I remember the day as if it were yesterday. On Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm, I decided to “Big Chop” my almost shoulder-length relaxed and color-treated hair. Ironically, I revisited a hair stylist I had prior to my colorist to complete this powerful and emotional transition. At the time, my hair was in braids for about six weeks, but I had not colored my hair for five months, nor had I relaxed my hair in almost three months. The darker roots were completely natural, and unfortunately, the lighter ends were fried, dry, and the vestiges of very little care while braided.
I got the most out of my braids. Truth be told, after about four weeks, I’m ready to take them down. I’m never ready for Now What? that inevitably comes once the braids are out and the hair is shampooed.
Pre-Big Chop, I wore braids for several weeks (Me-December 2015)
I took down the braids the weekend that Winter Break started (sorry about all the flakes-yikes!):
Here goes…nothing! After the weaved braids were removed, my relaxed hair…is gone. That was December 2015:
Bye bye, blond!
So, what’s next with what’s left? Something that is a bit scary, a bit exhilarating, a lot shorter, and definitely a very different look. All of a sudden, I had all of these textures: straight, curly, coily, nappy, frizzy! There was just no recognizable pattern, no structure (other than a very short cut), and nothing to detract from what was…my hair-short and in its natural state. I could hear my mother in the background, “You need to ALWAYS wear some big earrings and some lipstick with THAT short hair!” Ugh…
The good thing? The proverbial light at the end of a very dark tunnel? It was Winter Break 2015, so I had at least a couple of weeks to play around with my hair-mourn the loss of my relaxed look, adjust my lifestyle to accept a new look, deeply condition it, experiment with products, grow to like it. I thought I was ready when I saw my hair in a pile on the beauty shop floor. I was not when I got home and took a long look in the mirror. In the meantime, I wore hats, lots of hats to camouflage my perceptions of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This face says it all:
Yeah, Delta ‘nalia was the gear of the winter break for me. When I wasn’t outside, I was “sequestered” inside obsessing with my new ‘do-conditioning it, running my fingers through my baby curls/coils, massaging my scalp, and just reflecting…what was I going to do with my hair when I returned to school, how would my hair be perceived by others, what was I thinking????????????
I had been on hiatus from FaceBook, Instagram, and all other forms of social media since my 47th birthday in November 2015; no one (except my hair stylist, immediate family, and close friends) knew about my Big Chop. I was planning a “comeback” to social media sometime after the start of the new year, but I just didn’t know exactly when I would do the Big Reveal.
Winter Break came to an uneventful close, and in the process, I grew to like my hair. Shocking, even to me. It was “finding its curl pattern,” and I was feeling more confident about my hair every single day. Those straight, weird prickly ends started to circle into each other and alas! Curls! Not only was I was beginning to like my hair, I was beginning to love its multi-textures, its consistent growth, its smell, and its look!