In life, you are bound to encounter “oh shit” moments. Moments that, no matter how prepared you think you are, will always catch you off guard, eliciting an “oh shit” response or some variation of it (Ie. “Oh sheeiiiiiiit”, “Holy shit”, “Oh shit what am I doing,” “shit, shit, shit, shit”, etc.).
Cutting my hair was one of these moments.
I have cut my hair three times in the last month, each time going shorter and shorter, and I have yet to become adjusted. Each time I hear the low hum of the clippers and feel those first chunks of hair begin to fall, I get that sinking feeling in my stomach, and I begin calculating all the ways this could go wrong.
Will they go too low? Will they try to shape up my edges? What if they sneeze or cough or blink at an inopportune time? Wait – am I sure I want to cut my hair again?
In the end, It always turns out great. But that has yet to stop me from being anxious about the next cut. If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready, I guess.
While my last two cuts have generally followed this thought process, my inaugural cut had a more complex meaning behind my “oh shit”.
The decision to change my hair came after feeling like I was in a rut. I had been alternating between braids and buns for a couple of years, and I wanted something different. Something dramatic.
For the last few years, I had been on a mission to transform my naturally thin and low density strands into longer, thicker tresses. I’m not sure why, but I have always equated beauty with long, full hair, and had made numerous attempts at achieving this. I did everything I thought could help.
Hair, skin, and nail vitamins – check.
Deep treatments – check.
Pre-poo treatments – check.
Protective styles and low manipulation – check.
No poo and/or low poo – check.
Natural products – check.
But my hair was just too thin to really grow to the lengths I desired, and it would never be as thick as the natural-haired ladies on YouTube (thanks mom and dad :/). So, I pursued the next best thing – extensions. I have had braids, twists, sew-ins, clip ins, half wigs, full wigs, and whatever would give me the full look that I could never attain on my own.
This all changed, though, after I stumbled across one photo on Instagram, that, as usual led me down a rabbit hole of more photos. I quickly became obsessed with short cuts, and spent chunks of my days just scrolling through the endless stream of photos with hashtags like #thecutlife, #twacuts, and #bigchophair.
I made a decision that was contradictory to everything I believed, and I was excited about it. I wanted to go short. Super short. Like Amber Rose short.
When cut day came, as you can probably imagine, I was in my “oh shit” bag way before I even got to the salon. By the time of my appointment, I think I had already went through every possible scenario of all the things that could go wrong, and comforted myself with the fact that I could always wear a wig if I hated it.
I sat in the barber chair, was caped up, and I heard the low hum of the clippers. I could not take my eyes off the mirror.
I was actually doing this.
As my hair started falling, I felt so exposed. I had put so much effort into growing my hair. All the pre-poos, and shampoos, and deep conditioning, all the curling creams, oils, gels, and protective styling. All of the time I dedicated to these stuff, it was all falling to the ground.
When my cut was done, I was surprisingly still in an “oh shit” moment. I looked in the mirror, and for one of the first times in my life, I was wearing my own hair and I felt beautiful.