The Post-Trump Haircut: Women Take Out Their Feelings on Their Hair

When I have gone through something traumatic or life changing, I like to change up my hair. Cut it off, dye it red, grow it out, whatever.

It turns out I'm not alone. The women of America, it appears, are breaking up with the whole idea of President Donald Trump—and turning to their hairdressers to help them heal.

The Cut delved into the concept of the "post-Trump" haircut and discovered that salons are seeing a lot of women change their hair in drastic ways (although not quite, say, to the extent of Britney circa 2007) in response to the new President-elect.

"When you see that much blonde hair on the floor, you know something is going on," Nicole Butler, creative director and master colorist at Daniel's Salon in Dupont Circle, told The Cut.

She said in the weeks following Trump's victory, during the traditionally dead month of November, the salon was buzzing, with "at least three women a day" asking her for a drastic change.

"Usually stuff like this is planned for weeks and put on the books after several consultations, but this was very spontaneous," she told The Cut. "It was like a mass declaration of independence."

The post-break-up haircut or color change is a long-standing tradition that women have been trying to unpack in online forums for years.

In 2013, a writer for XOJane considered her own post-relationship chops, and asked readers to share their own experiences.  More than 100 women weighed in.

"My sister broke up with her boyfriend over the weekend and I heard her on the phone booking a salon appointment yesterday," one wrote.

"I think it's definitely about making herself feel a bit nicer, outside, because she feels crappy inside and knows she's going to for a while."

"I keep a variety of hair colors in my pantry so I can change it up any time I need an emotional boost," another said.

"Either I get the crispness of eliminating all gray and fade, or, the cheerfulness and surprise of a fresh shade. It makes me feel happier. I consider it awareness of the placebo effect and putting it to good use—placebo is powerful, and if you can invoke it at will, you're getting an amazing drug with no side effects."

One commenter wanted to point out that this kind of choice wasn't just reserved for break ups.

"I cut off about a foot of hair when my dad died. Breakups are so common that it's most people's first experience of this but it happens for all kinds of shitty situations," she wrote.

To which another woman replied: "YES thank you. It's not just for breakups. Any ol' trauma will prompt feelings of a radical appearance change."

Which brings us back to Trump, of course.

A life-changing, anxiety-inducing surprise for many women who really thought we'd all be celebrating the first woman president right now.

Julianna Evans, a New York-based mom of two in her mid-forties, expresses it pretty well, telling The Cut: "For many of us, with this election, it's like your boyfriend dumped you in a really shocking way with no explanation and then moved in next door."

"Now, I feel like my hair says you can’t bring me down. This misogyny will not persevere. The bumper sticker for me is, 'I am woman, hear me roar.'"

In the comments on The Cut, some people rail against the story, ridiculing the women in it for their "trivial" choices, and the writer for examining the issue. But others confirm the thought pattern behind it.

"I chopped four inches and went darker. Not a drastic difference, but enough to feel a little lighter and tougher at the same time. The first person to comment was a Trump supporter who asked what my husband's reaction to my new do was. Typical," said one commenter.

Look, what women choose to do with their hair isn't going to change anything. It isn't going to fix political problems or bring about world peace. But if it's part of how people are coping with something they find stressful and scary, I say go for it.

After all, it's hair. It'll grow back.