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Why Do People Cut Their Hair When Distressed?

Why Do People Cut Their Hair When Distressed?

It is not unusual to see people, particularly girls, chopping off their hair after a painful breakup. It has become such a norm that when someone gets a drastic change in their haircut people automatically assume that they have broken up with their partner. This is not limited to breakups though, there are also those who cut their hair when they are in any kind of intense negative emotional state. But why do people like to cut their hair when they are in distress?

Feeling of letting go of their emotions

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A lot of people feel like cutting their hair gives them the opportunity to have a sense of letting go. Since they have emotional baggage that weighs them down, getting rid of something trivial like their hair may make them feel lighter. It gives them the illusion that if they cut a portion of the metaphorical “weight” of their hair, then it would lessen the heavy feeling on their chest. The hair is a person’s crowning glory, it symbolizes their presentation of themselves to other people. The longer the hair, the harder the maintenance would be. Letting go of that responsibility can be a source of coping mechanism for some.

Taking control of the situation

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Sometimes when a person feels overwhelmed by their emotions and circumstances in life, they try to find something easy to have control over. And cutting their hair gives them that sense of control and power that no matter how complicated things are, their hair is something that is theirs and they can decide what they want to do with it. It can be a source of validation, knowing that they have control of how they are going to look from then on. It allows them to feel good about their appearance. Also, getting a haircut can give them a sense of re-invention of their physical selves. Seeing them transform into somebody new by cutting their hair gives them a false perception of their “newborn” personality by chopping off their past one.

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Getting a haircut when experiencing a hard circumstance in life is a way to cope for some people. However, it is important to reflect on the relatively short-term relief taken from physical changes. What they actually need to deal with are the emotional and mental states that people find so little time for. A drastic change in appearance offers no solution to someone’s distress or problem. However, as long as it helps them get through something, then it could be the first of many steps in taking actual control of their life.

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