By: Janell Hickman, Contributor
I anticipated a positive response when reaching out to real women to discuss their big chop. However, I did not anticipate how passionate and detailed they would be—so we extended our short hair chronicles into part two! Keep reading to discover what the remaining four of the nine women shared with us.
Short Hair is Actually Much More Work Than Long Hair
Who: Clare Meneely Brown, Social Media Strategist
Location: Richmond, VA
On cutting her hair: [I initially cut my hair because] I was curious! I had never seen my natural texture before and I wanted to get to know it. I would not cut my hair again, though. I underestimated how amazing it is to be able to put your hair in a ponytail and go. To me, short hair is actually much more work than long hair because short hair requires daily styling.I underestimated how amazing it is to be able to put your hair in a ponytail and go. Click To Tweet
On the challenges: Actually, I loved my buzzed hair at first. I started to get overwhelmed by my hair as it grew out and I had to do more work to get it to look the way I wanted to. My hair grew much more quickly than I expected. So it was much more work sooner than I had realized it would be.
Advice: Your hair WILL grow back. Also, do not hold on to unhealthy hair. Broken, thin hair doesn’t look good anyway, so why not cut it off? If you hate it short, it will grow back and it will be healthier and stronger. Just remember that your hair is one of your most changeable features. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it.
It Was the First Time I Was Really Seeing My Face
Who: Hana Ford, Public Relations Professional
Location: Washington, D.C.
On going short: The first time I cut my hair I was 16 and I did the ‘big chop’ all by myself. My hair was extremely short, like almost buzz-cut short. I cut my hair again because I wanted something new. I rocked a ‘fro for a little over six years and I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to be a little bit more edgy. I was tired of playing it safe. I would definitely cut my hair all over again, it is such a liberating process.
On adjusting: It took a few days for me to get used to my new cut. I was initially a little surprised because it was the first time I was really seeing my face after it being somewhat hidden under all the hair. One style I miss is wearing a half up, half down pony. It was always my go-to style when I wanted to stretch an old twist out, braid out, or simply didn’t feel like doing my hair.
The Short Fade Was The Evolution to a New Me
Who: LaParis Hawkins, Freelance Writer
Location: Brooklyn, NY
On needing a change: I had locs for eight years and it was time for a change. My hair had become heavy and the maintenance process too strenuous. I cut them on the eighth anniversary. Eight is the number of new beginnings and the first cut felt liberating. Seven months later I went even shorter with a fade.
On adjusting: It didn’t take long for me to get used to it at all. The night I cut my hair I couldn’t sleep because I could literally feel the release of energy. Every time I turned over at night I didn’t have the pile of hair to adjust. I remember thinking ‘I really cut my hair. I can’t believe I cut it!’ all throughout the night. I felt even more comfortable when I cut it the second time. The short fade was the evolution to a new me. I’d had my locks since I was 19.
It was an outer reflection of an inward elevation.
Every now and then when I see a woman on the train with beautiful long locs and a nice style I reminisce. I can’t say I’ve spent more than a few minutes missing my hair. It was like a time capsule of a moment in my life. I am enjoying exploring new ventures.
I Relied on External Forces to Make Me Who I Am
Who: Kamari Guthrie, Director of Communications at Vote.org
Location: Washington, D.C.
On cutting her hair twice: I have cut my hair twice before in my life into a pixie cut. Each time I’ve had different reasons (hair loss, ‘big chop’ to go natural, spiritual/emotional change). This time around, I was prompted to cut my hair because I was experiencing a major internal shift. For too long, I relied on external forces to make me who I am—jobs, relationships, material things, my appearance.
Then, at the beginning of 2018, I started doing a lot of spiritual and mental work—with a therapist, with my pastor, through coaches and meditation—and I’d let go of so much baggage and attachment. I finally found confidence in myself without the need for all of those things. Shedding all my hair (and weave) felt like the final physical/outward expression of ‘letting go’ and feeling confident and accepting of my newfound faith in myself as I am.
You only live once and you want to go out saying you knew how to love yourself with and without hair.You only live once and you want to go out saying you knew how to love yourself with and without hair. Click To Tweet
Cutting your hair can be cathartic for various reasons, sometimes the most exciting piece of the puzzle is letting go and learning to be 100% okay with that. I’ve attempted to “grow out” my hair several times, but I never felt like myself each time I did it. Sometimes I miss my relaxed, pixie but I also love the freedom that comes with barely-there, natural hair. My advice? Do what’s best for you and don’t worry about the rest.