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Why men don't notice changes in your hair

I started my foray into relationship expertise by making every mistake imaginable. I started blogging about it in 2008.

One of my favorite pastimes is making fun of girlfriends for the terrible TV they watch, namely Bravo shows.

So, imagine my shame when I stumbled upon an article devoted to Stassi's (a character from Bravo's awful "Vanderpump Rules") hair extensions. My confusion over how her extensions warranted an entire article was only matched by my confusion over the fact that she looked exactly the same as she did before the extensions.

Men are notorious for not noticing changes in hair. I grew up with two sisters and they would come home after cutting off (gasp) up to two to three inches and, quite honestly, it looked the same.

Several times I've missed opportunities to comment on co-workers' or friends' new hairdos simply because I didn't notice any change, but women notice their friends' hair changes right away.

A few weeks ago I met a friend at a salon in New York City, Ryan Darius Salon, where I was further educated by my friend's stylist on the art of hair enhancement. Our conversation got me thinking about what changes a guy would actually notice versus the ones he would look right past. Here are my thoughts.

Low probability of him noticing

"Trim": Up to 1.5 inches cut off

Unless you chop off a lot, we won't notice, particularly if you show up with the same style of hair. In all honesty, 1.5 inches really doesn't seem like a lot.

Redoing the same highlights

Sure, the highlights are fresh and new, but they are ultimately the same thing you had; probably won't notice that. Isn't that just maintenance anyway, sort of like repainting the same color wall?

Moderate probability of him noticing

New highlights

Showing off new highlights to him might cause him to quip, "there's something different about you but I can't quite place it." If the highlights are in stark contrast to the rest of your hair, we might notice but sometimes it simply looks like the light is playing off your hair differently.

Radical styling, like Jennifer Aniston-styled

He might think you tried really hard at home with your original hairdo on a particular night without going to the salon, but there's a chance he will say, "wow, did you change your hair?"

Extensions

We are too stupid to notice that your hair suddenly is longer and fuller, but if it's not done well, we will notice and find it a bit odd. The whole idea of extensions kind of freaked me out until my friend's stylist at Ryan Darius allowed me to conquer my fear by examining the extension product they use: Platinum Seamless. The stylist explained to me how they are taped in, pretty much invisible and they are made of real hair. I fact-checked against Stassi's beauty blog and she too uses this method (apparently you can tape/glue in or weave in). But I must say, I don't want to run my fingers through a woman's hair and have chunks of her hair come out with them.

High probability of him noticing

Radical cut, Ellen Degeneres short

Not only will he notice, but he'll probably think it's awesome. My little sister got her hair cut very short in high school and came home crying because it was apparently traumatic. Most of the guys at school were impressed with the change and the courage it took to make that change.

Serious dye

... particularly if it's blonde or very dark. Most guys have imagined their blonde girlfriends as a brunette and vice versa.

Why don't guys notice most of the things you do to your hair? Perhaps it's because we are focusing so much on what you're saying, and listening so well. OK, maybe not. The good news is that we do notice beautiful hair. We are not very detail oriented, and it's tough to notice subtle nuances that contribute to beautiful hair.

When you change your hair, do you expect guys to notice? Do you even want guys to notice, or would you rather the guy think you have naturally gorgeous hair with low effort?

Image: Anne-Louise Quarfor/Getty Images
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