Ask A Guy: Do Guys Care If You Drastically Change Your Look?

Change Your Look

Once Cady changed her look, her whole life changed in Mean Girls

Dear Ethan: Do guys care if you make a drastic change to the way you look, like if you get a haircut or totally change your style? Would that turn them off? Or do they even notice at all?

While we may never notice a new handbag or bang trim, guys can detect “drastic.” If you’ve been dating for some time, or a guy is already super into you, a new look shouldn’t make a difference at all—it’ll take more than a haircut to turn off a truly enamored man. But how a crush will react to a radical makeover depends on your intentions and the extent of your relationship.

For example, drastic change can be jarring for a mutual admirer. Flip the tables for a second and imagine the cute, grungy skater you’ve been flirting with were to come into Chem class one day wearing khaki pants and a blazer fit for Chuck Bass. If his natural bad-boy image was what attracted you in the first place, wouldn’t an abrupt, disingenuous switch turn you off? Plus, whether we want to admit it or not, both genders can harbor shallow preferences. I admit that when a girl I once liked got fed up with long hair and went for a pixie cut, my interest waned when I couldn’t shake visions of my closely cropped grandmother. So don’t change yourself for a guy who already might be interested – change your perspective and ask him out!

Don't worry Ethan - you're not the only one who remembers this movie!

On the other hand, if you want to get an oblivious guy’s attention, it actually can’t hurt to try something new. We’ve all seen the movie She’s All That (or am I just really old?), a Pygmalion derivative in which the nerdy chick gets made over and suddenly becomes the hottest thing around. Sadly, it’s not just a movie cliché: some of us men are dumb enough to not notice a girl until she throws on a dress and some contact lenses.

However, if you’re just aching for a new look to fit your ever-evolving internal state, then you shouldn’t worry about what any guy thinks. Listen to Madonna and express yourself (…yup, I’m just old). Because ultimately, if a guy isn’t into your being self-assured, then he isn’t worth dating in the first place.

Good luck!

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at!


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Posted in: Ask A Guy, Being Different, Body & Health, Body Issues, Dating, Help&Advice, Love Advice
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  • stuti

    I just got a pixie cut because I really wanted to. Thanks for letting me know EVERY guy hates it. This is so tough for me because I’m straight. I do care about what men think but it makes me so mad that they don’t like it, i don’t want to care!

    • redneckroyalty

      Not all guys will hate it.

  • Mirna_9452

    I forgot to comment. MADONNA DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS!! She may have experience these kind of situation, but that does means she knows it all. That is why there is trends and research into it. If there is fashion magazines, they are there for a reason! Just look at this month* teen vogue articles and check them out for your self._

  • Mirna_9452

    Wooow!! Heather… I aggreed. You do sound old in my head… Well anyway, the old saying once said * the older you are, the more wise you get! To be frank i actually do have information revolving around this subject. When i was in middle school, i made a survey of what attracts guys… Naturality!! Guys don’t actually care for the way you look!
    They are looking for a *lady that has a good or *cool reputation!! They love it when you confront them and speak to them like a *humanbeing! Just how you *wanted to be treated. Don’t overwhelm yourself of the way you look! The natural the better! I never wear make-up unless it’s a imergency ( job interview). Don’t be affraid to show off your personality.
    Be confident and smile more often. Maybe they will start noticing you.

  • madhu

    Is short hair really all that unattractive?

  • Trish

    I was 12 when the 90’s ended, but I’m still obsessed with She’s All That! Anyway I came across this from a Jersey Shore site (?) somehow, and it made me think about my hair. In the past I dyed it depending on the season; I’d go dark auburn during winter and then blonde during the summer. I did it just to keep my look fresh (I get bored easily), but I never really thought about the way it affected whatever guy I’d been dating at the time. They always said they liked it, but now I wonder if it bothered any of them. Now my hair is more of a natural ombre color since I’ve let my darker roots grow in but the rest is still highlighted, and I get more compliments on my brown-blonde-auburn hair than I ever did when it was one solid, dark color or highlighted. Your article definitely put some things into perspective. There’s something for everyone. Your natural looks will attract just as many guys as a drastic change would.

    • Ethan Fixell

      Great insight, Trish! Thanks for reading the article — and for writing in!


  • caitlyn

    when i chopped off 16 in of hair my boyfriend didn’t like it. he preferred girls with longer hair despite the fact i donated it. a lot of guys like one look but don’t ever let it stop you from what you want to do. if they love you they should love your look!

    • Ethan Fixell

      I totally agree, Caitlyn! Thanks for your input!


  • Emily

    I’m seventeen and I know Express Yourself by Madonna. 😛 Guess we have awesome taste in music!

    • Ethan Fixell

      Haha, I guess we do!

      Thanks for reading, Emily.


  • Faith

    I was a teenager in the 90s (Ethan’s not the only person who’s old, here!), so this was never a big deal with people I knew. Everyone was trying off the wall hair cuts, colors, clothing – heck, you should have seen the make-up. But it was fun, and I don’t remember ever losing attention from guys who’d expressed attention previously. But then I would recommend not giving a doodle what guys think, if you want to change? Life is short, just do it! Heck, you may love it!

    • Ethan Fixell

      There you go, Faith — I support your advice to experiment!


      • Ethan Fixell

        Oh, and thanks for repping the 90s with me.


  • justchecking1234

    coming from a girl we just want to change our look some times, see if we get ur attention, thrilled if we do. we are sometimes willing to change our appearence and are more than dissapointed when you dont notice or find it as bad. so dont give us a hard time if a tomboy suddenly turns into a girly girl or if a long blonde haired girl turns into a short red haired girl.

  • Jon-Paul

    Coming from a guy (I do not even know how I got here), I do care, and I care a lot, if a girl changes her looks, and it’s not really a good thing for me. I knew a girl my whole life, I even fell in love with her at one point, and one day she completely changed her look, and I didn’t even recognize her anymore. After that, she was obsessed with staying with that look, and started shunning her friends, turning into the type of girl I hate. You have to think about what the consequences and the benefits are when you do something this big, or else it just may hurt you.

    • Ethan Fixell

      Hey JP,

      Sounds like that lady had intentions of changing more than just her look. Still, I hear you that sometimes a makeover can definitely rub guys the wrong way if its done for the wrong reasons…

      Thanks for reading,