We’ve all been through the mental torture of getting a drastic new haircut. The excitement builds as you troll Instagram for inspo and you find yourself ripping out pictures of your favorite celeb cuts from magazines. It all culminates when you sit in your hairstylist’s chair and wait for the big reveal. The cut is finally done and you find yourself looking back at your reflection, instantly wishing you could go back to your old ‘do. You promptly curse the day you decided on this drastic change. Why are we always underwhelmed with our new haircuts? Is there something deeply psychological about the whole ordeal? Or is it normal to feel this way?
Underlying Cause of the Haircut
“Either consciously or subconsciously when we make a big change in our appearance, we are seeking approval and validation from others about the change,” says our pro Carol Tuttle. “The problem with this is if we are not confident about embracing our new look, we can evoke question and negative commentary from others about the change,” she continues. This negative feedback loop can start immediately with your hairstylist who will gauge your facial expressions and react accordingly. She may even bring in others at the salon to weigh in if your artist senses that you are unhappy. Negative feedback loops like this one will only exacerbate your fears about your new look and you will be a self-fulfilling prophecy in no time.
More Than Just “Breakup Bangs”
We’ve all heard about the “breakup bangs,” but could a dramatic haircut be a sign of something deeper? Licensed counselor and psychologist Dr. Sherrie Campbell thinks that “drastic changes can signify a change in motivation, personality, or direction. We tend to change our appearance when our lives are in great change.” She continues, “most people resist change more than they accept it because we feel safe and secure in what we already know, even if we aren’t totally happy.”
Stop the Negative Loop
The best way to beat the negative loop exercise is to instantly accept your new mane. Carol suggests you wear your new hairstyle with confidence and vocally share with others how much you love it. “When you wear something new with confidence you are more likely to evoke positive feedback from others,” she says. As humans, it’s natural to be reluctant to change but don’t confuse those normal feelings with negative ones. Immediately after catching a glimpse of yourself for the first time in your new hair, smile and take an audible breath. Recognize that it’s human nature to want to resist this new image of yourself but that you will be better off projecting confidence and positivity to those around you.
What If It Truly Is a Bad Haircut?
If you are convinced your haircut was indeed terrible and not a result of the above-mentioned natural human phenomena, then you are left with only one choice: make no apologies for it. Don’t walk into a room calling attention to it and don’t joke about how bad it is. Don’t fuss over your ‘do or touch your hair throughout the day. Acting in these ways will only start additional negative feedback loops with others, ultimately validating that your hair is indeed a mess. Focus on your makeup or outfit and stand with confidence. Remember that nothing is permanent when it comes to hair and that this particular ‘do will be something you can smile about in a few months.
Still feeling insecure about your new haircut? Jen Atkin shares her confidence tips HERE!