How to go for the big chop: Meet your "so ready to move on" haircut

Fun Fact: Getting a haircut can actually help you accomplish your goals, get over your ex and feel ready to take on just about anything.


You know that feeling at the beginning of the new year or right after something monumental happens? A switch in your brain goes off and you think, "I need a haircut." Or maybe you get the itch to change up your look every year or so—kind of like how Taylor Swift reinvents herself with each new album. Well, there are actual psychological reasons for wanting to try something new, and that fresh-from-the-salon feeling can help you in all sorts of ways. Here's how...

Shift your mindset

"When you refresh your look, it's like giving yourself a new start," says Dr. Anna Womack, a cognitive-behavioral psychologist in Manhattan, N.Y. If something huge is happening—maybe you just found out you're the newly crowned captain of the volleyball team or you're dealing with the end of a big relationship—you might begin to see yourself in a different way. "Our physical appearance is really closely tied to our identities," Dr. Womack explains. Seeing a different version of yourself in the mirror can help you deal with all those changes going on in your head.

Regain some control

When something happens that's totally out of your control (like yet another swap in your school schedule), you might feel like everything is falling apart. "Switching up your hair is an easy way to feel instantly more in control because you're choosing to make the change," explains Dr. Womack. Remember: It's not a magic fix for your problems (and, phew, your hair can always grow back)!

Boost your confidence

Sometimes you need a new look to add an extra little pep to your step. If you get bangs or try a chic shorter cut, you might start sending those I-feel-amazing vibes into the world during your next debate competition or algebra exam. "And when you feel confident, you're more likely to believe in yourself and reach your goals," says Dr. Womack. Yessss!

Yes, you *can* pull off that new cut

Here's a little running-to-the-salon inspo for you....

The short-and-sleek


This is confidence in a haircut. Going short can be a huge change, but the length on top gives you so many styling options.

The romantic shag


If you've had long hair forever, mix it up with some shorter face-framing pieces. So pretty! So rock 'n' roll!

The extra blunt


This cut feels simultaneously sophisticated and super edgy. Ask for your hair to be all one length, with a slight angle at the front.

The French-girl bob


Emily in Paris inspo aside, the French know style. This extra short version of a bob and bangs makes the look high fashion (and Euro).

The big-and-bouncy


Give your curls as much volume as possible by strategically adding layers for a rounded shape. Curly bangs are the cherry on top.

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that a version of this story originally ran in our February/March 2021 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Slider image: @kayleymelissa


by Erin Reimel, edited for digital by Kathleen O'Neill | 2/21/2021