I remember it well. The day I cut it all off. My hair. My bouncy, shiny, brownish/blonde hair. I could not believe that I did it. What was i thinking about? So much of my identity was wrapped up in my hair. People used to identify me in a crowd by my hair, my crowning glory. I took great pride in my hair. Meticulously washing, conditioning, trimming and styling it.
I remember wanting to know what my “real” hair felt like. How did it feel growing directly from my scalp as God had intended? I wondered, so I decided to grow out my relaxer and the process was not easy. I thought it would be easy since I was once a licensed cosmetologist. I knew hair. I understood hair, especially MY hair. My once beautiful hair was now breaking at the line of demarcation (where the relaxer and natural hair meet) and shedding excessively.
My options were limited, I could either relax it again OR big chop but I could not continue in this manner. So I did it, I walked into a Hair Cuttery, sat in a chair, told the stylist to cut it all off, closed my eyes, held my breath and waited for a miracle. I knew when I got up from the chair, I would be free and love the new me.
When the stylist finished and turned me around to face the mirror, I opened my eyes and instantly became shocked and then anger set in. What had I done? How foolish could I be! Who was looking back at me in the mirror, because she was not me.
I quickly got up, paid and ran to my car and cried. As I drove home, I tried not to glance in my rearview mirror, but I could not help it. Who was this strange person looking back at me? When I arrived home, I ran inside and up the stairs and threw myself across the bed and cried myself to sleep, thinking about the awful mistake I had just made. When I finally awoke, with swollen eyes and a stuffy nose, I had to use the bathroom and as I walked past the mirror, I was startled. I thought a little brown boy was looking at me! I had forgotten that I had chopped off my hair. I did not feel pretty, as a matter of fact, I actually felt…ugly.
There was nothing that I could do now but wait. And wait, I did. And as it started to grow, I fell in love with my curls. I did not know that my hair could look and feel like it did. Soft, thick, fine and curly…who knew?
That was 7 years ago. I love my natural hair and would not go back to the day before the big chop. I realized that sometimes you may have many days of tears before you get to the smiles. Now I smile everyday, even when I cannot get my hair to do what I want because it is mine and it is beautifully me. I finally have my crown of glory that I wear with pride.