The day I decided to have my “big chop,” I remember being troubled with so many thoughts. Deciding whether or not to cut my hair, I kept asking myself, “what is it about hair?? What is it that has us spending so much time, emotional stress and money??”
Whether I could blame the media for making me want a Kardashian look on Monday, Beyonce Tuesday or Rhianna Wednesdays. The truth is, somehow I was running away from my own natural look. I find that adverts or music videos have made us believe that our hair needs to look a certain way for us to be beautiful. I look at my nieces flicking their hair saying how they want to be Miley Cyrus.
So quick to embrace others hair texture, forgetting how beautiful our African hair can be. But what happens when the dilemma is not even about texture, but about length.
Today I write this with really short hair. I’ve been on this journey for a year and 5 months and loving it. I have to say, its one of the most refreshing and hottest looks I’ve ever rocked. The other plus side, I am inspiring others by giving them a different perspective on how to perceive short hair.
Lets start from here, my love affair with my short hair.
It was the first week of April when I cut my hair. I know this because it was pretty much the beginning of all the pretty colors. The sun was out, color blocking was in. we were saying goodbye to winter and hello spring.J This was definitely a special month. 2 weeks away from my birthday. Mayne it was bound to be a beautiful April..
I remember mentioning wanting to cut my hair to my sisters and they were like, “really are you that stressed out that much with school??” Most of my friends thought I would never get away with it. Even My boyfriend didn’t say much. All he said was that If it looked horrible, he would bye me a wig. I was like, “Really?!?!?” This was before I knew lace wigs “were in.” But my mind was still holding on to wanting short hair.
I thought of it as a new beginning. The beginning of my short natural look. My day after the big chop was very interesting. I woke up and it was like I was a different person. I touched my head and I felt so free. Being able to shower with no need of a shower cap. It was actually legal for water to be on my head. I then got dressed, put on the cutest jump suit and I was out of the house. The sun was shinning so bright and it smelled like blossoming flowers. It was definitely a good day.
On my walk down the street, a group of about 5 Europeans stopped me. Men O men!! I would say these guys must have been tourists. All I saw was one man kneeling down and kissing my hand, while the others kept saying so much I was lost in translation. Then one of them finally said something I understood, “you are beautiful.” The simplest words but with so much meaning.
You would think every morning when you look at yourself in the mirror you know yourself, but sometimes it takes an unexpected moment to tell you what you may have known but never truly knew. I have to say that this short natural look was the beginning of me noticing myself. I had no chemical to “enhance” my appearance.
Most of my friends said I was brave, bold to firstly get off relaxing my hair then to cutting it all off. Yes, maybe I was. But the truth is, I was scared. Its not like I dint have a lot to think about. What I could have been loosing. What made me “attractive.” It felt like I was leaving all I knew for something I wasn’t sure about. I felt like I would loose a part of me. But one thing I was sure about at the end of the day, like Indie Arie said
“I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectation no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within”
I feel like sometimes we confuse the purpose of all the things that are to compliment that we are. We let things like weaves, control our outlook yet they are only their as a compliment.
Next time you doubt going for a big chop. Ask yourself why not.
As you comb that 24-inch weave, take a moment when you look into the mirror next time. When your reflection stares back at you, stare right back and remember that at the end of the day, you are not your hair or your skin but you are soul that lives within. Remember that how you perceive yourself, will be the way others perceive you. I know am not my hair, so I don’t let it wear me. I love my short hair and its definitely an unexpected love affair.
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