What is post haircut depression?

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Page last updated: 28/04/2022

What is post haircut depression?

In this blog we will discuss what a post haircut depression is and whether it is a real thing. 

We will also discuss why post haircut depression occurs and what you can do if you experience a post depression haircut. 

What is post haircut depression?

Post haircut depression refers to the period of low mood, dejection, disappointment, and sadness that is often prevalent after one gets their hair cut or they get a makeover. 

It is not a formal diagnosis of depression rather it is more of a pop culture term that is used to describe the experience of feeling disappointment, even grief after a major haircut. 

While this post haircut depression is not “real”, Adri Talaver for Beauty Boss writes that it is a very real thing because this is a phenomenon that people experience and it is fairly common. 

According to Rebecca Newman, a psychotherapist based in Philadelphia, in their conversation with Sara Radin for Dazed Digital, this is because the haircut is not the problem rather your emotional state is.

Newman notes that haircuts are often what people turn to for immediate relief “…When we’re going through a period of transition that is particularly painful”.

The act of getting a haircut during this difficult time is often an impulsive decision for immediate relief as an effort to get rid of intense or difficult emotions, similar to impulsive purchases. 

We think that by changing our hair and the way we look, we will literally cut off the distress in our lives- and that we will feel immediately better after the act. 

However, the disappointment and disillusionment sets in because a hair cut doesn’t eliminate our distress.

Radin writes that 

“…The re-invention of our physical selves can create a false sense of control.” meaning that the haircut allows us to give us a false sense of control of all that is going wrong in our lives. 

Thus, it is important that we ask ourselves where this decision for a haircut is coming from and if it is not from a place of empowerment, it is perhaps time to look within and face the truths that we are running from. 

What is post haircut depression?

Why does post haircut depression occur?

Possible reasons why you are experiencing post haircut depression include:

Disillusionment

Now another reason why you might be struggling with depression, low mood, lack of motivation after a haircut could be because you are utterly disappointed with your hair cut. 

The fact that it is not what you expected and it did not give you a life changing effect like we see on TV and movies where the main character totally changes their lives as a makeover, could lead to a sense of disillusionment and this can lead to further despair. 

Underlying life dissatisfaction

Another reason that goes hand in hand with your disillusionment and grief is that the end of a haircut is not the cause of your depression but rather it unveils what was already present- a deep dissatisfaction of your own life and yourself which is causing the depression.

It is to be said that most people who get a haircut is often because they seek change from the mundane and a makeover can become something like an escape from their own lives which they find unhappy and might even be depressed over.

After the haircut and they walk out of the salon, they are forced to go back to this distressing lifestyle which is caused by deep dissatisfaction of their own lives which can cause their sadness, hoesslin, worthlessness and demotivation to be magnified, 

High levels of stress

It is very likely that you could have gotten a haircut after a drastic event in your life such as a divorce or a major break up, or because you quit your job or lost your job etc. 

These are often when you are under high emotional stress and chronic stressful life situations  that can increase the risk of developing depression. So it most probably is not the hair cut rather the stress you are in that is causing the depression. 

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to situations in your life. It is neither a bad thing or a good thing. However what is dangerous is continuous or chronic stress in your life that you are unable to handle. 

Depression can be caused when you are unable to cope with the stress in your life because stress has a variety of mental and behavioural symptoms. These symptoms include: insomnia,  trouble sleeping, excessive sleep, and changes in appetite and eating habits. 

Being in a state of continuous stress with these symptoms can lead to deteriorating health, continued low moods, decrease in productivity which can impact your occupational life and also cause strain in your relationships. 

These negative impacts can lead to feelings of hopelessness, dread, doom, and also feelings of worthlessness and the sense that one is a failure in their ability to cope with life all of which can be internalised, leading to developing depression and anxiety. 

Chemical and hormonal changes

Another reason why you might be feeling extremely depressed could be because of hormonal or chemical changes in your body- maybe you got the haircut the week before your periods or soon after child birth; such as in the case of Postpartum depression. 

Postpartum depression known as Postnatal depression in various parts of the world is a type of mood disorder that involves a depressive episode that affects women after childbirth, usually around 4 to 6 weeks after delivery.

Hormones levels of oestrogen and progesterone are higher than usual during pregnancy and within hours of giving birth, hormone levels experience a sharp drop back to their previous state. This could be a leading cause of depression when it is combined with the stress of being a new parent.

What to do if you have post haircut depression?

If you are experiencing low moods and disappointment after a haircut you are not happy with, here are a few things you can do:

  • Get another hair cut from a different hairdresser who knows the other hairdresser might know exactly what you want and help you love your hair again
  • Accept the way things unfurled and the hairstyle that you have is what you are going to keep for at least a few weeks- so accept your situation for what it is and go with it. What is the worst that can happen from a bad haircut?
  • If the hair cut is a result of your efforts to gain control over your distress and emotions, consider other more effective ways of dealing with emotions and mental distress like yoga, exercise, therapy. 

If you have low moods and are feeling hopeless and in intense sense of despair for more than two weeks after the haircut, it is very possible that you could be depressed; here are a few things that one can do to seek help:

Reach out

Here are a few resources form the NHS that you can make use of if you are suicidal, depressed, or engageing in self harm. 

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
  • Self Injury Support webchat (for women and girls) is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 9.30pm
  • CALM webchat (for men) is open from 5pm to midnight every day

You can also reach out to your local medical service providers or a mental health service provider. 

If you are hesitant about reaching out for help, speak to a trusted friend or adult about what you are going through.

Seek professional help

Seek out professional help when these thoughts don’t improve after a week or two even after you have tried to manage them alone. 

It is also imperative that you seek out help when the intensity of these thoughts and feelings disrupt your ability to function and meet the demands of your daily life. 

When loneliness turns to thoughts and feelings of hopelessness it can aggravate your suicidal ideation, this is a major symptom of depression. So seeking out professional help becomes necessary. 

Join a support group

Another thing you can do for yourself is to join a support group of people struggling with depression so that you can experience emotional support first hand within these communities and over time learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other. 

By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey. 

Conclusion

In this blog we will discuss what a post haircut depression is and whether it is a real thing. 

We will also discuss why post haircut depression occurs and what you can do if you experience a post depression haircut. 

FAQ related to post haircut depression

Is it normal to be sad after cutting your hair?

Yes. It is normal to be sad after a haircut. Adri Talaver for Beauty Boss writes that it is a very real thing because this is a phenomenon that people experience and it is fairly common. 

What does cutting off hair symbolise?

Cutting off hair can mean different things, the most important being character growth by letting go as well as an act of empowerment and taking control. 

Is post haircut depression real?

Post haircut depression is not a formal diagnosis of depression rather it is more of a pop culture term that is used to describe the experience of feeling disappointment, even grief after a major haircut. 

While this post haircut depression is not “real”, Adri Talaver for Beauty Boss writes that it is a very real thing because this is a phenomenon that people experience and it is fairly common. 

Why do people cut hair after breakups?

The act of getting a haircut during this difficult time is often an impulsive decision for immediate relief as an effort to get rid of intense or difficult emotions, similar to impulsive purchases. 

We think that by changing our hair and the way we look, we will literally cut off the distress in our lives- and that we will feel immediately better after the act. 

References

Sara Radin. We Asked A Psychologist And Hairdresser Why Haircuts Are So Emotional. Dazed Digital. Retrieved on 19th April 2022. https://www.dazeddigital.com/beauty/head/article/43790/1/psychologist-drastic-haircuts-emotion

CARLA GEE. “The awful haircut that sent me into therapy.”. Mamamia. Retrieved on 19th April 2022. https://www.mamamia.com.au/haircut-disaster-which-led-to-depression/

Beauty Boss: Post haircut depression is a very real thing. Adri Talavera. Mill Valley news. Retrieved on 19th April 2022. https://www.mvnews.org/blog-post-haircut-depression-is-a-very-real-thing/

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