I DID IT!
Who knew that doing the Big Chop was such a BIG deal?
I guess everyone who’s done it before knows but other than that, there’s NO real way of knowing just how ALL consuming this decision is.
This decision is one I’ve flirted with for years but each time I seriously contemplated it, I chickened out. Instead, I’d just keep adding pictures to my Pinterest board. At least twice a year I had a longing to cut my hair but talked myself out of it. This has pretty much been the cycle for the last five years. Welp, I FINALLY DID IT!!!
I scheduled my appointment about a month and a half out and committed to keeping it. Every week I got anxious and wanted to cancel the appointment but I promised this time, I would go through with it no matter what. Even though I kept wanting to back out, each day that passed and I still had to decide what to do with my longer hair, felt miserable.
The process to find THE perfect stylist was a whole notha situation. Months ago, I began searching for and following various stylists on IG to get a feel for their work. Particularly, their cuts, the vibe I got from them, and the feel of the salon. I’ve never been able to JUST go to anyone. Talented or not. Their spirit has to also be right.
After looking at several Big Chop videos on YouTube, I stumbled upon a video where the girl went to a salon in North Jersey to get her cut. I immediately began stalking the stylist on IG and fell in LOVE with her work. When the day came, I walked into the salon really wanting them to talk me out of it. Instead, EVERYONE lovingly encouraged me to follow through with my decision. I felt like I was visiting family the way they affirmed and comforted me. And while my anxiety was still high, I felt confident I’d have no regrets.
As I saw the first clump of hair fall on my lap, I closed my eyes and surrendered my attachment to my hair. What I didn’t know then was that, I’d end up having to do this over and over again.
I LOVED MY CUT! It’s cute and sassy!
My entire drive home (almost two hours), I kept pulling my mirror down to look at my hair. I oscillated between loving it to wondering if I’d made a mistake. I did, in fact, LOVE the cut but I couldn’t settle on whether I liked it on ME. I wasn’t used to seeing that much of my face (sounds weird- I know!). I struggled to feel like I looked feminine. And the fact that I don’t wear earrings due to a nickel allergy wasn’t helping.
So many insecurities surfaced…QUICK!
I rocked my straight hair for four days (two of them- I wore a hat) then tried my hand at a wash-n-go on the fifth day. The result of my wash-n-go required yet a WHOLE new level of acceptance. Not only was I having to surrender my attachment to long hair over and over again but now, I was also having to surrender my attachment to straight hair.
Who knew these things were so deeply ingrained in my perception of beauty?
I sure didn’t! Here I was thinking my confidence was intact. And really, it was more or less being held together by my submission to society’s acclaimed symbols of beauty…LONG and STRAIGHT hair.
I forced myself to continue wearing my hair in its natural state even though I wasn’t comfortable with the way I looked. Once again, I was really struggling to feel like I looked pretty and feminine. I wished I could disappear until my hair grew back. AND THEN…I woke up Monday morning and looked in the mirror and everything was different. I fell in LOVE with my cut all over again, and now I also LOVED how it looked on me. I picked out an outfit that made me feel sexy and you COULDN’T tell me NOTHIN! I still had several moments where I pulled my mirror down to look at my hair but this time I smiled each time.
It’s interesting how many compliments I’ve received since cutting my hair and yet none of them truly mattered until I was able to look in the mirror and like what I saw. I’m only a week into the Big Chop so I imagine I will go through many more iterations of re-evaluating my own perception of beauty and embracing my hair at each stage. For now though, I’m SUPER proud of myself and I’m enjoying the process of getting to know my hair in a different way.
Salon: J.Onye Beauty Cafe
Location: Union, New Jersey