Hair switcheroo at the debates

One of the quick viral photos that happened from the recent Presidential Debates was one that flipped the hair style on both candidates:

from the original post: The debates have started, which means it’s time to extract something meaningful and intelligent out of it, like a hair swap!

But in fact, whoever made this photoshop didnt get the hair part right – Romney is on the left. If we flip the image, note how the left part makes Obama look stronger? Another example of the signalling that goes on with a left and right hair part!

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Hillary Clinton switches to a right part

Update 2015: She is back wearing a left part.

Hillary Clinton, who has strong credentials in the world of politics and statesmanship, has both taken advantage of and been criticized for her strong image, often being accused of not being “feminine”. We think her left hair part is a key part of that strong image, and only rarely does she sport a right part. But it looks like shes definitely switched now, as all the images post 6/13 are showing:

See the difference between the above look vs her other images? Not just the physical difference, but the impression she gives:

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Hair Part Statistics

The left part on both men and women is much more standard than the right part – although in sampling large groups of people, the “no part” or center part beats both. Rough statistics from many observations show
about 50% no part,

  • 5-10% bald,
  • 30-40% left part,
  • and less than 5% right part.What I find interesting is that in business, politics and entertainment, the percentages are much different:
  • about 20% middle or no part
  • 5-10% bald,
  • 50-60% left part,
  • and almost 20% right part(!)

What makes the right part so popular in these influential fields?  My belief is that the atypical nature of the right parter’s personality will generate a lot more interest at the beginning – people stand out well if they are interested in standing out. So they get promoted, elected, and swooned over in these fields.

But the old standard still holds strong – a clear majority of influential people are those with left parts – they are traditionally more reliable and “knowable”. Check out this table of newscasters, left vs right – can you see how traditional the left parters are, and how non-traditional the right parters are?

(images coming soon:

left right Tom Brokaw Ted Koppel Brian Williams Anderson Cooper Walter Cronkite Dan Rather Harry Reasoner
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Rush Limbaugh – Ex Right Parter

Rush Limbaugh is in the news again, and not for very good reasons. Well, maybe for his ratings – he loves to stir the pot. But I think that his truly rabid and highly antisocial rants and raves comes from that atypical place that a right part creates. These days, Rush combs straight back, but when he started out, and probably since his childhood days, he clearly was a right parter

Once again, the right part doesn’t define any particular behavior, it just qualifies it as being atypical. Is there anyone at all like Rush Limbaugh out there?

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Crystal Lite Commercial – head tilt showing emphasis

Great new ad that illustrates Catherine Walter’s later addition to the Hair Part Theory … the head tilt emphasizing which hemisphere is drawing the focus …

At the end of ad – Girl Power to Go, her right eye is way higher, and then she tilts so her left is higher and the two guys run in fear of her power to beat them up! (“masculine” …). The one on tv is edited differently, where they show her holding the right side up for longer, during which they say, Girl Power to Go, and then she shifts to the left eye higher and they run!

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Subway commercials – right part sample

Here is a classic TV commercial that shows how the right part is shown as a total patsy:
Subway commercial – will you be my girlfriend?

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Hair Parts in Congress

One of the more striking examples of how hair parts are affecting our world is to look at the way the US Congress is differentiated by hair parting.  Politics aside, because the side parts are on both sides of the aisle, the Hair Part Theory would say that the prevalance of side parts (more than 80%) is a contributor to the polarization within our current political situation.   Those with side parts tend to be more out of balance than usual, because one side of the brain is always being emphasized at the expense of the other.

here is a graphic illustration of the way it breaks down in the 110th congress (includes other groupings too):

The percentages are also not representative of the general population.  The following are averages of various samples taken over the last 10 years:

General Population* 110th Congress 105th Congress Left Part 40% 54% 56% Right Part 3% 18% 17% Center part 50% 20% 26% (includes bald) Bald ** 35% 9% NA Notes:
* General Population averages are based on long term observation of multiple population groups – exact total figures are hard to quantify since there is a high dependence on demographics.
** Baldness at a later age in much more prevalent in the population and includes men who parted on either side prior to losing their hair
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