All my life, I have directly linked feeling free with doing something slightly impulsive.
That goes for when I'm feeling hurt or lost especially. I don't do anything too crazy — just enough to make me feel like I'm Elphaba "defying gravity"... without the whole "being green" or "being a witch" thing.
That usually means, after a breakup, I'm very quick to do something incredibly cliche, like get a body part pierced or chop off my hair. And usually, I'll also throw in a new hair color to really show that jerk I'm over him and moving on to dudes who will love me and my sexy red undertones.
All self-deprecating humor aside, making a change, even one as small as chopping off my long locks, really does work.
Seriously, my short hair with a red streak gave me the kick in the ass I needed to get through the summer after a guy broke my heart. It was also just fun to have.
Let me be clear: This has absolutely nothing to do with making my ex jealous or preparing myself to meet someone new. Those are great bonuses, but they're not the ultimate prize.
And sure, changing your whole look has always been a symbolic way to show you're moving on.
But the real deal is, a drastic hair transformation can do three key things to help you through this breakup rough patch:
Brighten your spirits.
You've just been through a crappy ordeal, and you need an easy pick-me-up that won't leave you feeling insanely guilty afterward.
So instead of binging on ice cream, tequila or some new guy, consider getting some layers or a stylish bob to put a smile on your face instead.
Obviously, this isn't to say those other options aren't just as fun, but you'll feel a lot better about yourself if you make decisions that revolve around being happier and healthier.
Plus, getting rid of some split ends can do wonders for your hair AND your disposition.
Shed the old.
To me, getting through a breakup has always been about taking back control of your life.
Before my breakup, part of my world was centered around my boyfriend. But now, I have my life to myself again, and it's time to rediscover who is looking back at me in the mirror every day.
Changing your hair up is about finding the woman you were before the relationship and figuring out the woman you're going to be now.
Turn small changes into big changes.
Sometimes, we get comfortable with our existence as is when we are in relationships. It's easy to push aside other important things in our lives or to lose focus on what we really want.
Likewise, it's not always easy to keep moving forward when you reach an end to something.
Naturally, we want to cling to what's comfortable, so a new job, a new city or just focusing on a passion project might initially seem out of reach.
But with hair salons in every mall, shopping plaza or downtown area, there's no excuse for at least getting some side bangs. And it's amazing how quickly a little change like a trendy haircut can lead to an even bigger change in your life.
Pretty soon, you'll be so focused on being fabulous, you won't even remember What's His Name.
Ultimately, I look at this change as chopping off my hair today and moving to NYC to be in "Hamilton" tomorrow. And I'll be damned if I'm not going to look good with new hair while I'm doing it.