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Does Longer Hair Make You Look Thinner?

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Skin, Hair & Nails related image Photo: Getty Images

I tend to keep my eyes open for accessories that add length to the body, essentially slenderizing in any way possible. Many of us know the tricks -- wearing dark colors, choosing non-tapering pants, selecting shirts with an empire waist and dresses with ruching, etc.

But it has been only lately that I have wondered if the length of your hair could also contribute.

Did you ever notice that when celebrities lose weight, their bodies are thinner and their hair is much longer? Valerie Burtinelli, Jennifer Hudson, and Kirstie Alley were just a few of the celebrity spokesmodels for national weight loss companies that are examples of this.

Valerie Burtinelli’s “before” picture shows her in jeans, a loose fitting button up shirt and shoulder-length brown hair. At her “big reveal” she sports a tiny blue two-piece swimsuit and dark wavy hair, almost to the middle of her back.

The same is true with Jennifer Hudson and her most current commercial that showcases her thin body in a white dress and beautiful, long dark hair that cascades over her shoulders and onto her chest.

It leaves me wondering, what do their stylists know?

Of course, there are many of thin women that have sassy, short cuts that complement their face and their body. Then again, what doesn’t look good on skinny?

Remember the old diet pill ads in the back of the magazines? The before picture of the woman showed her pudgy in a black bikini with pale white skin, usually with a frown on her face. The after picture displayed a tanned woman posing in a white bikini, smiling big and pointing her toe in a body-building stance. Is long hair now being used the same way the fake tan used to?

Isn’t hair supposed to frame your face? What role may it play in framing your body type? Style-food for thought, anyway. If there is a hair style that complements my face AND my body, sign me up.

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I know that Jennifer Hudson relies on weaves and extensions to make her hair look longer and fuller and I'm pretty sure that Valerie does extensions from time to time to give the illusion of fuller hair. Kirstie's looks real. How do I know? I'm a professional hair dresser. And when you wan to look thinner, it's common knowledge that you cut your hair.

January 26, 2012 - 1:28pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for the comment.  Just after I wrote this, I saw a makeover show and they said the same thing.  The woman was told that her long hair was "weighing her down."  Good to know. 

January 26, 2012 - 2:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

It is a common occurrence to see some overweight people looking thinner by wearing certain combination of clothes and footwear, which alter their looks altogether different than their actual shape. One can look thinner by playing with the choice of clothes for wearing. With the insight of which clothes to wear to look thinner one can trick the appearance by the dress worn. One requires wearing dark colored clothing to get the desired result.

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January 25, 2012 - 12:38pm

Interesting. You may be on to something here. I do believe though that this has much more to do with accepted standards of beauty. Longer hair has long been associated with sexiness and femininity. There was a time when most me digged longer hair and there is something alluring about the blowing in the wind hair effect. I keep my hair at shoulder length for manageability but I definitely get more gawks when my hair is longer. Great article!

January 25, 2012 - 10:33am
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