It’s easy to fall back on a safe style that you know works for you, but that also means it’s equally easy to feel like you’re in a hair rut. To help you feel comfortable lopping off some length, here are 10 reasons you shouldn’t be afraid to cut your hair—whether it’s shaving it Stranger Things-style, going for a bob, or just dipping your toe with some layers.
1. It grows back.
I know it’s cliché to say, but it’s true. As long as you have hair that grows long enough that a dramatic cut is an option, it’ll grow back to being long before you know it. (If you have trouble with hair growth or loss, and are worried about it growing back, clickhere to learn about what can trigger hair growth and cause hair loss, here for how to grow it out, and here for how to shop for a wig.)
2. It’s empowering.
There’s something adrenaline-boosting about sitting in the salon chair and anticipating five or more inches falling to the floor. But there’s also something very energizing about the entire experience. Like, it’s your hair, dammit, and you can do what you want with it!
3. It’s exciting.
Sometimes styling the same lewk can be super-boring, which is why any time you cut your hair, you should be psyched to step out of the chair with a fresh blowout, knowing you look your best. So don’t be afraid to switch up your style—or at the very least, try bangs! I know change is scary—and the anxiety you experience when thinking about, let alone actually chopping off your hair, is very real—but it can also be exhilarating if you look at losing length through a more positive, rather than negative, lens.
4. Your hair doesn’t define you.
You define you. Sure, your friends might do a double-take when they first see you in your new crop, but that doesn’t mean they don’t recognize you or that you’ve changed as a person.
5. You might feel more comfortable in your new style.
If you’re open and down for changing up your style, you might actually find that you feel more like yourself or just as comfortable in your new look than you felt in your previous style. But you’ll never know until you try! Take Jennifer Hudson, for example, who took the plunge from pixie to buzz cut in the past and looked fierce both ways:
6. Your partner will still like you, so don’t worry about their input.
You’re the one who’s looking at yourself in the mirror everyday, so if you want to try a long bob, do it! Too often I hear girls say, "But my boyfriend doesn’t like short hair." Well, unless your guy is dating you just because you have long hair—in which case I highly suggest evaluating your relationship—I say go for it! Because YOLO.
7. Your hair will most likely look healthier after making a change.
I’m not saying your hair looks bad now, but sometimes you can hold onto a style for so long that it ends up looking stringy and thinner at the ends. Take Cosmopolitan.com’s editor Amy Odell for example: Amy told me that she cut her hair because "it looked disgusting" and she didn’t want the length anymore. Amy has fine hair, and while she looks great with long hair, her new shorter cut suits her strands better. It makes them look thicker and fuller. See for yourself!
8. You will learn how to style your new look, but you have to ask if you don’t already know how.
Shorter hair is harder to style, I’ll give you that—especially since longer hair can be braided, thrown up into a ponytail or topknot, and tied in a low bun. However, there’s a freedom that comes with not only being OK with losing your length but having less hair to deal with on a daily basis. You just have to make sure you have a good stylist. Here’s why that’s important: (1) Your mane woman or man should take your lifestyle into account, and give you a cut that you feel comfortable styling on the regular, and (2) they should teach you how to style it, so you leave their chair confident in your new ’do.
9. If you’re not used to your cut right away, you might just need a week.
The initial shock of getting your hair cut can be overwhelming, but give it a week or so to let it grow out a little, and you might end up liking it more. However, if it’s been two weeks and you’re still not into it—maybe it’s the result of a bad cut—you can always go back to your stylist and ask them to work with you on a fix. Remember, they want you to be happy, especially since you’re a walking billboard for the stylist you go to. So don’t be afraid to go back to them and kindly tell them what you’re not liking.
10. You’ll still be/feel/look sexy.
It might have been engrained in your head along the way that long hair equals sexy, but it’s 2016, people, and any kind of style is sexy as long as you feel sexy in it! Who knows, you might even love getting your hair cut (like this little guy!) after being brave enough to try it once!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.