A Girl Getting A Haircut Means She's Dealing With A Traumatic Experience
We all deal with tragedy in our own ways. Some people might seek out support from their friends and family, while others will do the complete opposite and hide from the world. Maybe you run, or binge-drink, or stalk families as commanded by Crnobog's whispers. But if you're a girl in a movie or a TV show, you really only have one option: a sudden and drastic haircut. And if you're really traumatized, you do it yourself over the sink.
At some point, all fictional women apparently came together and decided that the best way to deal with violence, bullying, men, magic time amulet accidents, or work drama is a new look. Think back to how many times you've seen people in real life get a haircut. You probably told them you liked it, or if you didn't, awkwardly observed "You cut your hair." What you definitely didn't do was ask if they were attacked in a parking lot, or if they recently made a vow to kill their husband. And yet in a movie, we all know that's what her haircut means.
This happens all the time. In the recent Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, the main character starts with long hair. Later she cuts it, then kills herself. We would have included a spoiler alert, but she's a girl in an article about girls in TV shows getting haircuts, so you already knew what would happen.
How did her parents miss all the signs? That hair is far shorter than before!
Sometimes the resetting-your-life-with-a-haircut trope is played for laughs. In Mean Girls, we learn that after Regina George made fun of Janis for being a lesbian, Janis dropped out and "all her hair was cut off, and she was totally weird." But most times, these haircuts are very, very serious. In the movie Joy, Jennifer Lawrence gets swindled out of all her money. Explaining how that affected her character could be done with a scene of her at her bank, followed by a montage of her scowling over bills and repo men. Or you can do what they did:
20th Century Fox
A fucking no-more-of-this-bullshit HAIRCUT.