real life

Oh Yes! The break-up hair cut signals so much more than moving on.

We hear so much about the benefits of being single. The benefits (and drawbacks) of being in a relationship. It seems there exists a description, even how-to guide, for almost every stage of your ‘single’ or ‘taken’ status.

But there is unique, comparably unsung phase of change (maybe even self-development) that comes directly after a break up. We don’t hear much about it, but we certainly see it in action.

I’m calling it the “Hair Cut Phase”.

You might recognise it:

You are reeling. Maybe you’re relieved. Or angry. Or really, really hurt. Regardless, your heart is broken a little bit because a very special person – your best Netflix watching companion; your breakfast date; your dinner and cocktails and smiles and fun person – is no longer in your life.

Your heart is a little bit broken, but you are also a little bit lighter. You might not realise this yet – you might not realise it until you’re far enough away for hindsight to kick in. But that lightness is the start of the “Hair Cut Phase”.

It starts somewhere, in the inner most recesses of your mind, when a little voice goes “fuck yes”. 

This voice is quickly drowned out by the heartache and the anguish. But it is there, and you know the “Hair Cut Phase” has started.

Slowly you start seeing a different type of potential. Where once you saw the two of you, you now see new possibilities. New brightness. New colours. You’re half way in, you’ve dipped your toe, you’re testing the water. The “Hair Cut Phase” is calling.

You only know you are 100%, completely immersed in the “Hair Cut Phase” when you’re finally fed up with the boring, dull strands of lifeless colour that you call ‘hair’. All of a sudden, you’re a peroxide blonde, shaved sides, blue tint connoisseur. Anything is possible.


Yes, I could pull off the pixie cut with a shaved sides in a zig-zag pattern.

You have made it.

Prime "Hair Cut Phase" inspiration (the puppy too, puppies always make break ups better). Image via Instagram @rubyrose

You notice your wardrobe starts to look bit different. Shorter, maybe tighter. More rips. A little more edgy. A handful more flowers.

You see your 'look' change, almost on it's own accord. You try on lipstick. Eyeliner. Maybe you forget about makeup all together.

Exercise. Well exercise has never been so easy. What took you so long to discover surfing? Or boxing? Or yoga?

I didn't know I could look like this. Why have I never done this before?

The "Hair Cut Phase" plays an important part in life. It's not quite singledom. It's definitely not 'taken'. It's when your body is moving forward but your heart is still finding its way.

It's as if your body, somewhere in the history books of evolution, has been trained in specific breakup-protection behaviours. It's looking after you. Leading the way. Preparing your psych. Opening you up to a new world of opportunities, heightened confidence, killer hair cuts. Changes just for you.

The "Hair Cut Phase" only wanes when your confidence is back.

Its sends you off into singledom, or a new relationship, and wishes you well. Thankful for the time you've spent together. Admiring it's work in the way heads turn to stare at your new 'do as you stroll down the street. Gradually, it finds its way to another who's stuck, dipping their toe in the water, heart hurting, uncertain of the correct hair-cut forward.