Women chaging their hair after a breakup

I have noticed that many women will cut or change the color of the hair after a breakup. Why is that ? I have met many women that have told me they changed their hair after their last breakup. Also, since I like long hair, it seems like I always meet them after they have cut off their long hair due to a failed relationship. I hate seeing the “before” pictures, because most of the time I prefer the long hair, or natural colored hair that they had before.

I’ve heard it’s pretty common for a person to change their “look” when they feel ready for (or feel the need for, or feel thrust upon them) a life-changing step, or crossroads. Makes sense to me, I’ve done it and I’m not a woman. It’s a physical manifestation of the mindset that “I’m a new person now.”

Bienville puts it nicely. You want to wipe the slate clean, make a new start, etc.

In addition there is this effect that a man might have fallen for you when you had a certain look. Say, you had really long hair and he found that beautiful. Now, I don’t really like to be this way, but if you’re really into the guy you might leave your hair the way it was even after you yourself are fed up it with because he likes it that way. Changing the style after the break up in this case can also be a way of saying : I’m no longer going to consider it important what he thinks of my look.

Wow! I’ve been posting for 8 months and finally I’ve put something nicely!
I’m so proud of myself! Thanks, Pookah.

I did this only once, but it was my only bad breakup. I don’t like long hair on me, and it’s such a fuss to care for. But he wanted me to grow it out, so I did, for him. Then he dumped me. So I cut all my hair off - well, not all, but all the excess.

I was going to send it to him. Fortunately, I calmed down before I did that.

My other breakups were fairly benign, so I made no dramatic changes.

Back in the '40s, women would “wash that man right outta my hair.”

Maybe this is just an updated version!

Seriously, I think it’s part of making a fresh start. New clothes, new hair, new man on the horizon.

Oddly, it was my boyfriend who cut all his hair off and grew a beard after we split up. I still have my long hair.

“So, you just broke up with your boyfriend?”

“Are you SURE you want me to cut off all of your hair?”

“What do you mean, shorter. Are you sure?”

Two of the commonest questions I get when I get my hair cut (I usually let it grow out to mid back and then lop it off … need to get it to donation length before I do that again).

I feel like I should come in with a picture of myself with short hair to “prove” I really mean it and didn’t just go through a nasty break up.

When my first husband left, the first thing I did was get my hair cut - it was mid-back length before he left, because that’s how he liked it. Soon after he left, I got it cut shoooooort, it was definitely nothing but a statement to him, and myself, that I didn’t need him, didn’t care how he felt about me, and my life moves on. I saw keeping my hair the way he had liked it as being some kind of sign that I was waiting around for him.

The haircut led to one of the most pleasantly surprising experiences I’ve ever had.

After the haircut, I went to the store where he was a manager(while he wasn’t working) to buy something. Employees and their families get a discount. All the employees there knew me, of course, so I didn’t ever have to ask for it, they just added it on automatically.

I was standing at the register, wondering if the discount would be offered to me (but no way was I going to ask). The cashier keyed it in and turned to the manager on duty to get him to key in the approval code. He gave me a brief look, and then looked at the cashier. She said “Employee discount.” He just gave her a strange look, then looked back at me. I was mortified, thinking that he wasn’t going to give me the discount, feeling about 2 inches tall as he just stared at me. You’ve heard of a look dawning on someone’s face? I’d never seen it before this moment - the look of recognition dawning on his face was so priceless - he hadn’t recognized me at all. Apparently stunned, he said “Oh my god, you look amazing!” And for the next five minutes, he literally gushed over how “good” I looked. I swear I walked out of there six inches taller than I had walked in.

But, I’ve since started growing it again; as long as it’s my choice to have it long, it’s okay with me. :slight_smile:

Same here. I routinely grow my hair long, get a perm, then decide to chop it all off into a pixie cut. And every time I do it, the stylist double-checks to make sure I’m not fighting with my husband before she lifts the scissors.

But, pre-marriage, I often made drastic changes to my appearance after a break-up. Part of it was probably some kind of small revenge, and part of it was just the desire to make a complete and total new beginning.

After my first (and only so far) boyfriend broke up with me, I cut my hair… I’d been letting it grow for a while because I was so happy I just didn’t care, and it was several inches past my shoulders. I chopped it up to my chin. I think for proper therapeutic effect, the initial hair-cutting should always be done by oneself. But I cut my own hair anyway so it wasn’t a big deal.

When I met my friend S freshman year, she had hair down to her waist - goregous hair. She had a bad experience and a break up with a boyfriend a few months into the semester, and she got a mohawk. She’s been growing it out ever since – now she’s engaged and one of the determining factors in the setting of the wedding date is the length of her hair – she wants it to be to her lower back before she gets married. It’s past her shoulder blades now, so she’s got a good start.

So I think part of it is rebellion, “he liked me when I looked like that, he doesn’t like me now so screw him I’m not going to look like that anymore,” and part of it is kind of a need to distance oneself from what one was during the relationship. And that way when you look back at the pictures of you two together you can pretend it’s some other stupid girl. :smiley:

Does it work the other way around? I always kept my hair fairly short (about shoulder-length), to the chagrin of my then-bf, who wished I would grow it longer. Sometime after I broke up with him, I finally started letting it grow longer, and it’s been quite long ever since (except for the times I’ve gotten tired of it and chopped it off, only to realize that I don’t know what to do with short hair). I’m not sure the two things have much to do with each other, but they might, I guess.

Second sentence very important. Tried to feather my own, without a mirror, without feathering scissors … once. Bald spots. Not fun.

Well, the complicated stuff, yeah, you should leave to the professionals, silly. :stuck_out_tongue: But a little practice is all it takes to get reasonably adept at the basic cutting it off, and I can even do my own layers now. I figure the symbolic therapeutic part is just the hacking-off, you can always hit the salon afterwards to have them do the fancy stuff.

Guy checking in here – I had long hair from age 13. A few years ago my wife and I split up, which meant I was back on the dating scene after a long absence. It would seem that in that time, long hair on guys went “out of style”. As much as I hated the idea of cutting it for that kind of reason, I was getting pretty tired of having it.

So, off went the hair. It was amazing…for the first time in my adult life, it didn’t take 20 minutes to take a shower. :slight_smile:

The ironic thing is that my wife and I reconciled shortly after. It took a bit for her to get used to it, but at her prompting it’s now short and spikey, intentionally sloppy with blonde tips. We like it. :slight_smile: