When naturals say that going out into the world (including facing the judgement of family members) after doing The Big Chop takes an inner strength of character and courage, I now know what that means. I’ve been saying for months that it (cutting off the relaxed ends of my hair) was coming but no one believed me and assumed that their harsh rebukes against doing it was enough to prevent the inevitable. Each time I wet my hair, my coily roots would become stronger and stronger. These roots are what I wanted my hair to be.
My hair is in the teenie weenie (short) afro stage and easy to manage but it’s still long enough to twist. My wet hair twists easily and holds then dries in the shape of the twists like molded clay. Whether my twist-outs end up in the style that I intended is another matter but I always have a curly textured afro style to fall back on by just picking out my hair, which shocks some people.
I have not yet gone to a professional barber to get my hair shaped. I’m not quite ready for that. This is still a very personal moment for me. Maybe next week.
Update: It’s been a couple of weeks since I cut off the relaxed and damaged ends of my hair, which had already improved the health of my hair to the point where I thought it had already grown out a bit in a really short time. I’ve been keeping up with my nightly moisturizing routine so that’s probably helped.
I’ve received a few compliments about my hair at work from other naturals and from a co-worker who is not natural but says most of the women in her family are. Another co-worker showed her (subconscious) texture discrimination when she told me that my hair looked nice because it was not “nappy” but had some curl and shine. I just turned away from her at that point as she oozed self hatred.
At home, I’ve endured extreme emotional abuse for my decision to big chop. I felt hounded to get braids or go to the barber to get a “trim” by the same person who said I would not look good with a short cut of my own natural hair before I big chopped. Interestingly, I was told my hair had no shine and looked dry. I’ll admit, it is very dry. It is the nature of 4C textured hair.
After deciding not to get braids, I went to the barber shop. I am not happy with the outcome. The barber, who mainly cuts men’s hair, shaved off too much. Luckily, my hair grows fast so in a month or two, I should have more freedom with it. It will also be in better condition by then since I’ve started deep conditioning my hair weekly with my tried and true Shea Moisture hair masks, which I’d stopped using for reasons unknown.