Since Harry Styles revealed his new shaved head look, fans worldwide have been caught in a whirlwind of emotions, mourning the loss of his iconic curls. This sentiment is reflected in the staggering +3233% increase in TikTok views for the hashtag #HarryStylesHair since 6th November.
To understand the psychological underpinnings of this reaction, thortful, a greetings card marketplace, consulted relationship consultant Mairead Molloy. She explains that hair is deeply intertwined with identity, femininity, or masculinity. A drastic change in appearance, like shaving off hair, can disrupt these societal norms, leading to surprise or sadness as it challenges our familiar perceptions of a person. “Alterations in a person’s look can evoke a sense of loss, especially if we are attached to a specific image of that individual,” adds Mairead.
Mairead points out that not everyone might warmly receive significant changes in their partner’s appearance. “We are naturally inclined towards familiarity, so an unexpected change can trigger discomfort. However, the degree to which it affects attraction varies, depending on individual preferences and the importance placed on physical appearance,” she says.
Discussing potential hair changes with a partner can be delicate, particularly if you’re not in favour of the change. Mairead suggests open communication: “If your partner is contemplating a radical change, it’s best to discuss it first. Express your admiration for their current style and its appeal. You could also use a hairstyle app to help your partner visualise the potential new look.”
In cases where the haircut has already been done and you’re not a fan, Mairead advises honesty with tact. “Choose a private, calm setting to express your feelings gently. Focus on what you prefer about their usual hairstyle before offering constructive feedback. Remember, the person remains the same; it’s just their look that has changed. You’ll get used to it eventually, and hair always grows back.”
For those with a Harry Styles enthusiast in their life, especially with a birthday around the corner, thortful offers a range of Harry Styles-themed cards, complete with his signature hairstyle.