Vv Magazine’s Vicki Hogarth gets to the bottom of why women cut off their hair…
I was recently out for dinner with a guy friend of mine, and he was telling me what he thought was a dramatic story about his ex-girlfriend’s post-breakup “meltdown,” as he described it.
“…and she just cut it all off, right to her chin!” he exclaimed, while jolting his hands like spears beside his cheekbones, as if I wouldn’t comprehend just how drastic his ex’s new haircut was without his visual representation. It was true, she had had beautiful long hair, but her decision to chop off a foot of it didn’t seem all that irrational or inexplicable to me. In fact, I probably would have done the same thing.
“I totally get it,” I said back. My lack of shock seemed to bother him.
“What do you mean you get it?” he retorted. “Her hair was kinda her thing.”
“Well, I think ‘was‘ is the operative word,” I responded, like a holier than thou Dalai Lama of the dating scene. “You guys dated for almost two years.”
“Well, hair grows half an inch a month. A foot of hair is exactly two years of time… a half an inch a month for 24 months equals two years. She basically just cut you off.”
“Oh,” he said, taken aback. With that, he seemed to sink slightly in his seat, his brow burrowed by a new and unexpected perspective, perhaps a more ego-deflating one. He thought his ex’s haircut had been a sign she was losing her mind, when really it was just an expression of her desire to let go. Sometimes the wish to break free of the past comes before the actual desire sets in, but chopping off our hair is like preparing for the next round of life. Cutting ties with the past has to start somewhere – even if it’s just in a seemingly superficial, surface-level way – if we’re going to power through into the next chapter.
It’s not just the end of romantic relationships that inspire massive haircuts for we women either. Sometimes it’s leaving a job, moving to a new city, finishing school or finally beginning to process the loss of a loved one that inspires us to chop off a good chunk of what’s already dead: our beautiful but nevertheless literally lifeless hair. Sure, you can’t change the past, but you can learn to let go of parts of it, to brace yourself for new beginnings. After all, hair grows back. Hopefully by the time it does, it will be amazing to see how much we have grown, too.
If you liked Vicki’s thoughts on why women cut off their hair, check out why she’s a fan of the current grey hair trend in In Defense of the Grey Hair Trend.
Do you think the reason why women cut off their hair is often to break free from the past? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.