New Study Conducted at Yale University Concludes that 'Bad Hair Days' Affect More Than Your Appearance

Study Shows that 'Bad Hair Days' Impact

Performance Self-Esteem, Social Insecurity and Self-Criticism



Jan 26, 2000, 00:00 ET from Procter & Gamble

    NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyone has had them -- the
 term has even become part of the vernacular for a bad day.  According to a
 study conducted at Yale University, "bad hair days" are real -- the perception
 of bad hair actually produces negative consequences beyond not feeling good
 about how one looks.
     According to the study, directed by Dr. Marianne LaFrance, Professor of
 Psychology and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Yale University,
 "bad hair days" affect individuals' self-esteem increasing self-doubt,
 intensifying social insecurities, and becoming more self-critical in general.
     "Interestingly, both women and men are negatively affected by the
 phenomenon of bad hair days," says Professor LaFrance.  "Even more fascinating
 is our finding that individuals perceive their capabilities to be
 significantly lower than others when experiencing bad hair."
     The study, commissioned by the team launching Physique(R), a new hair care
 line introduced by Procter & Gamble today, was conducted among women and men
 of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in the Gender Communications
 Laboratory at Yale University.  The research was designed to test the cause
 and effect relationship between having "bad hair" and experiencing negative
 psychological consequences.  Specifically, the study uncovered important
 findings across three psychological measures: reduced self-esteem; increased
 social insecurity; and a diminished sense of being a worthwhile person.
 
     Bad Hair Lowers Self-Esteem Regarding Performance
     A person with positive performance self-esteem is an individual who is
 confident and optimistic that he or she is on top of things, understands what
 needs to be done and feels capable about being able to pull it off.  According
 to the study, the perception of bad hair leads to a reduced sense of
 performance self-esteem, such that men and women doubt their capabilities and
 may ultimately perform below their level of competence when experiencing a bad
 hair day.  Most notably, just the thought of a bad hair day caused both men
 and women to feel they are not as smart as others.  Surprisingly, the impact
 on performance self-esteem was more pronounced among men.
 
     Bad Hair Increases Social Insecurity
     The study further found that bad hair intensifies feelings of social
 insecurity and self-consciousness.  However, the psychological reactions
 differed among women and men.  Women tend to feel more disgraced, embarrassed,
 ashamed or self-conscious when experiencing bad hair.  Men on the other hand,
 feel more nervous, less confident and are more inclined to be unsociable.
 
     Bad Hair Intensifies Self-Criticism
     Evidence shows that bad hair causes one to be more negative about oneself.
 Specifically, results indicate that a "bad hair day" leads individuals to find
 more personal character flaws that go beyond their appearance.  When asked to
 complete a list of statements about who they are, "bad hair" caused people to
 mention significantly more negative traits and attributes.
 
     Study Commissioned by Physique(R)
     "When we set out to develop Physique, our goal was to address the number
 one hair care consumer need -- 3 out of 4 consumers cannot get and keep their
 desired style everyday.  As you might expect, that problem can contribute to
 bad hair days," says Jane Wildman, General Manager for Physique.  "We
 commissioned Yale University to conduct this study because we were curious
 about the degree to which bad hair affects people beyond their appearance.
 You might even say that the study suggests getting and keeping the style you
 want has positive psychological effects beyond feeling good about your hair."
     Physique is now available at grocery, drug and mass market retail
 locations nationwide.  Physique hair care products were scientifically
 designed to help people create and keep their style.  The Physique hair care
 line includes five styling series and one Special Cleanse + Styling
 Collection.  All products in the series work together to provide specific
 styling benefits like volume, straight, or curls, to help you achieve your
 desired style.  The recommended retail price for most Physique products is $7.
 
 

SOURCE Procter & Gamble