It’s also not uncommon to crave a brand new look after a major life event. In fact, psychotherapist Annette Nuñez, M.S., Ph.D., says big makeovers represent big life changes—be it a breakup, a new job, a new baby, etc.

Oftentimes, that urge to start anew is provoked by stress or trauma: “People want to create a new persona for themselves, and they often do it with makeovers, like cutting their hair drastically,” she explains. “COVID is a traumatic, highly emotional event, so it has the same motivation.” It’s like by shearing off inches, you can shed some of the emotional weight associated with said life event—a cathartic release as each strand floats to the floor. 

And after such a challenging, uncertain time period, even something as small as a new hair hue can help you cultivate a sense of control over your life. “We love immediate reinforcement,” Nuñez adds, and a fresh hairstyle is a relatively easy, tangible way to take back ownership. Taylor seconds the sentiment: “It can feel incredibly empowering to have control over what you do with your hair,” she says.

To circle back to the oft-mentioned breakup makeover: Once you decide to separate from a long-term partner (especially someone who perpetually drags you down), you may elect for a new hairstyle and flaunt it like an emblem of your regained independence. In the case of COVID, you could say we’re (finally) ending our relationship with the past year and a half—and we want the breakup haircut to show for it.