you’re a fake friend you haven’t been reading the blog lately, you know that I cut my hair about two weeks ago. Because I’m a nice blogger, I’ll allow you to check out the post, which talks about why I decided to cut my hair, my inspiration, the whole process, and my initial thoughts. Now that it’s been a few weeks, I thought I’d check in and update you on some things that have happened to me since I cut my hair, and a few that surprisingly haven’t.
1. I Lost 1 Hour of My Life Every Day
Every single day, if I don’t want to have a compressed fro the next day, I have to braid or twist up my hair into 25 or so pieces to stretch my hair out. Compared to my longer hair – nighttime prep consisted of 12 twists, 6 braids, or a scarf tied around my hair pushed all the way to the front, all of which took MAX 15 minutes to put in and 15 minutes to fix in the morning – this new styling routine takes 30 minutes to do, and 30-60 minutes in the morning to undo. It’s actually ridiculous, and I’m not used to it yet and have been late to work twice because I only left 15 minutes in the morning to take down 25 braids which actually takes an hour. I can just tie a bonnet and sleep, which is precisely what I did for 4 or 5 days last week, but shrinkage comes with tangles and it takes even longer to stretch it back out. While twists are faster than braids, both on the install and takedown, braids stretch more so I feel like I can get two days out of them. Anyway, I’m not happy that my significantly shorter hair is taking me significantly MORE time to do, so that’s a bummer. Hopefully my wash days will be shorter though.
2. I Gained Quite a Few Haters
So my YouTube video where I show the whole process of me getting my hair cut at Valerie Signature Salon has 11 dislikes. Now before you’re all like, em ok, and? Let me put that into statistical perspective. In a video that has 1900 or so views, 11 people took the time to rate it poorly (.5%). Of the total 142 people who rated it at all, 11 people disliked it (7%). In a video with a similar number of views (Soft Waves with Crochet Braids), I got 110 likes and no dislikes. My texture discrimination video has 20 dislikes, but also 24k views, so yeah (that’s .08% of total views, and 1% of total ratings). So yes, a higher percentage of people disliked my haircut than dislike most of my videos. I know the video has sound issues but I’m gonna play devil’s advocate and say they either think it’s genuinely ugly or they don’t think people without long hair should be making YouTube videos. I also lost some Instagram followers but I don’t care enough to do the metrics.
3. My Students Were Sad
I work with teenagers, and if you don’t spend a lot of time with youth of these days, they are overwhelmingly self and image conscious. My girls have seen my hair go from the Haute Kinky weave to big blowouts to bantu knot outs to the Fingercomber wig to crochet braids, and they’re amazed every time I come to work with a new natural hair style, and even debate about whether or not my new looks are my hair (they did NOT believe the Fingercomber wig wasn’t mine, I had to lift the back to show proof). Not many of them are natural, so I was the poster child for cool, big natural hair that defied most of the stereotypes that they had. So when I cut my hair, their first inclination was that it was a weave or wig, but when they realized it was really gone, they wailed. And threw a tantrum. And yelled at me. And ask my why I did it every day. Yesterday, one of them asked me why I didn’t inform her before I decided to cut my hair. #sorryboo.
And a few things that did not happen:
1. Nobody Significant to Me Thought I Looked Crazy
My family is EVERYTHING to me. Their opinion matters more to me than my opinion of myself. Why? Because they know me better than I know me, so I trust them. I was a bit worried that my mom and dad would be like “urmm I guess it’s ok” while cringing through their teeth when they saw my haircut (which would’ve been a better reaction that how they felt when I first cut my hair in 2010 – I got a few “chi mu o”s and “ara o di gi”s for all my Igbo folks). However, my mom sent me these kinds words as I was freaking out mid cut, and my dad called me the next day to say he saw my photo on my mom’s phone and I was beautiful 😀
You’re probably wondering how my boyfriend feels about my cut. He don’t care. It’s actually annoying that he has such little opinion, but let me count my blessings. A direct quote: “it’s still soft and pillowy, so as long as you like it, I’m cool”.
2. I Didn’t Cry
Although I came close, I did not cry the day of, the day after, or ever since I cut my hair. I surprised myself because I honestly was flipping out during the appointment, so it was a moment of pride when I got through those first days when I would walk by a mirror and be shocked. I think it’s unhealthy to be so attached to something temporal, like your hair, even though it was and is a huge part of my identity. I patted myself on the back for being a “grown-up” and not shedding tears over my haircut.
3. I Didn’t (and Still Don’t) Regret It
A couple of people have asked me if I regret cutting off my hair, especially since a lot was cut off (go back and read the cut post to understand why). Absolutely not. I did not go natural with the goal of growing long hair. I actually didn’t think my hair could grow past my shoulders, because it never did when it was relaxed. I simply wanted to see what my hair looked like, and I ended up falling in love with it, and being privileged enough to be able to make some income off it too! Although the winter is jocking my style, I’m looking forward to playing with different styles, looks, and maybe even some color again, as well as revisiting all the throwback hairstyles I could do when my hair was shorter, like finger coil and rod sets.
The only thing I regret is not asking Valerie to let me keep my hair so I could make a wig out of it!