On multiple occasions, my mother has encouraged me to always be open to experimenting with new hairstyles, but me, being the somewhat conservative and ridiculously self-conscious person that I am, I tend to shy away from this notion. I’m always thinking about what folks will say about the new hairstyle and worry if I will look good or bad with a new do, but last Friday, I did something completely out of the ordinary. On a whim, I decided to chop my hair off (again!) and get a completely new style. Truthfully, I had no intentions of getting my hair done, I had simply been casually thinking about doing something different with my hair. I was becoming tired of the twists, I was pretty certain that a relaxer every 6-8 weeks wasn’t going to work for me as I need both an exercise friendly and easy do, and the natural thing…well, I was getting tired of my resistant hair. While there are lots of great products on the market now for women of color who opt to go natural, my hair is just a bit more kinky than I desire, and those nice curls that they claim to give…ummmmmm, well, I’m tired of still looking for them! So, in light of all of these things…I decided to once again chop my hair off (and let the natural thing go). I didn’t think about it, I didn’t analyze the decision…I just did it. I was hoping my hair would look good once finished, but I had not a single picture that sorta, kinda looked like a style I may want, so I took a step of faith. And, what do you know…I was pleasantly surprised after all was said and done. Who knew it was so nice to actually be able to run one’s hands through their hair!?!?!
After the fact, I quickly realized that cutting my hair is much more significant than simply parting ways with several inches of filamentous outgrowths of my skin. It’s not simply a new spring/summer do, it’s a reflection of the internal transformation that is bubbling up in my life. I looked in the mirror the day after the big chop and smiled back at myself and thought, “Whether people like your hair or not, you are beautiful”. That certainly didn’t sound like me talking…beautiful is never a word I’ve used to describe myself. Then, three days after the big chop, I found myself gazing in the mirror speaking positive affirmations to my own self about all of the things I have yet to see or do, but am still fully convinced I will accomplish in my life. This is major progress…I wouldn’t even speak positive affirmations to myself when it was the therapist’s orders!
Parting with my hair is so much more than what meets the eye, it is symbolic of me parting with the girl inside of me who has harbored lots of self-hate and self-doubt, parting with the girl inside of me who felt so unlovable and undesirable, parting with the girl inside of me who didn’t want to look in a mirror because she didn’t value the image that was reflected back. In cutting my hair, I cut ties with an old version of me. Some people will never understand the significance of this moments in my life! Some people have never truly felt left out, unworthy, or undesirable in their own skin, but I am that person. I am that person who has had to work hard at loving oneself…it has never been second nature to me, I’m that person who has mastered the art of wearing the mask that grins and lies…that was my means for survival, but at the beginning of the year, I decided that I would intentionally change the messages that I allowed to infiltrate my mind. Without hesitation, I can certainly declare that I’m now doing just that!
Until next time…peace!