That’s right. I big chopped this week after almost three years of growing out my hair. I’m now rocking a nice contoured curly fro that maintained much of the length on the crown and cropped the sides and back down to about an inch of hair. I debuted my cut on the most recent episode of Add Water and Stir (see what I did there with the shameless podcast plug?)
It’s rather dramatic. I needed dramatic. I needed a change.
Years ago I read an interview that Lenny Kravitz (YUMMERS!) did shortly after he cut his dreads; he said cutting his hair was a kind of emotional release. He was able to let “stuff” bound up in his hair go and make a clean emotional slate.
Yeah, given I’m down with just about anything that my boo Lenny could ever possibly utter, I never forgot that little gem. I thought about it a lot over the years.
In fact, before going natural, I kept my hair cut short. I rocked a pixie cut for years. Loved it. It was easy and framed my face well.
But when I went natural so much of the discussions swirling around were and are about length achievement. Shoulder length, bra strap length, boob length, waist length. Length, length, length. So, even though I’m not really a follower by nature, I set about to let my hair grow out and see what happened.
At three years it was shoulder length when I blew it out, which was rare. #lazynaturals #aintgottimeforallthat
It took forever to dry; I had to wash and set my style before 9pm if I had a hope of being able to take twists down.
And then Hope came.
Hahah, getting to washing and styling by 9pm became a pipe dream. Then the shedding started. Gobs of hair. I tried tea rinses. I tried some protective styling (which really isn’t my thing). Then it started breaking.
Stress is such a b*tch; I swear the stress of just being was just wearing my hair out. (My body too; I’ve gained weight and don’t get me started on the emotional eating). My hair was becoming another problem to fret about, and there was a lot of emotion caught up in it. The negative changes seemed to put me on a path to think I was failing at caring for and growing out my hair. Since I think I fail at a lot of things these days, this just was added to the list.
It didn’t occur to me to cut my hair because I wanted to nurture Hope’s confidence in wearing her natural hair. I wanted her to embrace it. It was something we had in common—growing our natural hair and embracing its beauty.
But things really changed during the last month or so. Hope, always needing to win at something developed this absurd competitive streak about our hair journey.
“I think my hair might be longer than yours this week.”
“It’s not, but it’s not a competition. It’s just hair.”
“But I want long hair and I think that will make it beautiful.”
“Your hair is already beautiful. If we keep your hair healthy then your hair will grow long, but length won’t make it beautiful. It’s already beautiful.”
She wasn’t buying it. And I was getting tired of having this same conversation each week.
So, last week I started searching for the perfect cut. I settled on a few pictures, called up my old hairdresser at the Hair Cuttery and rolled in after work one day this week.
Chop, chop, snip, snip.
My head is lighter and I feel like I let some emotional energy go. I feel good. It dries faster, the curls are popping and I am wondering what took me so long to just go whack it off. I needed a change and I needed short hair in my life.
My boo Lenny was so right, but how could he ever be wrong??? #heyboohey
Hope, meh, is not really feeling it, but she is happy she’s now definitively winning the length war that I’ve walked away from.
I plan to get another shape up in 8 weeks. I’m keeping it short. I’m glad that I did something dramatic for myself. And today, I’m going to splurge and pick up a FitBit or comparable little overpriced activity tool. I need to get healthy and take better care of myself. The emotional overwhelm of the last 7 months shows on my waistline badly. So that’s the next task of change that I am committing to, right now, today.