The 5 Stages of Grief After Getting a Bob Haircut

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There may come a time in your life when you begin to feel burnt out from half-hour-long blowouts and styling predictable waves on your long hair with your flat iron. You think it’s time to trade in the same old look you’ve had for years for a lighter, more fashion-forward haircut. Pinterest, the app designed for dreamers and DIYers, is usually opened at this time. Soon enough, photos of celebrities with sharp, blunt styles — like Dua Lipa circa 2019 and Rosamund Pike circa act two of “Gone Girl” — start flooding your feed, and you make the decision right then and there. You’re getting a bob.

As you sit in your chair watching your ends fall to the floor, you hear your hairdresser tell you how excited they are that you’re finally taking a risk and that they never thought you’d go this short, considering, you know, your face shape and all. Now you’re sweating. They swivel your chair around, and you are in a state of utter shock as you are introduced to the new you: Person With Bob.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster from the moment you gleefully tell your hairstylist you love it to you sobbing in the car on your way home to it becoming a part of your identity just in time for it to grow into a long bob, commonly known as a lob.

If you or someone you love has or is planning on getting a bob and aren’t sure how to feel about it, please refer to the following steps toward recovery from the worst offender of all: the ego.

Stage 1: Denial

Simply put, you cut your hair, and you must pay for the service before walking out of the salon. The shock of your new reflection may have you thinking that perhaps you imagined the entire visit, but rest assured you did in fact show your stylist that photo of Kristen Bell and asked for your hair to be cut just like hers. Considering you can’t glue your hair back, you must at the very least accept that this is your new reality.

Stage 2: Anger

Before getting angry about your new look, stop to think about how you can better channel your rage into something a little more reasonable, like challenging unrealistic beauty standards. Write an opinion piece on the unconscious ways the internalized male gaze influences women’s appearances, down to the length of their hair.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Put the credit card away. You are not buying $200 extensions or a wildly expensive wig. Headbands, hats, and other hair accessories are acceptable only if they complement your outfit; otherwise, unnecessary add-ons are a tell that you are overthinking your appearance. Instead, research products to give your new bob extra texture or volume.

Stage 4: Depression

It sucks to not like how you look, plain and simple, but it’s going to be OK. There are still going to be exciting outings, get-togethers with friends, and lots to do that you’ll regret missing out on just because your hair is short. Word of advice? Fake it ’til you make it. After all, you might end up loving your blunt cut.

Stage 5: Acceptance

Have you realized you’re rocking it yet? Amazing! Once you notice that you look chic as f*ck with your new haircut, it’s game over. Outfits are elevated, maintenance is easier, fears are conquered — what’s not to love? You always looked good with your bob, but now that you feel good, there’s nothing you can’t do. Except get a pixie cut — actually, maybe hold off on that for a while.

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