“The Big Chop” has the potential to change your life


If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.

As a person who has drastically cut her hair more times than I would like to admit, it’s easy for me to preach at people, girls especially, who are on the fence about cutting their hair. “Just do it.” “It will look so good on you.” “It’s only hair; it will grow back.” These words, however, come from a place of personal experience. For others, though, those who haven’t yet experienced the joy and sorrow that accompanies a momentous haircut, it may be more convincing to hear the science that backs the statement, “You should cut your hair.”

Hair has always been considered to be a defining part of a person’s identity. The color, length, and type of hair you have can create bonds with certain communities or groups and divides between others. Many girls and women feel a special kind of connection to their hair. Long hair, in particular, can serve as a type of protection, something like a security blanket. For some, the loss of hair can be a daunting act. The loss of a confirmed connection to a certain group of people, the loss of confidence, as well as the physical loss of hair, can seem like a permanent and committed act of irrationalism.

Contrary to this popular belief, making the choice to chop during a particularly tumultuous time in your life can actually be quite grounding. This urge to change your hair, or even your look in general, is a reflection of our body’s need to have control over things. Since our hair is something we can take control of, we opt to change it.

According to “lifehacker.com,” Dr. Appio, a psychologist, has discovered that there is a pattern to when people make the decision to chop. She says, “People typically have an impulse to cut their hair after they’ve experienced stressful situations, positive or negative, where things have felt somewhat out of their control.”

This can lead to a refreshing sense of empowerment and can also serve as an outlet to remove toxic memories or times in one’s life. The lingering feeling of being bored or stuck in life can then, consequently, be lifted. Appio backs this claim as well, stating that, “Making a significant change to your appearance can be soothing because you can see the immediate results of your actions, which reminds you of the power and agency you have in your life.”

You should cut your hair.”

As of late, short hairstyles have been creeping back into the “trendy” styles. By no means does this diminish the fright associated with changing your look, but it does expel some of the pressure. A good reminder to keep in the back of your mind is the thought “it will always grow back.” Sometimes this piece of advice can be overused, however, and it must usually be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, it is true, your hair will grow back. Depending on the style and drama of the chop, though, it may take longer than originally expected.

“The Big Chop” is also a very loose term. “Medium chops” can be just as freeing as the big ones, and, subsequently, they come along with a mere “medium commitment.” Any chop, no matter how big or how small, has the potential to help you overcome something much bigger than itself.

If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.