Why We’ve All Considered Getting Bangs

Ever had an abnormally stressful week, and your first instinct is to suddenly chop off all your hair? Or maybe dye it a new color? How about getting a tattoo? Or maybe another piercing? You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. We’ve all made mistakes that we have (sometimes) grown to actually enjoy. But why do we all decide to engage in these impulsive actions?

More often than not, we decided to take on these impulsive acts when we’re going through something stressful. Whether it’s because school isn’t going as well as hoped, you had a bad breakup or a falling out with a friend, making spontaneous decisions seems to be a common way to deal with it. Making these changes makes us feel like we have control of our lives again. When everything seems to be going wrong, we subconsciously think that by changing our appearance, we can regain the sense of power that we may have lost because we are able to see results almost immediately.

There have been many studies done about this phenomenon. Researchers Megan E. Stitz and John D. Pierce Jr. performed a study where they found that people are much more likely to make significant changes to their appearance following major life stressing events. It’s also very likely that if you decide to give in to these impulses, you’ll do so again and again since you begin to feel a sense of relief and excitement from engaging in them. So why should (or shouldn’t) you do this?

Let’s say, hypothetically, you go through with your decision to switch up your appearance. You may love it at first, but what if you start to hate it? This may not be as big of a deal when it comes to hair since it grows back, and the piercing will heal if you decide to take it out. But more intense decisions, like tattoos, are permanent.

On the other hand, making this impulsive decision may be just what you need to relieve the tension and stress that you’ve been experiencing in your life. The entire experience may be liberating and embracing the new you can make you feel cathartic. Also, depending on what you decide to change, it’s just hair and may not be as big of a deal in the long run. Similarly, change is good! It can make you feel like a new person and let you leave the past behind. 

At the end of the day, my impulsive decision to get another piercing was one of the best ones. Did it trigger a spiral of wanting more and more piercings any time something small goes wrong? Yes, but having some self-control is necessary in order to not regret it down the road. The next time you’re going through something and feel the urge to change your appearance, think about it and make sure you’re serious. But sometimes, let yourself go through with it. It may be just the change you needed.