WOMEN
11/01/2013 12:33 pm ET

What's the Real Deal With "Breakup Hair?"

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I've had thick, waist-length hair since I was old enough to verbalize an opinion on the aesthetics of my head. It has always been an identifying characteristic for me, and at times, a defense mechanism. Awkward situation? Let's fidget with my hair. In high school, I literally hid behind it, draping it over my face and rocking that eyes-only insecure teen angst look.

Aside from the very rare trim, I have only really cut it three times in my life. The first time, I was 10 and waxing obsessive on "Spice World" (I blame Victoria Beckham.) The second time, I was 20 and going through a bad break-up. I chopped my hair to my shoulders in a moment of much needed liberation and came home to an outraged roommate.

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