4 Times Changing Your Look Can Be a Healthy Choice (and 1 Time It Isn’t)
A haircut might be *just* what you need.
Kaley Cuoco has gone long again. Mid-hair extensions, she posted an Instagram pic and an explanation for her makeoverâto celebrate the end of filming The Big Bang Theory.
âItâs very important for me to change my look after wrapping each season,â Cuoco wrote. âI love playing Penny, but itâs good for me to bring it back to Kaley.â
That familiar urge toÂ mark aÂ life transition with a physical transformation makes sense, because how you feel and how you look are so closely linked.
âA positive self-image can stimulate the reward center of our brain, so if we like the way we look, it can impact us emotionally, and help us feel better about more than just our appearance,â explains Vivian Diller, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in New York City who specializes in self-esteem, body image, and beauty.
Aside from milestones, here are three more instancesÂ when changing your appearance can be a healthy choiceâand one time you may want to put away the box of hairÂ dye.
When you feel uninspired
Maybe youâve been in the same division at your company for a while now, and crave something fresh. Or you're in a long-termÂ relationship and things areÂ â¦ stuck. âWhen we feel unmotivated at work, or our relationship seems dull, change can help bring some vitality to our lives,â says Diller, who wrote Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change and What to Do About It ($16; amazon.com). Of course, chopping your hairÂ isnât going to solve your problems. But it can affect how you view your life, and provide some much-needed clarity, Diller says.
When you land a new gig
It can feel energizingÂ to start anew with a different style, says Diller. But if youâre moving to a new role within your company, don't do anything too drastic,Â becauseÂ a totalÂ makeover might give the wrong impression: âYou donât want to be viewed as trying to change things up too much,â she says.
When youâre getting overÂ a bad breakup
No oneâs suggesting that you run to the salon and go platinum. But a well-thought out, well-planned change may do you good. (See: âRevenge looksâ by any celebrity post breakup. Ever.) âItâs important to deal with a breakup emotionally, but it doesn't hurt to move things along with changing up your look,â saysDiller. âIt can help you leave behind bad memories or the associations with a past relationship,â she adds.
When everythingâs changing
Maybe youâre pregnant. Or your company is relocating you across the country. These are times to proceed with caution. Big changes that create a good deal of upheaval in your life are not when you wantÂ to go wild at the salon, says Diller. Rather, "it can help to keep other things constant, including your look," she explains. Â "Maintaining stability can give us the wherewithal to deal with dramatic life changes.â Besides, we donât have to tell you that you look beautiful justÂ the wayÂ you are.