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April 24, 2008

What Your Hair Says About You

Dr. Amy Wechsler, Marie Claire’s resident dermatologist and psychiatrist, analyzes 23-year-old policewoman-in-training Erica Carns.

what does your hair say about you

Erica Carns

Photo Credit: Amanda Friedman/Amanda Friedman

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AW: She has a few breakouts on her cheeks that she isn’t trying to hide.
EC: I’ve made it this far with my current grooming habits, acne problems and all.

AW: Even though Erica’s stance is a bit reserved, wearing her hair pushed back shows confidence.
EC: I have always had healthy self-esteem. I also just passed the Illinois State Police Recruitment Test — which is confidence-building — and I’m waiting to start an Academy class.

AW: People with longer hair usually hide behind it, but Erica doesn’t. It shows youthfulness.
EC: I tend to do what’s easy. I’m a “shower and run out the door” type who doesn’t give appearance much consideration.

AW: The fine lines around her lower lids are probably from squinting. People with dark eyes aren’t as sensitive to light, so they tend not to wear sunglasses, which protect the skin in this area.
EC: Sunglasses are uncomfortable. Also, my smile is so big, it crinkles up my face, but I do it all the time anyway!

Wechsler gets to the root of Erica’s beauty issues.

AW: It looks like you colored your hair and haven’t been touching up the roots. Do you prefer your natural shade?
EC: I do. But my roommate is a hairstylist who used to experiment on me — she bleached my whole head at one point.

AW: What about length?
EC: Even though I was too busy with school to maintain it, I tried to grow out the over-processed hair. Eventually, I caved in and cut it — right after this picture was taken!

AW: Isn’t short hair easier to manage, given the extreme physical demands of training for the police force?
EC: Definitely. Long hair does get in the way of sit ps, running, lifting weights — everything, really.

AW: Did you notice more acne when you were under more stress?
EC: My skin was going crazy for a couple of months. This picture was taken right after I finished exams for my bachelor’s degree in psychology.

AW: Did you have much acne during college?
EC: No. I’d never really broken out before.

AW: Breakouts are a perfect example of mind-body connection. A study came out last year linking acne-causing inflammation and pre-exam stress.
EC: I didn’t believe stress caused acne until now. Even though looks aren’t that important to me, I was still glad when the breakouts went away.

AW: Well, you’ve had a lot on your plate. Best of luck!

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