"Every time a woman cuts off her hair, somewhere a little black girl cries!"
-The Game's Tasha Mack
Tasha Mack uttered these lines when Melanie spontaneously chopped off some of her famously long hair. I grew up with a similar sentiment, in that I was threatened by friends and several family members throughout the years regarding my hair: "I'll beat you if you ever cut your hair!" That kinda thing. Of course, I never took these threats seriously, but they were meant to communicate that my long, "good" hair was important to people other than myself. That hair apparently meant something, and I dared not touch it.
Well, on November 1, I did touch it, after thinking about it for a long time. The experience brought those old threats back to mind and made me reflect on the various do's and don't's surrounding black women's hair. If I had long hair, I owed it to other people to maintain that length, but it only reinforces--in my humble opinion--more problematic standards of beauty that many black women have internalized: this idea that we have to strive for straight hair or long hair. I'm just going with healthy hair.
While I don't completely agree with the idea that "I am not my hair," I do believe that cutting my hair doesn't harm me or anyone else. It was, in fact, a liberating (if slightly scary) experience. More importantly, it was my experience to have, and I captured pictorial evidence of the whole thing!
|Freshly shampooed and conditioned hair|
|The actual length of my hair--some serious shrinkage!|
|It's about to go down.|
|First cut, off the top. I cannot lie, the result (considering shrinkage)|
was shorter than I intended. My heart picked up pace at this point!
|All the cut-off hair...that's a lot of hair.|
|The finished look|
|Back view of the finished cut|
|Conditioner rinsed out and leave-in applied, I headed out for the day|
with the least amount of hair I've ever had in my life. I'm liking it!