beauty

"Why I decided to cut off all my hair after my wedding."

Image: Supplied.

“Don’t you dare chop your hair.”

“No, no, no, no, no.”

“Don’t you do it.”

I did it anyway. I chopped all my hair off into a long bob – a rather long bob, but that still counts, right?

Quite frankly, these sorts of how-very-could-you comments had a counterintuitive effect on me. I hate the idea of having my identity tied to any one thing – a bodily feature, in particular. But that’s exactly how I had been feeling, tied to my hair.

It was long. It was thick. It was heavy. And it was very, very bridal.

It may sound superficial – OK, you can probably delete the word ‘may’ from there – but a hairstyle, any hairstyle, has a particularly uncanny way of marking a certain period in our lives – the places we lived, the job we walked to each and every day, the partner we were with, even ‘that’ dress; the one we probably should have thrown away after the very first wear.

Think about it.

If we look to Hollywood (like any very accurate, very non-scientific study would) it’s clear that there’s often more to a haircut then well… hair, papaya exfoliants and leave-in coconut oil treatments.

Take Hilary Swank – on November 1 2007, the actress finalised her divorce from actor Chad Lowe. And on November 2 she allowed Oprah to snip away at nine inches of hair in front of millions of viewers. In her words, “Divorce, schmivorce.”

Meanwhile, Emma Watson tamed her signature frizz with a close-cropped pixie cut after the filming of Harry Potter finally came to an end.

Emma Watson's bold transformation. Images via Getty.

Speaking to The Metro she said, "[It] felt, right, I’m 20, I’m not a little girl any more... I needed a drastic change and that’s what the crop was all about."

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As women, we tend to instinctively opt for a chop after a big life change. But why?

For me, it all comes down to control - two very different types of control:

  1. Wanting control in a state of powerlessness, like a breakup or redundancy.
  2. Or exerting control over a situation rife with opportunities, like a new career path or relationship.

In my case, my dramatic (if you can call a ‘lob’ dramatic) makeover falls into the second category. As naff as it may sound, changing my hair seemed to be an excellent symbol of renewal, a way to help me feel like a new ‘me.’

After 'the chop.' Images: Supplied.

About three months ago I walked down the aisle towards my now-husband. Sitting nearly at my waist when blow dried straight, my hair at that time covered a third of my body - and that disney princess appeal was exactly what I wanted at the time.

But post-wedding it was time for a change and getting that big chop was my way of asserting control over my outside appearance, when I felt entirely different on the inside. After all, even in this era of been-there-done-all-that, marriage still affects who you are to the outside world and who you are on the inside. Post continues after gallery...

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So, two weeks after the wedding day and just before the honeymoon, I booked in with hairstylist Sarah Johnson at Edwards and Co in Sydney’s Surry Hills. I brought with me a picture of Olivia Palermo, which I was told was, “far too mumsy,” and another of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley which had, “a nice amount of texture.” And that was that. The Disney-princess-hair was chopped in favour of a rather long bob, all with a little texture in the back and an angled cut at the front to frame the face.

It sounds trite, but leaving the salon with my new chop, I did feel different. Oddly, I felt more myself with my ‘lob’ - suddenly, I had a neck and shoulders and a face - a different face.

The first time my husband saw the new ‘do he said, “You look different, much older,” and then quickly - and I mean really quickly - he followed with, “in a good way.”

And he was right.

Have you ever had a drastic hair change?

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