September 20, 2011

Snip...Snip....OH SNAP!!!!

I BIG CHOPPED!!!!!!!!!

My initial intentions were to wait another month to do it and I just could not continue to fight with my hair any longer.  I transitioned for about 15 months and during that transition I took some time to really learn my hair and what I learned was this: I was having too much breakage the longer I transitioned. The first 12 to 13 months were pretty good, but the last two months, I could hear my processed ends breaking.  Even with me taking care to make sure I was handling my hair gently (I am very heavy handed and quite impatient) I was having more and more breakage. So after a few a weeks of mental preparation, I decided I needed to go ahead and make the jump from "transitioner" to "natural girl." So I called on my friend and natural stylist Kenyada via her business, and told her I was ready to chop.

She was so excited for me. More excited than I was at the time. True, I had been treating my hair like it was natural for months, but those processed ends gave me length in spite of shrinkage. Remember, I was always the girl with short hair who wanted the long, thick beautiful hair that all my friends had.  But, the closer I got to the day of my appointment, the more I talked about doing my BC. I stopped saying it with uncertainty and trepidation that I really felt ("I might do my big chop" or "I'm supposed to do my BC soon") and began to say it with an assurance that made people, including myself, think I was ready to do the 'do.

My appointment was filled with a lot of exhaling. A lot of deep breathing. A lot of reflecting. A lot of healing conversation with my friend and stylist.  In the end, I walked out of there feeling emotionally lighter, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and 100% natural with a big smile on my face. I don't think I've ever smiled that much in my life over my own happiness. Being happy for others, sure, but not for me. I was so happy and smiling so hard that my cheeks were sore by the time I made it home.

I had so many congrats and well wishes from friends who were excited for me about my big chop! I definitely felt the love from my community of natural sisters. Now I'm excited to see what this change that feel in me is going to mean for my life.  I remember watching a Lenny Kravitz interview years ago (LOVE HIM!!) and in it, he recalled the day he decided to cut off his locs.  I don't remember all of the interview very well now, but what stuck with me is how he spoke of when his ex-wife (Lisa Bonet) cut his locs for him and he felt and saw them fall, he felt like he had an emotional and spiritual cleanse.  Like a weight had been lifted from his soul and I think he said he shed a tear or two, but don't quote me on that.  I remember thinking that it sounded like such a powerful experience and found it interesting that he got all of that from a hair cut.  But now, I kind of understand. Its the letting go of something that you had been holding on to for so long, in spite of how cumbersome or damaging it may have been. I had been hanging on to the desire for long, straight, pretty hair for so long (over 20 years) that, even after transitioning, I had such a hard time thinking about letting go of the processed hair that allowed me to hang on to that little bit of length that I had. Each time I saw "all that hair" fall away from my head, and every time I caught a glimpse of my developing 'fro in the mirror, I had these huge, audible, loaded exhales. But after letting it go I felt a little lighter and a little more free. I felt that I was ready to release a lot of things that had been laying on me for so long...along with some of my hair. I walked out of the shop feeling lighter, wide awake, free and ready to party for a few hours with my sore cheeks and happy squeals!

So, big chop...DONE!!!!

Now, its all natural!

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