4 Editors Share How Making a Hair Change After a Breakup Made Them Feel in the End
We can name dozens of reasons a person might suddenly feel the urge to pick up a pair of scissors or box of hair dye to dramatically change their hair, but there's something about making a big change after a breakup that feels especially transformative.
It's been said that a change in appearance can lift your mood and help you feel like you're shedding a former version of yourself. That could be why, for ages, many people have used coloring and cutting their hair as a way to cope with heartbreak. While the experience and aftermath surrounding these changes definitely vary for everyone, there's no mistake that the breakup hair change is a lot more common than you think.
From friend breakups to the ending of romantic relationships, read ahead to hear why four editors underwent a major hair transformation after experiencing heartbreak — plus how it made them feel in the end.
"After my first boyfriend and I broke up at 15, I was devastated enough that I started coloring my hair red. Since my mom refused to let me dye my whole head, we opted to do highlights with red toner that would eventually wash out over time, making it less permanent of a change.
"At the time, I didn't correlate the dye job to the 'earth-shattering' breakup I had, but looking back, I realize I made this choice subconsciously to make me look and feel different than I did when we dated. The red in my hair made me smile at myself every time I looked in the mirror and helped me move past my very first relationship. To this day, I actually still tone my hair red every year or so. At this point, there's no particular reason, but I know I'll always look back and be reminded of the girl who finally felt like she did something for herself." — Alanna Martine Kilkeary, associate beauty editor, Makeup.com and Skincare.com
"I remember wanting to do something especially crazy to my hair when I was in college after ending a friendship with someone I had become really close with in high school. At first I thought of dyeing my hair honey blond, but then I realized that might be a little too drastic of a change for me to handle, so I had my aunt (who is a hairstylist) give me highlights instead. At the time, I honestly didn't understand why I had this sudden urge to change my appearance, but outside of going natural, it was the first time I had ever undergone a big hair change. Dramatics aside, I was proud of myself for going through with it." — Danielle Jackson, assistant beauty editor
"I'm definitely guilty of changing up my hair after basically any life crisis, especially a breakup. When my now-husband and I were on a break in college, I made the spontaneous decision to chop my long hair into a bob. I truly decided within an hour, made a last-minute salon appointment, and said goodbye to eight inches. I think I wanted to feel in control and empowered during an uncertain situation, but I also just wanted to feel new and different. We got back together, but the cut remained my go-to style for a while. I think about going back to it a lot; that bob still feels like me. Is now the time?" — Karenna Meredith, assistant editor, trending and viral features
"I chopped my long hair in the midst of a messy breakup, and when he saw me, I could immediately tell he hated it. That was all I needed to see! Good riddance." — Maggie Panos, senior voices editor