This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.
If I had listened, I wouldn’t have cut my hair.
I have always played it safe.
As women, we have been conditioned to believe that long hair is a sign of our femininity. Especially as a Black woman, our hair is sacred. There are so many stories and beautiful memories we have of our individual hair journeys. Unfortunately, there are moments in our stories that aren’t pleasant.
Policing Black women’s hair has been a constant battle many of us have faced.
I remember feeling so excited to get my hair done but then secretly worrying about getting asked questions like “Is your hair real? Why do you change it so often? Can you wash it like normal hair?” Once someone told me, “you can't keep changing your hair like that. It makes you look unprofessional.”
For far too long, I listened. I played it safe. And because I was listening, I was holding myself back from being the sexiest, happiest, and most confident version of myself.
I never cared much about Rihanna, but I loved how she rocked her hair. At one point she cut it short and I remember my eyes felt like they were falling out of my head because I SO wanted to do that. But I didn’t. Why? For starters, my mom didn’t think it was a good idea. Like I mentioned before, long hair is a sign of being a sensual woman and short hair to some means your edgy, reckless, wild, etc.
3 years later I moved out with my boyfriend. I posted a picture on Instagram of my hair pinned back and I got so many compliments. The one that stood out, encouraged me to make the biggest hair decision ever. “OMG! Did you cut your hair? It looks amazing!”
I remember that moment so clearly. I instantly started scrolling through Instagram for some hair inspiration and came across ‘The Cutlife’. I was freaking out!
I saw so many beautiful Black women with short hair. Fades, bobs, bald...these were my people! Without hesitation, I found the first stylist available and booked an appointment to cut my hair.
There was something so incredibly liberating about feeling my hair fall on my cape. I felt like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon.
Unfortunately, she totally botched it but when I did find the right stylist to fix it, I saw a woman in the mirror I fell so in love with.
My hair has become a signature component of my brand. I feel free, fun, confident, and powerful. To maintain its freshness, it must be cut every week!
If I had listened to what others had to say about women with short hair, I truly don’t believe I would be the version of myself I am today. If you’re reading this and have been debating to try a new look but question if it’s professional enough or to society’s standards, listen to me when I say FORGET WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY! DO YOU! BE YOU! AND LOVE YOU!
You’ll thank yourself later.