Why I Cut My Hair
“Why I Cut My Hair” by Sydney T.
“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”
It was a cold December afternoon in 2017 and I was at my parents’ house, scrolling through IG. It seemed as if my feed was being taken over by beautiful, melanated curly and kiny-haired girls. I was in awe. I then asked myself, “Syd, what are you waiting for?” At this time, I had been transitioning from my perm since July. I have been getting perms for as long as I could remember because my hair was what people considered “unmanageable”. It used to break combs, fingers, hands, you name it! (Okay I dragged it, but you get the point!)
What I learned is that in the 90s, our parents didn’t know much about what products to use on our thick afros. There wasn’t a prevalent Natural Hair movement like there is today. So what did they do? They slapped some relaxer in our hair. & it was all downhill from there. *slaps forehead*
Anyway, something came over me, so I ran to my mother’s room and said to both her and my younger sister (who are both completely natural) “GUYS! For the New Year, I’m gonna do the Big Chop!!”
They were ecstatic, as was I! My hair was in terrible shape. It was growing out, so my roots were natural, and my ends were super flimsy and stringy. THEY NEEDED TO GO!
This wouldn’t be the first time I had a short haircut. The only difference would be that this time, it wouldn’t be a relaxed, unhealthy pixie cut. I was amped. I was excited. LET’S DO THIS!
I made my hair appointment with a natural hair stylist by my house for Saturday, January 6th. I even decided that I was going to start a youtube channel vlogging my Natural Hair Journey. I was ready to transform into my beautiful, natural state. I felt like a pokemon that was about to evolve! So I started vlogging from the night before, taking out the faux locs I had in for about a month. I woke up that Saturday morning and headed to the hair salon. I had butterflies in my tummy when the scissors cut those first few clumps of hair, because I knew there was no turning back now.
So I did it. I cut my hair. I did the Big Chop. & guess what guys?
I HATED IT!
Yeah, I didn’t expect that either. I literally went home and cried no less than 15 different times. I felt like, in that moment, I was about to sink into a deep depression. I thought I looked like a boy. I thought my hair looked crunchy and stale. I wasn’t expecting it to be so short. I even remember saying to myself “Omg guys are not gonna like me”. Of course, my family loved it, which was enough to make me not wanna jump out the window. But man was I unsatisfied. “How am I gonna make a youtube channel about a haircut that I hate?” I felt my self esteem literally plummet. I have never felt so low. I’m not even exaggerating. This was me in the mirror crying and talking to myself, trying to tell myself things like “You are not your hair” “You are beautiful” “You are a black queen.”
It didn’t work. So before I went to sleep, I asked my family to pray that when I woke up in the morning, that I would have a new confidence, love, and appreciation for this new look and stage in my life. But, I woke up the next morning hating it even more. So I went back to my house and washed my hair out with whatever products the stylist put in it, and tried to “slick it down” with a bunch of EcoStyler Gel. I wasn’t very knowledgeable of natural hair products yet, so I had no idea what I was really doing. While doing my hair, I got this text from my dad:
Thanks pops, way to make me feel even worse! I was about to go out to brunch for one of my best friends’ birthday, so I just threw on a big floppy Mary J. Blige hat, took a deep breath, and tried to enjoy my day out.
Fast forward a few weeks, and here I am. I decided that I wasn’t about to go out like this, no way. So I went out and bought a bunch of hair products with the help of my sister. I purchased some Camille Rose, Curls, & Shea Moisture products, and started to experiment. I tried different conditioning techniques, different curling techniques, and slowly but surely started falling in love with my hair!
This journey made me very reflective to say the least. Society has an impact on us that is stronger than we even notice. Looking back, there was definitely a deeper reason for me feeling like I wasn’t beautiful with my short, kiny, curly hair, and it’s because we live in a world where long hair is what signifies beauty. I allowed this mentality to seep deep into my brain, deep into my skin, way deeper than it should have ever gotten. I doubted my beauty in a way I never have before, and never will again. Now, of course there are gonna be those bad hair days, or those days where I throw on a wig, or put in some braids. But those days will never be because I think I’m ugly. I am beautiful. Inside and out.
Follow Sydney’s journey on IG @sydeeofsin