So I did a thing...
I went back and forth with this thing for some years, debating whether or not it was a good decision, whether or not it would fit me, worrying if I would regret it or not. However, I came to the conclusion that if I have been thinking about this "thing" for this long and if I really want to do it... I need to just do it.
Forget what anyone else will think.
Forget how anyone else will feel about it.
Just do it!
So... I did It...
I cut my hair!
This has to be one of the scariest and most liberating things I have ever done in my 24 years of living. I didn't realize just how much I was attached to my hair until I watched it fall to the floor in the salon. It was like watching all of the anxiety and cliche standards of beauty I had for myself fall away in real time. It was as if I was watching pounds of insecurity and hiding fall off and I felt lighter with each chop.
I know this can sound extra but, I honestly didn't realize how extremely attached to my hair I was until I didnt have it on my head anymore. My entire life, I have equated the state of my hair to my feelings of beauty in any particular moment. If I didn't like my hair or if it was not "done", I felt as though I was not at all presentable in that moment. My feelings of beauty in any setting were attached to weather or not my hair was "done" correctly. And don't get me wrong, even now, I still believe hair can make the difference to any outfit but my dependency on my hair was excessive to say the least.
From a young girl, I remember my mom and myself being extremely proud of the long and thick hair I had. During easter and christmas, after spending hours at the hair salon the night before or hours in our kitchen sitting in front of a stove getting my ear burned by the hot comb, I remember adults always complimenting my hair, saying how pretty it was. I can remember the obsession I had with wanting my hair to be long and this intense fear of it falling out because people, including me, talked about the girls with hair that could barely fit into a ponytail. Even though I was not a natural hair advocate at the time I definitely was proud that my natural hair was one of the major things that made me attractive or appealing.
Especially, in my early elementary and middle school years when long weaves and loose curls were all the wave. Every girl wanted to look like the women in the music videos on 106 & Park and when my mom would let me get a good press and flat iron I was one step closer to being the girl that the boys actually looked twice at. That was what my hair meant to me.
The older I got, my ideals about my hair somewhat shifted. It was less about wanting the boys to notice and more about bragging rights. Near the end of high school is when I really started to come into my own and absolutely love my natural curls. I loved a good twist out or braid out and I was good for a natural or protective style. I really started to learn how to care for my hair in the right way and as expected, my hair flourished. My hair was my crown and joy! I loved and still do love changing up my styles and I always loved the versatility of my hair but, I realized that I still was defining my beauty buy the presentation of my hair. Those same feelings of not feeling pretty if my hair wasn't "pretty" remained. However, I didn't really think twice about it because that was every girls mentality in high school. If you walked into my high school with hair subpar, it was conversation and that's the gospel truth!
Fast forward to college and the feelings remain but now my eyes are wondering towards this thing called the big chop. Of course I have heard of it, naturals were cutting off all of their dead or permed hair, snipping it down to almost non existent so that their hair could grow back healthier. Well, I was tempted to but honestly, the thought of cutting my hair... I could never! Cutting my crown Jewel!? Are you crazy?!
These are the questions I'm asking myself and ill be real, it felt insane. The thought of cutting my hair was absolutely absurd. I had spent over 20 years growing it, tending to it, protecting it, coveting it, now... after watching some random girl on youtube, I was just going to chop it all off. Naw sis! Not gonna happen!
However, this nagging desire in the back of my brain would not go away. I was watching multiple friends cut their hair off and look absolutely amazing. I watched my mom do it in high school and kill banana blondes and auburn reds! LOL! I started following pages on instagram like @thecutlife and became obsessed with every post and hair transformation. But this fear I had of losing what I thought made me beautiful was so intense, that everytime I brought up the idea I got scared. I would talk about doing it but in the same breath say " no, I can't do it!"
Over and over again for years I went back and forth until one day, I finally realized... It's just hair.
It's Just. Hair. Love.
Yes, there is a cultural significance and importance when it comes to black hair... but it's still just hair.
Hair by biological standards are dead cells! Why am I obsessing over dead cells?
And the bigger question is why am I letting dead cells dictate the beauty standard I hold for myself?
So, after long deliberation and back and forth and round and round... I finally cut it!
And I am loving it here! Let me tell you, I am not sure when I will let my hair grow out again. I know for sure that 2021 will probably never see more than the back side of my head faded up and I have no shame about it. For some reason now, I have this obsession with rubbing the back of my neck. Weird, I know but, maybe it's because I have never actually felt it without long hair connected to it.
Either way cutting my hair was one of the best decisions I have made this year. Why? Because it no longer allows me to hide behind dead things anymore. I am fully embracing everything about me! Im finding my angles again and enveloping myself in the things I didn't know I had. It's opened a new door of self exploration and confidence and I am having so much fun doing it.
This is definitely one of those things that I think everyone should experience. As a woman, I believe that you should cut your hair at least once in your life. You don't have to go as short as me but, cut it! free yourself of popular culture's standards of beauty or male measures of what's appealing and cut it.
It's a feeling you will want to feel more than once!
I honestly think if someone would have told me about this feeling, I probably would have cut my hair a long time ago!