appearance. I think looking attractive makes one FEEL attractive, so I go with that. You can only get so far with “I dress for comfort.” (meaning, “I look like a slob, don’t JUDGE me!”) Doesn’t meant you need to wear 5 inch heels to the supermarket (unless you want to) or a waist cincher for everyday, but taking some pride in the way one looks is always a turn on. For you and him. Healthy clean, nicely taken care of hair is included.

    On the personal side, I prefer my hair long, I always have, and The Man has made it clear he really really likes long hair. I’ve never had it shorter than just past my shoulders since I’ve known him, and often worn it as long as mine will grow, just above the waist, so we agree on it, and it’s all good.

    As for HIS hair, I’d actually like it longer, but it’s his head, and he likes it a bit shorter than my preference but again, it’s HIS head…..he has to live in it.

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