Why I Chopped Off My Hair

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It was the day after my Husband’s birthday and I just wanted it gone. I warned him for the past few weeks that I had a feeling it was time to let it all go, to chop off what was left of the old me. He replied each time with ‘I don’t know why you’re warning me, you’re just going to do what you want anyway.” He’s right. I do this every time. The last time I cut it, I told him I was going to get it colored and trimmed. I came home with it chopped to my ears and honey blonde.

I’m a creature of change, but I’m also a woman who knows that life needs to be streamlined. Things need to be simple and natural, if only for the sake of your sanity. I needed to let go of what weighs me down, and the “unnatural” parts of my hair felt as if it belonged to the old me. The naive me. So on November 20th 2012, I let her go.

The internets call my experience a “Big Chop”: women cut off the hair that had been chemically treated from the naturally curly, or kinky, hair that grows from the roots. It’s a right of passage for “natural” women if they choose to do so, and I’ve yet to find someone that hasn’t felt uplifted from following through with it. I arrived at the beauty salon and the tingle of butterflies filled my stomach. It wasn’t a nervousness, but an excitement. The emotion was similar to my wedding day: I was embarking on a new journey and the anticipation of the end result was so great that I wanted to weep.

chopped hair

As the hair fell, so did the anticipation. The true me emerged. My shoulders went back. My eyes widened to take in a world that wasn’t hidden behind long hair. As my stylist shaped up the little bit of hair I had left, I caught a teenage girl with long black relaxed locks staring. She was in shock of what I’d just done, what I selectively let go. As she started to twirl her hair around her finger, I could see she was intrigued. She was imagining herself in that chair. In that moment, she noticed me staring back. I smiled a wide smile as she looked down at her shoes. She leaned her head towards her mother and unsuccessfully whispered “Mom, I want to cut my hair.” 

“You are NOT cutting your hair Felicia! Your hair is fine and long. It would be stupid to cut it all off.”

Once she realized the amount of her foot that was placed in her mouth, she looked up at me and smiled awkwardly. I could hear the fear in her voice and I could see the brightness in her daughter’s eyes. They’d be having this talk again, and soon.

Once my cut was finished, I paid my stylist and grabbed my jacket to go.
As I walked off, Felicia yelled out “I really love your hair!”

After her mother shot her an evil glance, she turned to me and gritted through her teeth “Yes, it’s lovely and you are so brave. You have the perfect face for that cut. Not everyone could pull it off.”

First day big chop

That’s where she was wrong. Everyone can pull it off. It’s about the energy and the confidence, not the shape of a head or face. It’s about wanting to be released from it all and grow outside and in. It’s about freedom. It’s about being true to you. So, that’s why I chopped off my hair.

This week i’m hooking up with ShellThings to Pour My Heart Out.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 1.8.13

    Way to go girl! I wish all women could see their beauty…hair or no hair, big or small, dark skin or light skin, round eyes or almond eyes 🙂

  2. 1.8.13
    Kristen said:

    I big chopped my hair over 2 years ago to go natural. I was so tired of relaxers and flat ironing it. When I cut off all my hair I never felt so free, it sounds cliche but that’s how I felt.

  3. 1.8.13

    Your a beautiful woman and I love your new hair cut.

  4. 1.8.13

    Not so sure I could have pulled that off..what strength!

  5. 1.8.13
    Alex M said:

    I had five inches cut off this weekend too!

  6. 1.8.13
    Lucrecer said:

    Amen! Good for you and I hope that young woman is brave enough to follow her gut one day.

  7. 1.8.13

    You look fabulous! Love the strength you had to just go for it and get rid of the old!

  8. 1.8.13

    I think that’s a to each its own thing. While I commend you on your cut and going natural. I like my hair long and relaxed because I prefer it that way. You just have to do what works for you. I know lots of people who are going natural and making the “big chop”.

  9. 1.8.13
    Kay Maher said:

    I wish I had your strength. Unfortunately I remember what I look like with short hair, and I just cannot do it. You go girl!!

  10. 1.8.13
    Mallery said:

    This is such a good post for any woman to read! I think your poise while in the salon is going to help that girl get her ‘big chop’!

  11. 1.8.13

    I did this about two year ago and have never looked back!!! Way to go its an experience.. some go and some back but it gets better.

  12. 1.9.13
    Katrina said:

    Woo-hoo! Good for you! Great post for all of us women…to accept and LOVE who we are, naturally. I would love to say that I accept everything about me…going natural…but I just can’t seem to let my gray grow out! Gray hair…I’m just not ready! LOL

  13. 1.9.13
    Anonymous said:

    I never had my hair relaxed but my journey was about learning how to take care of my natural hair. There were times when I really didn’t like what was growing out of my head but as soon as I learnt how to take care of the natural hair I’m very happy I avoided relaxers etc. Unlike my sister who is now experiencing hair growth issues because of putting that stuff on since she was a teen.

  14. 1.9.13

    Great job.
    Did my big chop 2 years ago and every once in awhile when I get too many tangles, I think about chopping it again.
    There’s something so freeing about having short hair.
    You can shower and run out the door in minutes. Looking forward to your follow-ups on styling your new do!

  15. 1.9.13
    Heather said:

    People are way too emotionally attached to the conventional standards of what beautiful hair is supposed to look like. It’s hair!

    Good for you for doing what you felt what was right and for being a role model to that little girl!

  16. 1.9.13
    Hannah said:

    First-time reader and I love this post. I chopped my thick, just-wavy-enough-to-be-a-pain-in-the-neck hair after my second son was born and I’ve never looked back!

    I really hope that other girl just goes to the salon some day without her mother and does the deed. After all, it is *her* hair.

  17. 1.9.13

    I had my hair cut off in November and feel the same way. It is very freeing to let go of your hair. Congratulations and what a good example for Felicia. 🙂 Found you through Bloggy Moms.

  18. 1.9.13
    Shell said:

    Your line “everyone can pull it off” really hit me. Because as I was reading, I was thinking how lovely you look with your short hair- but that I couldn’t pull it off. That I need long hair to hide behind. But *maybe* I don’t.

  19. 1.9.13
    Rachee Fagg said:

    You are gorgeous!
    I did a big chop almost 12 years ago and really never regretted the loss. I loved how freeing it was and think that I may give it another chop.

  20. 1.10.13
    Armande said:

    Love it! I have done this a couple of times in my life and it’s great. Plus it is soooo easy in maintenance: very quick shampoo and you’re done!

  21. 1.10.13
    Roxanne said:

    Wow. What an amazing change. You’re gorgeous. And brave. Good for you.

  22. 1.11.13

    I love this!!!…so much so that I posted it to a healthy hair group that I run on Facebook. Wow! I had not expected this! My intent was to check your blog to get some couponing tips since I had fallen off of that wagon some time ago.

    Anyway, If you would like to visit the group, here it is:

    Congrats and many blessings on your journey!!