There are many reasons why a girl decides to drastically change her hair on a whim: a bad breakup, a downward-spiraling pop career, an exciting new religious cult. If we’re going to get all philosophical about it, I actually believe women drastically alter their hair in relation to how much of the past they want to let go. If hair grows half an inch a month, chopping off six inches is like letting go of a year. And dying your entire head a different colour is like telling the past it no longer gets to haunt your present in the same capacity anymore. That makes Britney Spears’ head-shaving meltdown make a little more sense, doesn’t it?
That said, the aftermath of a drastic hair alteration can lead to highly underrated personal and professional life disasters. Just ask a young Keri Russell circa Felicity, Season 2. If a friend of yours has recently decided to give herself a total hair makeover, and you sense there are perhaps some unfortunate personal life crises behind her desire for an extreme change, it’s up to you to step in and set her hair follicles straight (or curly, or whatever way they actually look better). Here’s how to let a friend know her new ‘do blows…
First, Buy Yourself Some Time
When your friends shows up at your place to show off her new ‘do, don’t fall into the trap of immediately having to give your opinion when she asks right off the bat, “So what do you think?” If you say it looks great, she’ll later accuse you of being a lying sociopath who just wants to be the prettiest friend of your gaggle of girlfriends when it finally dawns on her that her new white blonde locks are less Scarlett Johansson and a little more Lady Grantham. The best you can do is act astonished because utter shock can at least seem ambivalent. Just say something like, “Wow, you look so different. I don’t even recognize you.” When she pesters you to weigh in, just say you need some time for it to filter that this is her new look. This will also set the groundwork in place for the eventual news that she looks batsh*t crazy.
Conveniently Have Her Hang Out With Some “Truth Tellers”
You know the kind of people who say stuff like, “I say it like it is,” and all that garbage? Yeah, they’re the worst. It’s like they’re totally ignorant to option No. 3, which is just not saying anything at all. That said, they’re the best people to hang out with when you’re trying to give someone a message without being the bearer of bad news yourself. If your friend’s new “pixie” cut looks less Charlize Theron and more Edward Furlong in American History X, it’s time to start hanging out with some bad people who will make all the hard-hitting remarks without you getting your hands dirty. When your friend finally asks, “Do you think I accidentally got a Neo-Nazi haircut?” You can say something like, “I didn’t see it before, and maybe it’s just our terrible friends’ influence, but I’m starting to see it now.”
Have Some Crisis Management Plans Ready To Put In Action
Once your friend has finally accepted the fact that just because Katy Perry can pull off blue hair (thanks to an incredibly expensive upkeep regime and superstar hair team) it might not actually be her colour, you’ve got to be the one there by her side offering up solutions. After all, weren’t you the as*shole who forced her to hang out with the “truth tellers”? Talk to a hairstylist you trust with an Instagram pic in hand of your friend’s hairy (or possibly hairless) situation to get some professional advice. Did she totally destroy her hair from root to tip with bleach? Maybe it’s time to introduce her to cool accessories like scarves, fashion-forward turbans and Birkas. Will reverse highlights help undo the damage the she did to her hair trying to go Kelly Osbourne lavender? There are things that can be done that don’t involve an electric razor. After all, a drastic hairdo might be motivated by a wish to let go of the past, but best friends are forever, and this will be all but a future memory (and hopefully a good laugh) for the two of you to share in years to come.