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The 9 Emotional Stages of Getting a New Haircut

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.


I used to play it very safe with my hair. I had a wildly curly mass of waist-length, ginger strands that I never dyed, and I only trimmed. Looking back, I really miss that hair, but I got it into my head that I had to have a dramatic change. I got it all chopped off into a pixie cut, and had it dyed a vibrant purple. I’ve since grown it out and toned it down with my colour choices, but I still go through a variety of mixed emotions whenever I step into a salon.

1. Trepidation You feel like you want a new do’, but you’re not sure if it would actually look good on you. Then again, you convince yourself that even if you don’t like it, it’ll grow back. It is hair, after all.

2. Determination After browsing dozens of hairstyles and colours on Pinterest, you’re ready. You’re determined to look fabulous.

3. Excitement

After you make your appointment, the excitement starts to set in. New hair, new you. People won’t be able to recognize the stunning, chic individual that walks back out a changed, new woman. You sit yourself down in that chair, happily telling your stylist exactly what it is you want.

4. Uncertainty

This is the stage where you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, hair wet, new colour peeking through, and you realize this isn’t exactly what you imagined. You convince yourself that it must be the lighting or something, and that it’ll look great at the end.

5. Shock

That moment when your hairstylist announces she’s finished, spins you around after the final touches, and presents…this. You stare at your reflection, forcing a strained, giant smile. It’s something, alright. When they ask if you like your new haircut, you force out reassurances that you absolutely love it, while internally wondering how long you’ll be able to stay inside the house until it goes back to normal.

6. Regret

After Googling hair growth rates and finding out it’s only about 6 inches in total per year, you accept the fact that you’re going to look like a Barbie that crossed a four year old with a pair of scissors for pretty much the next five years. You’re never stepping inside a salon again, never, ever again.

7. Acceptance

People start passing compliments your way, and they actually sound genuine. You look at your new look in a different light and realize it’s really not that bad. It actually might be pretty stylish, if you do say so yourself.

8. Love

Well I’ll be damned, who is that gorgeous individual? Oh wait, it’s me! You get distracted by your reflection in mirrored surfaces and flip your hair like you’re in a shampoo commercial. You don’t want to brag, but this is probably the best haircut you’ve ever gotten.

9. Boredom

A few weeks pass and you have to keep looking at the same old hair day in and day out. You get distracted by a new hairstyle craze taking the internet by storm and yearn for something a bit different. You figure it wouldn’t do too much harm to change things up a bit, maybe some bangs would suit you…

At the end of the day hair will always grow back, so don’t be afraid to flaunt what you have and love it.

Emily Waitson

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Emily is a twenty-something fourth-year student majoring in English and History. She has a passion for writing, internet-famous cats, and sappy books.
Jenna Steadman

Wilfrid Laurier

4th year Psychology major at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo ON.