The Big Chop

This journey began on Saturday 17 March, 2012. I sat in the hair salon patiently waiting my turn while contemplating in my mind what I was going to do. What had happen was…two months earlier I had dyed my hair blond using a Dark n’ Lovely box-dye. It completely fried my hair. Luckily, I knew a thing or two about weaving my hair so I did some damage control. However, here I was two months later with no other option but to cut off all the damaged hair and start over.

I had not yet decided what I wanted to do. In my head I thought, “I will go natural.” But then I wondered if that was my final answer. I wasn’t sure. Even as I heard the words, “Cut it all off; I am going natural,” come out of my mouth (to the hairdresser) I was not sure. How could I be? I hated my hair. The last time my natural hair and I were acquainted, I was nine (9) years old. At twenty-three (23), I wasn’t quite sure that my sentiments would change. The truth is I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t sure. However, something about it felt right. If nothing else, I trust my gut, even when all evidence the contrary- this case was no exception. My gut is usually right.

I didn’t watch. I just sat there in the chair praying that I would like the end result. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t have that much “new growth,” so I knew that it would be a very short cut. I braced myself as she finished up, preparing to come face to face with the “new me.” I know this all sounds very dramatic, but to me it was. I mean this was my hair! I’m a girl! It’s not every day that a woman cuts all her hair off and walks around practically bald. That takes boldness, strength and confidence. See, what I didn’t know back then was that I had all those qualities. I was shy, soft-spoken and introverted.

The hairdresser spun my chair around, and I sat looking at myself in the mirror. I sat. I looked. I was staring back at me. I was. Me. I could see myself…for the first time. I had nothing to hide behind. There my face was in the mirror staring back at me. I think it was the shock of seeing that bold woman staring back at me. But the shy, soft-spoken and introverted young lady couldn’t handle it. I got up, smiled and thanked the hairdresser. Then as she called her next client, I went to the bathroom and I cried. What the H-E-double hockey sticks did I just do?!

 

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Naturally Cassie displays big chop (March 17, 2012)

 

“How am I going to leave the house looking like this?”

“People are going to see me!”

“I look like a boy!”

“God, what did I do?”

The funny thing is, as I write the article, I smile; because to be honest, sometimes I miss my big chop. I looked womanly, sassy, independent and confident, but it took me a while to actually feel that way. In truth I was panicking. I felt that I had made a mistake. The only thing was I couldn’t hide forever. Eventually, I would have to leave the house. You know what? I did! I got dressed, put some make up on and looked at myself defiantly in the mirror. I said, “Look at your face, you are beautiful and you’re gonna rock this look! Fake it till you make it, Cassie!” That’s just what I did. I got some compliments and I got some stares, but each day I had to come home to me. When I looked in the mirror, it was me that I saw- no one else. I had to live with that, and I had to be ok with that. Did I want long hair? YES! Since I was nine (9) walking around the house in my momma’s heels and a towel on my head. The towel represented my long hair…yea…I’m a wee bit weird/crazy lol…but long hair would take time. I had to train myself to enjoy that season of my journey.

The maintenance was easy. I would wash my hair with conditioner, put some leave-in and some gel and I was good to go. Eventually, I started to feel myself…in a good way. Having short hair really helped me to build confidence. Sometime in college a guy said this to me and it was only then that I understood what he meant…

“I like women with short hair. Women with short hair are more confident, because they can’t hide behind their hair. They are more independent. They know who they are”

He was a youngin lol, but boy was he right. It’s like I took on a new persona. It’s like I finally believed that the woman staring back at me in the mirror was actually me. I was in fact bold. Yes, I was strong. Yes, I was confident. That is me. She was there all along, and I liked the new me. Because it makes absolutely no sense…

…to be shy when you have such a big personality…

…to be soft-spoken when you have so much to say…

…to be introverted when you’ve always had a spirit that draws others to you…

So ladies, please understand why I can’t just shut up about this “natural hair thing.” This is my story, and it has to be told. This is what going natural did for me. It was the beginning of something new and big and powerful. So I guess I want to share it with you, so that you can find your new, big and powerful too!

 

 

 

 

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