Welp, I finally did it. Some call it The Big Chop, I call it the act of letting go. While the act of cutting my hair was quite spontaneous, it’s something I’ve been mentally fiddling my thumbs over for the past year and some change. When my mom was first diagnosed with cancer, and we found out she would need to go through chemo treatments, I knew that meant she would start losing her hair. I wanted to be supportive and told myself once that started happening, I would also say bye bye bye to my kinks. Before I could even wrap my head around doing that, she passed away.
Fast forward 6 months later, I decided to do a taper cut. I wanted to first see if I even liked what I’d look like without much hair in my face. I know, that’s pretty vain. But it’s the truth. Luckily for me, I LOVED the taper. I somehow instantly felt a bit renewed, not attaching myself to my hair and being able to let some of it go. While that was all great and dandy, the style still required a certain amount of maintenance that I honestly couldn’t be bothered with. I’m pretty simple when it comes to hair. I like styles that are quick and easy and won’t take up more than 30 mins (which is why washing my hair used to be such a pain). Doing my hair literally felt like a chore and even with the tapered, I still felt like it was too much. That’s all physical.
I felt trapped. Not sure how better to describe it, but I just felt STUCK. And it bothered me. I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over and over again. And once I start to feel that way, I can’t shake it. To juxtapose that, I also felt afraid to make any changes because my life had already gone through its toughest change yet. Although I felt stuck, and although I was bothered, I somehow found comfort in the “usual”. In knowing that certain things would go a certain way. But once things became uncertain, my world felt like it was crumbling down and I was afraid things would start spiraling out of control. Never thought one could be scared of change, but annoyed with the same thing, all at the same time.
Fast forward another 6 months, I was in the car driving back from a bridal shower, thinking about what I was going to do to my hair for the wedding. The wig I had on was giving me a slight headache (I know it was because of the braids, or lack thereof, underneath it), and all I could keep thinking about was, “What if I just cut it all off??” “Actually cut my hair off???” The more I mulled it over on my hour ride home, the stronger the urge became. As soon as I got home, I sat down, started taking my braids out, went to the bathroom, spritz some water on my hair, and CHOPPED.
Holding that first piece of hair, not attached to my head, was surreal. “I really just cut my hair”, I thought. And then another thought creeped up, “well, you can’t stop now”. So, I kept cutting, and cutting, and cutting, until all the hair was gone. Looked in the mirror and was SHOOKETH. At first, there was instant regret. But after 5 mins, I felt so damn proud. Like I just passed a really hard exam, proud. I did that! I looked closely in the mirror at the little bit of hair I had left and smiled (I would also mention that the first go round, I left more hair out than I wanted, and had to go back in the 2nd day to cut it down more). Once I finally finished cutting and styling it, I was so giddy. I actually loved it!
with no hair to cover my face and features. I felt like I was really seeing my face for the first time. My big eyes, my wide nose, my large lips. Everything felt so, pronounced. It took a few days to adjust. And it’s expected that with a short cut, you need to have a beat face at all times. But that has definitely not been the case for me. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve only worn makeup twice since cutting my hair. Bare faced and barely any hair will force you to appreciate how God made you. I’ve had moments where I’ve felt like a boy. Some moments where I thought, “dammit, maybe this was a mistake”. And you know what I do in those times? Take my butt to a mirror, stare at myself, and smile.
Cutting my hair was a journey, as you can kind of tell from this post. And not a smooth one either. It was a decision that I hesitated on so much because I was nervous what others would think. I even had the occasional thought, “welp, no one is for sure going to date me now”. But I couldn’t be more happier with my hair. I’ve been loving it so much. Maintenance is a BREEZE. It takes 5 mins to wash my hair…5 MINS!! Styling it takes 10 mins or less, depending on if I’m just refreshing it or not. I can wake up and go (like I did yesterday as I rushed to work).
If you’re contemplating cutting your hair, JUST DO IT ALREADY. I promise, you’ll be so happy you did. Join the club!
Until next time…
All Photography by Kristen Ashley