September 8th, 2017: My hair was probably the longest it’d been in my life, but most of it was damaged. When I started my natural hair journey in 2012, I decided to transition rather than big chop. All that means is I had to use a lot of heat to match my naturally curly hair to those relaxed ends. All those years of flat-ironing caught up with me. I was holding on to those heat damaged ends for dear life. My hair was f i n a l l y the length that I’d always wanted it to be, and I was terrified to let it go.
For the past 3-4 years, I’d been getting my hair trimmed at Supercuts because it was convenient. I could walk in there without an appointment and walk out with a little less hair. This time, I decided to make an appointment at Ulta since my last Supercuts experience wasn’t so pleasant. I’ll spare you the details.
The day of my hair appointment, I felt an unhealthy attachment to my hair. My hair had been such a critical part of my life since before I can remember. One of my earliest memories is being burned with a hot comb and being told that beauty is pain. I’ve spent so much time chemically straightening my hair and even more time (and money) going natural. My hair defined me. I’d always been so afraid of a stylist getting “scissor happy” and cutting off too much of my dry, distressed hair. I love hair. I love doing my hair. I love watching hair tutorials on YouTube. I love buying hair products. But my hair was damaged, and it was time for me to make a change.
I sat in the salon chair and told the stylist to cut my hair just below my ears. She was hesitant. She convinced me that it would be good to start with cutting it just below my shoulders. She was right. I looked in the mirror and could barely believe my eyes. My hair looked healthy. It had been unhealthy for so long that that was just my normal. It had a bounce and shine that you just can’t buy. I walked out of Ulta with a smile. I’d conquered one of my fears. Now I know what India Arie was talking about.
You know what they say: A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.