NEVER cut your hair

US weekly recently had a report on Tia Mowry and her new hairstyle, a very short cropped cut. When interviewing her and asking questions about her decision to do the “big cut” she responded by saying that after she cut her hair she cried and it took awhile for her to get over it. This made me wonder why it is that Black women have such a difficult time with cutting their hair as well as with media and social attention regarding hair cuts? After talking with several Black men, I realized that long, straight hair (whether it is weaved or not) is more attractive and more socially acceptable to them. The new wave of women who are cutting of their relaxers and going natural also came into question. One guy told me, “Black women always complain about not getting a Black man, but then always want to cut their hair off and go natural, that’s why they stay single.” Why is it such a big deal for Black women to have long hair? I thought back to my own experiences of growing up with family, friends, and my parents always encouraging me to “take care of my hair” and NEVER EVER cutting it. Fast forward years later with lots of damage, breakage, and hair loss from medical treatments, and in an effort to remain true to myself and no longer “hide behind my hair” I decided to make the big chop and go natural myself. Now rocking a shorter, cropped, curly fro, I find myself getting less male attention, but more nods, smiles, and compliments from Black women who often tell me that my hair is beautiful, ask me about what products I use, and even tell me that I have inspired them to cut theirs and make a fresh “natural” start. Still…as much as we have advanced into developing our own identities, we still have much work to do in the way of issues such as this one, that constantly cause us to question our outer beauty continually conform to mainstream European standards of normalcy. 

 

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