Actor/musician, Lenny Kravitz was once quoted as saying:
“I needed to change my energy, so I cut my hair…..Now, I’m growing some new energy.”
And then there’s whole Sansom story. Samson was the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. According to accounts, Samson had this heavy duty head of hair that as long as he never touched a strand on his head, he’s be allowed him to go all Chuck Norris on his enemies. As the story goes, he killed a massive mountain lion in an instant. He mowed down an entire army with a donkey’s bone. Imagine that!! Just Samson and the ass of a jawbone. No wait….that should be, the jawbone of an ass.
And then he had a major problem with this Philistines (I mean, back then, who didn’t?). It’s said he destroyed one of their templess with his bare hands. Wasted it.
Well after that, the Philistines were pissed!! And they wanted revenge.
So, they approached Delilah, the most recent Mrs. Sansom. They offered her 11-hundred silver coins to divulge the secret of his strength. And what happens? The yenta figures it out and has his head shaved while he slept. With his hair gone, so was his strength and then the Philistines pounced! Several other things happened….there’s something the gouging of eyes, forced labor at a gristmil….end of story.
But why did Sansom think all his strength was in his hair? Well, that was the prevailing thought among many of the ancients. For starters, long hair on men was a part of a Hebrew Nazarite’s covenant with God. Plus, they believed that a man’s strength was in his hair. One possible reason for this is the optical illusion with corpses they’d observed. They thought hair continued to grow after men (and women) who have died. Wrong! It’s just the flesh shrinks due to dehydration and as skin dehydrates, it retracts giving the appearance that the hair (and the nails for that matter) continue to grow.
We put a lot of stock in hair. Balding men want it. Women spend a lot of time and money coloring and finding the right style and a stylist. But the story goes a bit deeper with women. It is common for women to make statements with their hair that often comes after a major break-up. We cut our hair. More often not, short.
So whether or not you believe that strength or energy comes from our hair (it doesn’t), it’s The first visible change we can make with very little effort and sometimes that’s exactly what a heartbroken girl/woman needs to see when she looks in the mirror.
For the last seven years, San Antonio based, Sara Garcia has been dealing with my hairy nonsense with a whip and a chair and a razor. This ultra talented stylist has snipped off about a ton of “heartache” in her 13-year career.
“I always ask a client who wants a huge change, how long they’ve been thinking about it. If I know them personally, I’ll ask if something has spurred the decision, and nine times out of ten, it’s usually a based on a break up.”
Garcia goes on to say, “If the client is new or I don’t know them that well, I’ll still ask how long they’ve been thinking about of making a change and if it seems to be more of an impulse, I have no problem trying to talk them out of it. I always tell them to take a bit and think about their decision.”
I agree with Garcia. Never do anything rash.
I’ll be the first to admit change is good, but turning lovely 11-inch strands into two inch wispy cuteness, is only the beginning. It’s mostly a symbolic gesture but hardly a cure-all for Cupid’s lousy aim. A drastic hair cut offers a distraction and distractions after heartache are welcomed coping mechanisms, but it’s also something that can be instantly regrettable. Garcia adds, “I can always cut hair, But once cut, I can’t tape it back on!”
You can cut your hair, but that won’t remove the heartache or cut the duration of the pain you feel. That’s something that’s takes time and effort. I think many women deal with heartache differently….to each her own, but chances are, they can understand why some would respond this way. I mean, who wants to look in the mirror and see sadness staring back at them? Who wants to be reminded that you were berayed? Believed his lies? Gave much more than you received? Who wants to see themselves as walking wounded, mourning the death of a grand ideal that included what you thought might be a future together.
Let’s say you’re better adjusted, still sad, but not feeling that morbid. If that’s the case, cutting your hair can be a liberating experience and can help you feel as though you’re regaining a sense of control. So often, in the aftermath of a breakup, especially when you’re dumped for another woman, everything else in your life feels so out of control….among other things.
Garcia adds a drastic hair cut can also be a form of revenge. “It also helps if your ex really likes long hair. Cutting it off can also be kind of a ‘screw you’ type of move.”
There are other reasons women cut their hair after trauma. Yoko Ono comes to mind. After her husband, music legend, John Lennon was killed in December of 1980, she immediately cut her hair short….and she’s kept it short ever since.
Here she is before John’s murder.
There are some obscure interviews that quote Yoko as saying John loved her long, full hair, so when he died, she cut it off and gave it to him. I can only assume her long locks were cremated along with his body and the ashes spread in Central Park.
But I also seem to remember hearing something after John’s murder that Yoko did it becsuse it’s customary in some Asian cultures (Yoko is Japanese), that widoes cut their hair and keep it short as part of their mourning process.
Cultural tradition, revenge snipping, the need for change, the need to feel in control of something—whatever the reason, there isn’t a woman alive in Paris, Texas or Paris France who wouldn’t understand the post break up reasoning for wanting to cut your hair. Some go through with it, some dont. It’s a matter of choice. .
And hey—many times, short hair can be extremely complimentary. It can be facially flattering, it can make your eyes pop. When when you look great externally, you feel great on the internally. It’s no secret appearance often translate into feelings.
So, if you’re hurting and decide to sheer, have no fear. On the off chance, you feel the cut makes you look like one of the Manson girls during Charlie’s murder trial….
It’ll always grow back.