Discover 5 Things Women Want To See you Wearing

plus more men’s style tips, tricks and shortcuts - all from the female perspective

Sorry, I'm just not that into you

Style Truth #807 Playing with your hair too much is a total turn-off

By Megan Collins | Jan 17 2012

(Of course, if you have this much hair in your face, we have a bigger problem)

“You’re totally into him.” Eighteen years old and working at the front desk of a shmancy hair salon in New York, I had just been chatting with one of the only straight male stylists in the whole place when my nosy co-worker chimed in with this pronouncement.

“What? No..pshhh…” I eloquently retorted.

“Yes you are. I can tell because you’re always touching your hair around him. It’s, like, science. It goes back to monkeys preening for their mate.”

I realized she was totally right – well, maybe not about the science exactly – but about the visual tell. Now any time I notice I’m playing with my hair too much while talking to a guy, I immediately yank my hands down so as to..well, what I don’t know exactly…not to seem too forward? Because if he sees me playing with my hair he’ll assume I’m easy? I guess I haven’t really thought through the logic. It probably looks worse to abruptly pin my arms down at my sides, like I just found garbage in my hair and am trying to play it off like everything’s cool so he doesn’t notice.

THAT SAID, I think playing with your hair is a good tic to be aware of. And it goes both ways. I was talking to (not flirting with) a guy recently who kept tossing his hair back and brushing it aside with his fingertips. I found it really distracting, and rather feminine to be so concerned with the state of his hairdo. The hair, to begin with, did not deserve the attention he was giving it. Sort of a grown-up, Dennis the Menace-style, side part bowl cut. And, how do I put this, the guy wasn’t in the type of shape that would otherwise suggest vanity. Picture a young Newt Gingrich with less impish charm and more Republican-y clothes.

Would I rather a guy be uber-macho, crushing beer cans against his head to impress me while constantly readjusting himself in public? No, but I mean, there’s a middle ground, right? Rake your hand through an unruly mane to capture some strays, and then leave it. If you feel the need to tug at your hair every ten seconds like Justin Bieber pre-world-changing haircut, maybe you need a world-changing haircut of your own.