Five years ago I cut my hair, and ever since then I've gotten the same two questions over and over again: “why did you cut your hair?” “Are you ever going to grow it back?”
From friends to family to bartenders at Yours Truly on Kloof, everyone wants to know the reason behind my so-called “big chop”. Finally, your prayers have been answered, and today you’ll get to know when I cut my hair, why I cut my hair, and why I don’t plan on growing it back anytime soon.
The year is 2013 and my hair is quite long but it’s damaged. I would straighten my hair almost every single week from the time I became a teenager, and because Tumblr had just made its way into the mainstream, I was dip-dying the ends of my hair blonde and purple every couple of months.
Needless to say my hair didn’t appreciate what I was putting it through, so I was left with 0 curl pattern, 0 moisture and no chance of redemption. My hair was as damaged as the United States government and there was nothing I could do about it.
Now you’re probably thinking this is where I decided to cut my hair, take pictures of it from the day it was cut and join #teamnatural, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. I was actually willing to live with the state of my hair, because at the time I thought it looked fine! (It wasn’t fine, Nameya, it wasn’t fine.) What made me go rogue with a pair of scissors was a picture of my cousin. At the time she had cut her hair into a pixie cut, much like Rihanna, and I thought “I want to look like that”. This was also around the time that Miley Cyrus had just cut her hair, and being an avid fan of 23 at the time (2013 was a rough year), I thought "why not?""
I didn’t do it for a movement, or a rebellious statement against the standards of beauty (although it played to my advantage when I decided to make those statements later on). It was really only because I wanted to cut my hair.
Since then I’ve tried growing it out, going from a pixie cut to a TWA (teeny-weeny afro), to a fade, etc. but the cut is contagious. Once you go bald it is very hard to go back, not only because it’s a pain in the ass to grow out again, but because it suits everyone.
I spend nothing on trimming my hair ever since I bought my own pair of clippers, and I only have to buy shampoo and conditioner twice a year. Despite all the reasons why going bald is one of the best decisions I, and a few of my friends, have made, I still get nervous women (and men) asking me how I found the courage to do it.
Understandably, cutting your hair isn't as easy as I make it out to be. If you're someone who clings to your identity, or uses your hair as a security blanket, it can be hard to let it go. If I can part any words of wisdom on to you today, it would be that beauty is fleeting and hair is just hair.
There isn't a single person I know who has cut their hair and looked bad. No, your head isn't "too round". No, you aren't going to look "too masculine". No, you won't regret it.
As far as growing my hair out is concerned, as I said before, I don't see it happening in the near future. I feel more me without hair than I do with hair. Maybe it's because I haven't had hair for so long that I've become used to this image, but I also think part of it is not having hair forced me to appreciate and love my face.
When you drastically alter a part of your body that you use to hush another part of your body you deem a "flaw", it opens up a window of radical self-love. I was forced to see my bald-headed ass in the mirror everyday, and it made me aware that what I thought were insecurities were actually the most beautiful qualities about my physical appearance.