I haven’t seen my natural hair since I was 11-years-old. My mother was hesitant about allowing me to put a relaxer in my hair to turn it straight. But I knew I was ready to try anything that would relieve me of having to sit for hours in the kitchen while my mother would press my hair with Dax pomade to get it straight. Boy was I wrong!
My hair was damaged, weak and brittle after years of harsh chemical relaxers, permanent dyes, extensions and excessive heat from flat irons. That’s why I decided to cut off all my relaxed ends or “big chop” as it’s called in the natural community. I knew I was ready for the change but my hairdresser wasn’t. She begged me not to cut my hair, to grow it out or wear a protective style, such as extensions. Over and over I refused her suggestions; I just wanted my hair gone. My hairdresser was so emotional about cutting my hair. She finally complied but would only cut off an inch at a time, each time I replied “go shorter.” She continued until I was left with a teeny weeny afro or TWA.
How do I feel? I feel liberated from my damaged tresses, which I compare to a bad relationship. Why hold on to something that’s damaging and unhealthy? Why hold onto something that stumps your growth? Or why wait for things to get better over time when you can just cut your losses and start fresh? For me the decision was simple and I’m proud of myself for taking the leap.
The big chop is only the first step on my natural hair journey. I’ll keep you posted on my triumphs and bumps along the road.