hair, skin, and other elements of physical appearance, mental health, things you might find funny

A Few Words in Defense of the Emotional Haircut

Okay, I understand why all these magazines and blogs are advising people to avoid any drastic hairstyle changes after a breakup/job loss/graduation/etc.—really, I get it. Sometimes you make a change to your physical appearance, expecting it to magically change a bunch of other not-so-physical things about you that you’re feeling insecure about at the moment. I’ll admit, every single time I change my hair, part of me still expects to suddenly be a completely different person, one I might actually like, and I am always disappointed afterwards when I’m still just…me. In fact, I often go into an Emotional HaircutTM nervous and excited, but come out feeling utterly deflated.

But that being said, I think it’s time we heard from the other side of the argument; after all, if enough of us are getting an Emotional HaircutTM that there are literally hundreds of articles out there trying to talk us out of it, then maybe there’s something to it after all.

I would consider myself the self-appointed queen of the Emotional HaircutTM. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been seized by the intense, burning need to change my hair in order to prevent myself from falling into total despair. Whenever things in my life change or someone upsets me or I have a meaningful breakthrough in therapy that is both wonderful and devastating, I become consumed by the idea that changing my hair will somehow help control the feelings roiling in my psyche. So I get on Pinterest, book an appointment at the hair salon or take a trip to Sally Beauty Supply, and then inevitably deal with the disappointment of still having to feel my feelings despite my new hair.

So maybe the Emotional HaircutTM doesn’t make your feelings go away, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do anything for you. I mean, I’m usually drawn to the Emotional HaircutTM because things are changing and I don’t feel equipped to deal with that. But when I change my hair and actually like it a little bit (though never as much as I thought I would, because, again, I thought this haircut would magically fix everything which is a little hard to live up to), I’m reminded that some change is good, and that even when some things change, other things don’t. For instance, chopping off all my hair changes the length of my hair, not the structure of my facial bones.

Plus, when it comes to coping with difficult emotions, changing your hair is a relatively safe, low-risk option. When my brain starts to swirl with negativity, it comes up with countless possibilities for coping that run the gamut of self-destruction, from isolating myself in my room for days to straight up getting on a plane going anywhere. Compared to those, getting bangs doesn’t seem too bad, y’know?

So the hell with all the advice from Cosmo and Buzzfeed and your mom. Go get that Emotional HaircutTM. Get bangs, get a pixie cut, dye it an insane color, bleach it, make it an event with friends if you’re doing it at home, cry when it doesn’t magically fix your life, you do you. There are worse ways to cope, and at the end of the day, it’s just hair.

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