Active Now

Zack
my2cents
designer
Thebigd
 TODDLER BABY in CHIEF
texasescimo
bevo
Patchouli
antibiotic
Twinkle Dink
Discussion » Questions » Human Behavior » Is there a psychological reason why women change their hair during a breakup?

Is there a psychological reason why women change their hair during a breakup?

Posted - January 7

Responses


  • 1838
    To let all the boys know you're available again. 

      January 7, 2019 4:50 PM MST
    4

  • 6882
    Psst... The peacock (male) is the vibrant one. The peahen (female) isn't dressed up as much. ;)

    (The male is in the background and the female is in the foreground.)



    But, I do get what you're saying. :)
      January 9, 2019 11:35 PM MST
    2

  • 1838
    So the male does all the work, huh. I'm glad I'm not a peacock. :)
      January 13, 2019 12:16 PM MST
    0

  • 2591
    I'm not sure but in the past when I've had "problems" I usually cut all mine off for some reason. The psychology of that would be interesting to know.
      January 7, 2019 6:33 PM MST
    3

  • 21767


      Before I was married, I dated a woman whose philosophy on bad breakups was "no man, no hair", and she'd immediately get hers chopped off down to the scalp whenever a relationship of hers went sour.  We were on the topic of the average things that men like about women and that women like about men. She told it to me a few weeks or months into our time together, partially as a reflection on her past, partially as an omen if she and I were to split up.  She likened it to a woman's acknowledgement that her hair is her crowning glory, and a principle factor in catching men's attention. The time it takes to grow back gives her the solace she needs or wants. The razing of her allure is like going into mourning on one hand, and on the other hand, it's a warning to other men that's she's off limits (at least for the time being until she decides to regrow the hedgerow).  There one other aspect of it too: it signals among the sisterhood what's she's going though. None of this is 100% across the board, because some women prefer keeping their hair short regardless of the relationship stays or happiness levels, and some women don't change their hair based on a breakup.
      True to form, back to the woman in question, our ending was less than pleasant, and she took the train to baldsville. Well, not all the way there, but close enough.


    ~



      January 7, 2019 9:33 PM MST
    4

  • 4491
    Very good Randy - there is a lot in your answer I think is important.  Though would say not universal enough to signal anything to the "sisterhood" or unnecessary as most sisters are going naturally to be sympathetic whatever if that is what we are looking for.  No question men do like the longer hair.  Which is why we often let it grow out in a relationship.  Especially if we know he likes that.  So having it cut short (not "bald" sir!) is part too of self-punishment if we are judging ourselves for our relationship ending and also indicates our feelings of being less a person now as well.  Since in a close relationship they become such a part of us. 

    When I was young I had good long hair which tended to be oily and stringy as in those days I was not in such good health.  About when I was 21 I started having it cut short and into forehead bangs which I thought would be more manageable though yes it did come after a breakup.  I also have always had the feeling I was not attractive enough to pull off nice long hair so why even try.  Even though I am the first to admire anyone who has it or is able to pull it off!   Later I had it cut even shorter and no bangs and yes that was after a bad breakup.  I had the feeling I just wanted to be my basic self and not to pretend I was anything other than what I was .  Which was just a very plain Jane! So it was also giving people the message of OK I am me take me or leave me and I don't presume to be anything more.  So had the function as well of protecting me from men who might be into me just because of false external things.  But yes the pattern was usually in the course of a relationship I would let it grow and after breaking up go back to having it very short again.  Same in my marriage- I let it start to grow until I realized my husband was really oblivious to whether it was longer or short or I used a rinse or not.  Which is fine with me.  I can't pretend to be more interesting than I really am.  If people are interested in me things like hair I have found really don't matter much.  Though I'm sure most men like long or attractive hair they seem to go for us whatever our hair is.
      January 8, 2019 7:43 AM MST
    3

  • 6882
    That's interesting. 

    On a side note, I've read the typical male preference for long hair is because it's associated with youth (aka fertility). With the woman you reference, I do wonder if she's an outlier or if she's more self-aware. 

    When I was poking around on the net for info on this, I read that hair stylists can often tell when a woman is there because of a breakup or other major life change, purely because she's got an attitude about shedding the past or transforming into something new.

    That in mind, not all women hack their hair off either. Many go for other style changes. So, while the haircut might make sense as a cooling-off/ healing period, what of those who change their color and such? It would seem to me that's the opposite. Perhaps even attempting to attract a new partner right away, depending on what she does with it. I would love to see an actual research study on this. 

    When I wrote this, I was also thinking about back when Brittney Spears made the news for going into a salon and shaving off her hair. Your mention about signaling to the sisterhood... I don't necessarily agree that's the case either, but at the same time, when I saw Brittney, I did feel compassion for her and I assumed she was going through some serious stuff. Perhaps it's possible we're not aware, either as the hair-cutter or the sister, but that we are sending signals regardless. Hmm...
      January 9, 2019 11:47 PM MST
    2

  • Would not chop my long hair off for any man!  No reason to take my anger out on my hair, just because I broke up with a cheating idiot!  Better to keep the nice hair and date his hot cousin:)
      January 7, 2019 11:08 PM MST
    6

  • 21767

      I know, right?

    ~
      January 7, 2019 11:20 PM MST
    1

  • Exactly!! 
      January 8, 2019 11:56 AM MST
    2

  • 4491
    Then the only reason for breakups has been because they were "cheating"?
      January 8, 2019 7:05 AM MST
    2

  • Cheating has been the number one reason in the few breakups I have had.  But regardless of why I ever have any breakup, cutting my long hair is stupid and doesn't make sense to me.
      January 8, 2019 11:58 AM MST
    2

  • 7099
    In Jane's case, she's braiding a rope out of it to climb down and escape from Randy D.
      January 7, 2019 11:30 PM MST
    3

  • 21767

      Jane and I have never broken up. 

    ~
      January 7, 2019 11:51 PM MST
    2

  • 436
    A girl at the office was dumped by her fiance a couple of months before their wedding day. She went and had her hair styled differently, apparently because a new hairstyle made her feel like she had left behind her past and was making a new start in life. This happened about five years ago. Now she's happily married to another, and I believe a much better, man. 
      January 7, 2019 11:49 PM MST
    5

  • 4491
    Following this discussion with interest, especially Randy's answer.   I would say most of us generally feel we are less attractive and less interesting.  Which has to do with self-esteem.  But can be a matter of honest appraisal as well. And we tend to be hard on ourselves. So we attempt to be more attractive/interesting which makes us susceptible to makeovers. 

    In a relationship our love makes someone so much a part of us that when the break-up comes we feel a part of ourselves is gone and we are less of a  person. As we mature I think we become more inured to this but still we give and give because that is how we are made but we learn more to be more circumspect about it because we know the consequences of breaking up.  In which circumstance cutting our hair becomes the external manifestation of what we are feeling inside. Does that make sense?   And changing our hair becomes part of renewing ourselves as a whole individual once again.  Which of course carries with it our desire for a close relationship again in the near future. 

    I intend to comment too on Randy's answer as part of my own. 
      January 8, 2019 7:26 AM MST
    4

  • 6882
    All that makes sense too. This actually addresses some of what I said in response to Randy as well- about the women who go for a treatment deemed as "beautifying" as opposed to simply transformative. It could be more to restore one's sense of individual self and self-esteem. 
      January 9, 2019 11:50 PM MST
    3

  • 787

    I think break ups make you revaluate things, I've made disastrous decisions on cutting my hair whilst feeling emotional, so I think it's best not to do anything too extreme.  I like my long hair, I can choose to leave it curly or have it straight, I'm more likely to change the way I dress. Maybe it's a shedding of something and a renewal, or a way of creating distance from the old.

    This post was edited by kjames at January 13, 2019 12:41 PM MST
      January 8, 2019 1:43 PM MST
    3

  • 6882
    That makes sense. 
      January 9, 2019 11:52 PM MST
    0

  • 130
    That is obvious, the brown was failing so time for a color change.
      January 9, 2019 9:30 AM MST
    3

  • 6882
    lol Shoot, if a color change could fix things, I'd be living the life. I used to change my hair all the time. The only color my hair hasn't been is blonde. 
      January 9, 2019 11:52 PM MST
    2

  • 21767


    (Mine either.)

    ~
      January 10, 2019 8:31 PM MST
    3

  • 130
    Well, there you go, Blondes have more fun. wash that purple out. go blonde and man the phones.
      January 12, 2019 6:06 PM MST
    2

  •   I believe redhead have the most fun.  :P    Just kidding, non-reds, I guess.  :p
      January 13, 2019 12:40 PM MST
    0