The average American male will likely have the longest undercut haircut on the planet, according to a new study.
But for the women of color, the hairstyle is a source of concern, the report said.
The new study, published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that men who have been cut shorter may have a harder time maintaining a healthy appearance than their more short counterparts.
“Our study showed that a shorter cut may result in lower levels of melanin in the hair follicle,” said study co-author Rene O’Connell, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
“In the context of a male bodybuilding competition, shorter haircuts could be an advantage for competitors.”
O’Connell and his colleagues studied the hair of more than 10,000 men and women over a three-year period.
Researchers also interviewed people who took part in a nationally representative bodybuilding contest and measured the men’s hair.
The men with shorter hair reported being more likely to be overweight, have higher levels of diabetes, and have lower cholesterol.
However, the men with longer hair had more health problems.
For the women, their hair was less well-behaved.
The researchers found that the shortest cut in women’s hair is associated with a higher risk of depression, higher triglycerides and higher levels in the blood, but that the hair with longer lengths is associated more with lower levels.
For the men, the shorter hair is also associated with higher levels on markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein, higher levels, higher body mass index and a lower percentage of lean body mass.
The findings raise questions about the value of short haircuts in bodybuilding competitions.
“We don’t know if shorter hair length is related to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, but we do know that shorter haircut length is associated to higher BMI and lower physical activity,” said co-senior author Dr. Ralf T. Ruppert, a researcher at the U.K.-based University of Bristol.
“The evidence is clear that the length of hair contributes to these associations.
In the same way that people with shorter legs are more likely than others to smoke, and those with longer legs are less likely to smoke than those with shorter ones, it’s important to be aware of the relationship between hair length and health.”
Dr. Rulanda B. Sotero, a senior author of the study and an associate professor of health psychology at Rutgers University, said she thinks shorter hair in women can have health benefits, but it should not be used as a substitute for a fuller-bearded man.
“A man’s body is a reflection of his character and the way he interacts with others,” she said.
“A woman’s body should be about the way she presents herself, and what she chooses to wear.”
Tanya B. Cramer, a psychology professor at the Indiana University-Bloomington and a co-authors on the paper, said that while shorter haircutations in women may increase the risk of obesity and depression, they don’t have a negative impact on physical health or weight loss.
“The research shows that shorter hair doesn’t seem to have a health impact on men or women,” she told ABC News.
“It’s certainly not the kind of thing you want your husband or your girlfriend to see,” she added.
“It’s something to look for when you’re shopping for a new haircut.”
Dr Cramer also believes that people should be cautious when it comes to the length and style of their hair.
“People should keep in mind that the more hair they have, the less they can feel confident in their body and the less confidence they can have with the things they want to wear,” she noted.
Dr SotERO pointed out that short hair is often a result of a cultural and socioeconomic difference.
“Many cultures have shorter hair, whereas in the U:S.
a shorter haircut is associated specifically with men,” she explained.
“Many men feel comfortable with short haircutes because they can dress better, have a more masculine look, have less weight, and so on.
But it’s also a culture that is about body image, and a man may want to avoid it because it might be perceived as a symbol of weakness.”