What Psychological research says about hair ornamentation and money

No you didn’t just accidentally click over to a botany enthusiast website, we’re really going to discuss the psychological impact of flowers. Bear with me on this one guys.

More than just a decorative addition to your dining table, more than just a last minute Mother’s Day present and more than just a sure fire way to get you out of the dog house – Flowers.  In numerous cultures and religions flowers have been shown to have a distinct social significance and here are just a few examples:

“In Hinduism flowers are considered extremely important for many reasons. The main Hindu prayer rites are called puja, which means “the flower act”. One of the most important flowers for Hindus is the lotus for its various associations. At base level, it is linked with fertility, youthfulness and beauty.” – SerenataFlowers.com

“In China Bamboo is known for attracting joy and wealth. It offers protection and luck, can break hexes and grants wishes! Bamboo is said to help increase mental flexibility, aid in spiritual growth, help people to develop artistic talents, and encourages good health. If you’re depressed, bamboo is a great plant to have in your home, as it can help you to feel less stuck.” – Galadarling.com

“Russians gift flowers in odd numbers for occasions of joy. For them, yellow flowers signify funerals and sympathy. Though, this rule does not apply to mixed flower bouquets and arrangements.” – TheFlowerExpert.com

In India flowers in hair is a mark of being a married woman. However, studies have shown that wearing flowers in such a manner is more than a status symbol, it has been proven to have a distinct and surprising impact.

In a study on tipping behaviour, researchers found that diners left larger tips for waitresses who wore flowers in their hair compared to when the same waitresses served them minus the flowers (Jacob, Guéguen & Delfosse, 2012). Psychologists suggest that wearing flowers makes you appear more appealing and subsequently attracts wealth. These findings have also been confirmed by a recent study which found that hair ornamentation is associated with a higher level of compliance even in strangers (Stefan, Jacob & Guéguen, 2015)!

​So, when it comes to styling, it appears that a tasteful hair ornament may be the secret accessory you never knew you had.  


Shakaila Forbes-Bell is a Fashion Psychologist and writer who has been featured in Marie Claire UK, i-D, Who What Wear, All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, Fashion Bomb Daily, The Voice Newspaper, Gal-Dem, Black Matters US and more.

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