Let me say: I understand why all magazines advise people to avoid a drastic haircut after a breakup/job loss/graduation/etc. I really get it. Sometimes you change your appearance and expect it to magically change many other non-physical things that make you feel insecure.
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. But I am always disappointed when I’m still just… me. In fact, I often go into an Emotional Haircut nervous and excited but come out feeling utterly deflated.
With that being said, I think it’s time we heard from the other side of the argument. After all, if enough of us get an Emotional Haircut while there are literally hundreds of articles telling us not to, then maybe there’s something to it after all.
I would consider myself the self-appointed queen of the Emotional Haircut. 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. It’s 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 go on Pinterest, book an appointment at the hair salon, or take a trip to Sally Beauty Supply.
Nevertheless, I always inevitably have to deal with the disappointment of still having to feel my feelings despite my new hair.
So maybe the Emotional Haircut doesn’t make your feelings go away. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help in some way. I mean, I’m usually drawn to the Emotional Haircut because things are changing. And I don’t know how else to deal with that. But when I change my hair and actually like it a little bit, 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.
Moreover, 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 coping mechanisms that run the gamut of self-destruction; from isolating myself for days on end to straight-up getting on a plane headed anywhere. Compared to those, getting bangs doesn’t seem too bad, don’t you think?
So the hell with all the advice from Cosmo, Buzzfeed, and your mom. Go get that Emotional Haircut! 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, but make sure you do you. There are worse ways to cope. And at the end of the day, it’s just hair.
A version of this article was previously published on the author’s personal blog, Megan Writes Everything.