Snip, snip and you're a new person.
For some reason, when I was growing up my mother was always making me cut my hair. It wasn't too tangled or a rat's nest, but she just preferred my hair to be shoulder-length. It probably was easier to stick into a barrette or put into pigtails at that length, and it definitely would have been easier to brush.
I wanted really long and straight hair since mine was wavy with a bit of a curl. Since my mother was the adult, I usually ended up in some hairstylist's chair getting my hair chopped off. I wasn't forced to get my hair cut, but there were a number of bribes and discussions as to why I should do it. So I would end up agreeing to the haircut and briefly think it had been my decision.
But as I watched my hair fall to the ground, I'd cry. After the haircutting trauma, it would take a while for me to get used to seeing my newly shorn head and I'd rage at my own perceived hideousness.
I don't know why, as females, our identities are so wrapped up in our hair, but they are, and I can testify that it starts early.
The power that one feels when they are in charge of their own hair is amazing, and while it may start early, there are still a number of things that influence it. You might have a boyfriend who really wants you to have long hair or a job that feels that pink hair is inappropriate. You have to make certain concessions regarding your hair throughout your life.
So what are the reasons women cut their hair, especially after a breakup?
1. Haircuts can be a marker of change.
Long hair can represent a time that we'd prefer to put behind us.
"Dramatic hair changes are a way of shedding the past and moving on," said Eloise Cheung. "We're on a mission to create a new and better version of ourselves, and a fast easy way to do this is by cutting our hair and/or changing our hair color."
The problem is that even though your hair will be different, you'll still have the same problems.
"Remember that during this breakup period, we're going through a whole swirl of emotions which are constantly changing," Cheung warns. "One minute, changing our hair will feel like the best decision in the world, but when we look in the mirror and see a total stranger staring back at us, it can leave us feeling more alien than we did before."
2. Haircuts help to reclaim ourselves.
Blogger Ella Dawson writes, "Some of us cut our hair simply because it is our own, no matter how trivial you think it is to care about appearance. But it is something that belongs to us, and only us, especially if we gave every other physical part of ourselves to some else. There is a special kind of beauty in this release."
Dawson argues that we don't cut our hair to symbolize the birth of a new identity; we do it to reaffirm that we are still ourselves.
"It informs us that we will never lose ourselves despite what sadness and other pain we have experienced. Purple, ombre'd, bobbed, or permed, we ARE the same person inside," Dawson says.
3. Cutting our hair creates new connections.
Often times when you're sitting in a hair stylist's chair, you form a bond. You enter a stranger and leave a friend. You share your lives — the big events, the heartbreaks, and even the small changes.
4. You can help prevent relationship relapse.
Zara Barrie says, "Nothing will kick-start the beat of a broken heart like a new hairstyle. The best part is now she can get the hairstyle she always wanted — not the same blonde highlights she endured year after year because it was what her ex preferred."
5. Cutting your hair can be freeing.
Have you ever gotten your hair cut short for the summer and been amazed at how easy it is to maintain? You just have to wash it and go, and suddenly you've shaved off an hour of your morning routine. Long hair can feel as if it's dragging you down, and cutting it can give you more energy to do fun things like swimming or dating.
6. By cutting your hair, you're saving it.
The truth is, no matter how much we love our hair, we can treat it like crap. If you don't cut off the split ends or the damaged parts, it will just get worse and worse. It's better to do a big chop and have only healthy hair on your head. You can grow it out again, but don't forget the deep conditioning next time.
Many times after a breakup, we need to practice self-care, and your hair can always use some special attention. In the end, your hair will grow back and your heart will heal.