How’s your hair today? Are you having a good hair day or a bad one? If you’re like most women (including me), that’s an easy question to answer. And it’s also not a trivial one. A study by researchers from Yale found that believing you’re having a bad hair day can translate into an actual bad day. “‘Bad hair’ negatively influences self-esteem, brings out social insecurities and causes people to concentrate on the negative aspects of themselves,” study author and psychology professor Marianne LaFrance wrote. LaFrance’s research shows that hair — more than clothing, makeup or skin — has the power to determine a woman’s outlook for the day. And combined with her finding that only one in ten women is satisfied with her hair on any given day, helping give more women more great hair days is an opportunity to make a significant impact.
That’s why I’m so happy to announce that Thrive Global is partnering with Pantene on a campaign called #GreatHairDay, devoted to empowering women to transform a #BadHairDay into a great day by helping them transform negative self-talk into positive affirmation — and enjoy the self-esteem, confidence and performance boosts associated with a #GreatHairDay.
Bad hair days don’t just lower our self-esteem: they amplify our inner monologue with negative self-talk. Even our worst enemies don’t talk about us the way we talk to ourselves. We all know that voice — I call it the “obnoxious roommate living in our heads.” It’s that voice of negativity and self-sabotage that feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. It’s the voice that tells you you’re not good enough, you’ll never succeed, and asks, “who are you to be trying this?”
I know that voice all too well. We all live with it, and we can never fully evict our obnoxious roommate. She’s louder on bad hair days, yes — but she’s always there. We can, however, control how often we hear her, and how deeply we take her words to heart. And we can take Microsteps — like adding a positive affirmation to our morning shower (yes, night showerers, you can do this too) to remind us that we are in control of our thoughts and the way we speak to ourselves. The science around intentions is clear, as Daniel Siegel writes in The Mindful Brain: “Intentions create an integrated state of priming, a gearing up of our neural system to be in the mode of that specific intention: we can be readying to receive, to sense, to focus, to behave in a certain manner.” That’s what #GreatHairDay is all about: giving women science-backed ways to silence that voice of negative self-talk so they can unlock their full potential.
We interviewed working women who posted #BadHairDay photos and participated in Pantene’s 14 day challenge to find out what they had to say about #BadHairDay, negative self-talk and how they can transform their own obnoxious roommate with Shower Mantras.
That’s a big challenge. We know that women are twice as likely to experience depression as men. And studies have also found that women are more prone to negative rumination, which, as Drake Baer wrote, is an “on-ramp to depression and anxiety disorders.”
In today’s always-on world, there are endless opportunities to compare ourselves to others and conclude that we come up short. Studies have also shown that social media use is connected to depression, and, specifically, that it can affect women’s self-esteem and body image. It’s no surprise, then, that Pantene’s insight came from Instagram, where #BadHairDay has been used 1.2 million times, 17 times more than #GreatHairDay.
I joined Pantene Tuesday at their #GreatHairDay studio, where they’ve spent the last two weeks engaging in one-to-one communication with anyone who posted a #BadHairDay photo as part of their 14 Day Challenge. For the first time, the #GreatHairDay hashtag overtook #BadHairDay. Imagine the collective potential we can unlock if we sustain this momentum and help women everywhere feel as comfortable celebrating a #GreatHairDay as they do putting themselves down and posting a #BadHairDay photo.
Together, Thrive and Pantene are helping women combat #BadHairDay and negative self-talk by offering them solutions — in Pantene’s case, the Pantene Hair Advisor, and in Thrive’s case, Shower Mantras, small daily affirmations that women can add to their daily routine — to transform a #BadHairDay into a #GreatHairDay and set themselves up for a productive, successful day.
What I love about this partnership is that it shows the power of brands like Pantene to go beyond interacting with consumers on a product level and add real value to people’s lives by attaching new, positive habits to their daily routines. Ultimately, we may not be able to silence our obnoxious roommate entirely nor eliminate bad hair days completely. But if we recognize that tendency for what it is, take steps to challenge it, and turn it around, we can help millions of women unlock the powerful feeling of having a great hair day — and have a great day in every way.