Just like a carefully crafted french braid, women's hair and their moods are eternally entwined. We flip our hair in moments we feel swag ("Haba ng hair mo, besh!") and we pull them apart in frustration ("Sarap mong sabunutan, girl!").
Post Breakup Taylor Swift
Whether it’s a stylish cut, a fresh color or a drastic makeover, it is of little wonder then that we feel compelled to change up our looks when we end a relationship. Even local and international celebrities are not immune to this syndrome; with stellar stars like Taylor Swift, Gigi Hadid, and Katy Perry switching up their locks after parting ways with their significant other. On the local front, Erich Gonzales joins the ranks of those who chose to change their 'do after a split. A rumored split from her erstwhile boyfriend seemed to prompt the new short 'do of Gretchen Ho. But what compels these women to resorting to hair makeovers to mend a broken heart?
Before And After: Erich Gonzales
It seems as if the decision to make the cut is a marker of change, a low risk decision that also serves as a coping mechanism. Old appearances can hold the burden of the person you used to be. “I felt so upset about our break up; I was ready to be someone new,” reveals Sanja*, “I wanted a pick-me-upper. Getting a platinum blonde pixie cut seemed like a great idea at the time.”
Before and After: Gretchen Ho
It also symbolized the shedding of the past and moving on to better things. It is satisfyingly instant, as women report leaving the salon feeling lighter both physically and mentally. “I felt like I created a better version of me,” relates Ollie*, “I wanted a tangible way of putting the past behind me. My haircut was my way of saying goodbye to what we had.”
Post-breakup Gigi Hadid
For others, it was a way to drive a point. Some women take to their locks to send a formidable message amidst heartache (“New hair, don’t care!”) and getting their power back. Living well is the best strategy for revenge and a glorious head of hair that your former partner can see when they stalk your social media accounts. Mia* confesses that she posted an insane amount of selfies of her new ‘do on all her feeds. “He cheated on me,” shares Mia, “I wanted to make him regret his decision.”
Post-breakup Katy Perry
Some felt that getting a new hairstyle was cathartic, a simple reminder of cutting ties, so to speak. “My ex loved my long hair,” recalls Joanna*, “Chopping it all off was like getting rid of all the deadweight he represented.” Rocking her new look gave Joanna more pep in her step. “Sporting a completely different style than what people are used to seeing me in seemed to give me the extra oomph to move on.”
[related: Daily Diaries: Modern Heartbreak—Old And New Ways To Heal With Class]
Letting go of a past relationship can be made easier with initiating a simple change like a brand new haircut. It is an emphatic goodbye that signifies a new journey, of throwing out the old ways and embracing change. It reaffirms that we are still ourselves, that we haven’t lost who we are despite our heartbreak. It is a means of wrestling back control of your life. What better way to lighten up during darker times than with snipping off those dead ends and watching them fall to the floor, inspiring an I’m-definitely-over-him-attitude that would help you on your road to recovery?
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Photographs from Instagram.com/erichgg, Instagram.com/gigihadid, Instagram.com/gretchenho, Instagram.com/katyperry, and Instagram.com/taylorswift / Banner artwork by Jana Jimenez