Awhile ago, one of my friend's did the big chop (meaning she cut off all her relaxer). No holding on to the inches of length. No premeditated plan to grow her hair out. No transition period.
I decided to interview her. I like her quiet courage and easy going nature.
NS: Please tell me about your hair history, hairstory if you will :)?
SC: I grew up having my hair natural until I was 12. I am from Mississippi and that is just what we all did at a certain age. No one even thought of keeping their natural hair as an option.
NS: Ok, so as a teenager, after the relaxer, what styles did you wear?
SC: My first cut was a mushroom; after that I cut it short in the front, and it was long in the back.
NS: Ha! The black girl mullet! I had that cut too. Nothing after that?
SC: Nah! I'm about easy maintenance and I just put it in a ponytails. I kept telling myself that after high school, I would do more with it. Then I said that after college, I would do more. Well from age 15-32, I did the ponytail.
NS: What? Really? No weave? I have seen your hair done on occasion.
SC: I did weaves on a few occasions for special events. I got my hair done occasionally but daily I would wear a ponytail. It damaged my hair.
NS: How so? at the scalp? at the base of the ponytail?
SC: It (the ponytails) tore my hair in the middle of my head where I wore the ponytail. It broke off where the ponytail started.
NS: ok, so I understand you are a low maintenance person when it comes to your hair. But what made you think that it was the perm?
SC: I have never really been a fan of the salon or the perm. I only got perms every 3-4 months. I was ready because my hair was unhealthy. I was also going to the gym every morning like I do now. The ponytails were really getting old. Also, my husband was tired of the ponytail. Every time we were out and there was a woman with a short natural, he would introduce us and ask her about her hair.
NS: So your husband prefers natural hair?
SC: Yes. He had been mentioning it to me for awhile. I cut it off on our first wedding anniversary.
NS: ok, it is important that womyn reading my blog get that. Many womyn still think men only prefer yaki or relaxers or anything but their hair.
But what made you decide to cut it off all at once?
SC: It was time. I went to Urbanbella http://www.urbanbella.net/ ( natural hair salon) in Atlanta, and they showed me what I could do to grow it out, some styles to wear etc. Or, the lady said, we can cut it off right now. I chose the second option.
NS: How did you feel?
SC: I am still in shock (laughs).
NS: You surprised yourself huh? How is it now that it has been 7 months ago? How did your family and friends respond?
SC: As far as maintenance, it's easy. I wash my hair everyday just about with Hair Rules . I put some leave in stuff to kinda make it even when I pat it down. I love it.
My friends were just as shocked as me but were nice, lots of compliments. My mom was surprised. i went home to Mississippi and my little cousin (6 year old girl) said, "Why you got your hair like a boy?". I said, "You don't like it huh?" She said, "ut ah". LOL! At the bank, this woman (teller) referred to me as sir.
NS: Hmm, Do you feel masculine? Do you feel any different? Any changes?
SC: No! I was dressed with a cap on that day, and she didn't even look up. If anything, I walk with my head up now. I feel (pauses) stronger.
SC: More confident. When I first got it cut, I bought some make-up. That lasted for only a month. I felt I needed to dress it up more. I dress up now a little more. When I want to be fancy, I wear a headband.
NS: LOL from a 3 hour salon trip to a headband. Makes a huge difference. Don't you love not using umbrellas and shower caps?
SC: Yeah, I love how easy it is. All kinds of people give me compliments! I workout everyday without worrying.
NS: Good! What's next? A huge fro?
SC: Well, I don't know. I just take it as it comes. I have no plans for my hair. I see my friend's hair who has dreads. They are longer and longer every time we see each other. One day, I might just lock it. But for right now, I am just liking it. Ya know I didn't even know what my curl pattern was or that I had one.
NS: Nice. Thanks for sharing your story. I know you will inspire, encourage someone.