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What Does It Mean When a Woman Changes Her Hair Color or Style?

African American female with long hair wearing a straight hair style and Coco Chanel perfume.

When a lady in your life changes her hair, it may leave you with questions. One of the most common is, “what does it mean when a woman changes her hair?”

The reasons are numerous, but we can help you narrow them down. Keep reading to learn why she changed her hair.

Her Hair Was Damaged

Women do a ton of things to their hair regularly. They dye, bleach, style, and restyle it repeatedly. Over time, these hair practices can take a serious toll on their hair, leading to hair problems like frizz and even breakage.

When that happens, sometimes the only way to fix the problem is to cut their hair, change it to a darker color, or even try a wig. 

Hair damage may be the reason she changed her hair if: 

  • She complained about her hair being damaged at some point. 
  • She tried a shorter haircut. 
  • She started wearing extensions or wigs. 

Though there’s no way to pinpoint for sure whether this was the reason, we don’t recommend asking her if her hair is, or was, damaged. That could be embarrassing for her. 

Cute black girl with bra-strap hair length after leaving a hair stylist with a good haircut focused on split-ends.

She Wanted to Start a New Journey

Some women attach spiritual significance to their hair. If they feel like their past hair journey is complete or isn’t worth continuing, they’ll start over. Let us explain.

Black women often start natural hair journeys after cutting off their chemically processed hair. It’s very much a new beginning for them and has a considerable effect on their inner connectedness and sense of self-worth. 

She may have wanted to start a new hair journey if: 

  • Her hair was previously straight, and now it’s curly. 
  • She buzzed all of her hair off (e.g., big chopped) and now has short hair (e.g., rocking it bald). 
  • She has a new airy disposition and speaks as if a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. 

She Follows Hair Trends

Another day, another hair trend; it’s true in the age of social media. At one point, it was trendy to shave half of your head or wear your hair spiky and short.

Now, rainbow hair and colored bangs are popular. Some girls stick to their own tried and true style, while others seek out the latest trends and try those that appeal to them.

The reason behind her hairstyle change could be as simple as that. 

Here are some clues that indicate this is the reason she changed her hair: 

  • You notice that she’s on social media a lot of the time. 
  • She talks about celebrity hairstyles or trends. 
A young African American female with a fresh start at a new college cuts her hair before the first day.

She’s Going Through Something in Her Life

Hairstyle changes have a cleansing effect on women. There’s something about changing your hair that gives you a new outlook on life.

Many women who have been struggling with unfortunate circumstances feel like they need a change to get things back on track or regain control. A hairstyle change does just that. 

The following signs indicate that she changed her hair for this reason: 

  • She’s been down about something lately or over time. 
  • The hairstyle change is substantial. Instead of a slight color change, she went from dark to bright yellow or waist-length hair to a buzz cut. 

She Got a New Job

Some employers have strict dress codes with defined hairstyle requirements. These often prohibit workers from wearing their hair in styles deemed “unprofessional”, including dreadlocks, bright hair colors, and hairstyles with a lot of height.

This forces people to switch up their hairstyle to abide by those regulations (e.g. U.S. military). If the woman in your life just got a new job and used to wear a fun, out-there hairstyle, this may be the reason why she got a new hairdo.

She Was Bored

When life gets monotonous, a woman’s answer might be to try a different style. After all, a hairstyle change adds a layer of excitement to a woman’s life.

If you noticed that the lady in your life seemed bored or lacked a zest for life before the hairstyle change, chances are she was bored either with life or with her previous hairstyle. 

Happy African American female with so much more energy after she drastically cuts naturally curly hair.

She’s Got a Man on Her Radar

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but when a confident woman spots one she particularly wants, she’ll do everything she can to get him.

And one of the first things she’ll do is spruce herself up with new makeup, a new outfit, and (you guessed it) a new hairdo’.

She may try out one new style or even several until she finds one that’ll get her noticed. These are some signs that she’s trying to impress a guy (or you):

  • She not only changed her hair but her wardrobe and face (makeup). 
  • She’s acting differently around you or a certain guy. 
    • She plays with her hair.
    • She’s more touchy than usual. 
    • She stands closer to you, or him.
    • She’s suddenly giddier and more laughable.
  •  She looks or acts jealous when you or another guy talk to other women. 

She’s in a Bad Relationship

In a bid to impress a neglectful partner, women often switch up their hair. The rationale behind the choice is that the new hair will get her the attention she’s been craving.

Though this doesn’t work out a lot of the time, it doesn’t stop women from trying it. You may never know when a woman is in a bad relationship because women can be really good at covering up strife and putting on a face in the wake of adversity (while she’s heartbroken). 

Someone Insulted Her Hair

When someone insults a woman’s hair, she’ll most likely have one of two reactions: (1) she’ll let it roll off her back and not think twice about it, or (2) she’ll second guess her style and develop negative feelings toward it.

In the latter case, she’ll eventually switch up her hairstyle to make herself feel better and/or to reduce the likelihood of further insults. 

No Important Reason at All

Women don’t need a specific reason to switch up their hair. Maybe the opportunity presented itself, and she thought, “why not?” We often read into things when there’s nothing there. And this could be one of those cases. 

When a Woman Changes Her Hair Multiple Reasons Could Be in Play

Trying to pinpoint a single reason why a woman changed her hair is fruitless. There could be multiple reasons why a woman decides to change her hairstyle. Some reasons may be more prominent than others, as well. So, we urge you to keep that in mind. 

Young African American lady with longer hair feels like a new person after a dramatic change to hairdo.

Talk to Her About Her Hair

If you can’t figure out why a woman in your life changed her hair and really need to know, then ask her. It’s as simple as asking her, “why did you change your hair?”

The tone in which you ask is very important because if you sound disappointed, you could offend her. It may also help to preface your question with a compliment on how beautiful her new hairstyle looks. She’ll likely thank you and tell you why she did it.

Related Articles

As you can see, many things can inspire or force women to try a new hairstyle. Ultimately, every woman is different, so it’s impossible to characterize all women in this article.

But we hope that this article has helped you narrow down the possible causes for her recent hair change.

We urge you to talk to the woman in your life if you must know why she changed her hair, and if she wants you to know why, she’ll tell you. We wish you the best of luck!