It was the eve of my birthday and I could not rest the idea of cutting my hair. I had just cut my hair, but I didn’t care for the length at the top. Plus, I wanted to welcome my big day with an even lower cut. Given that it was Saturday evening, I knew that if my hair were to be cut, I would need to do it myself or let my husband do it.
And that I did.
We both cut my hair.
I admit that I was a tad nervous, even though it was just one section of hair that we had to cut.
And that is how I happily went from a tapered cut to a TWA (teenie weenie afro).
There is something endearing about a TWA to me.
Ten years ago, just three months before our wedding, my then-fiance and I walked into a Super Cut. With emotions resembling that of the eve of my birthday, we asked that they cut all of my relaxed ends off, which really was all of my hair, minus 2-3 inches. I had been growing out my relaxer for a few months and I grew tired of the difficulty of styling the two different textures.
Tramond was a sport about it all.
I, on the other end, was nervous about cutting my hair. I hoped that I’d like the hair underneath, but I could not be sure that I would. A few short years prior I relaxed my hair because I did not know what to do with it. I wore a ponytail every day, and I got tired of my lack of styling.
Now I was going back to that and I was uncertain. But once the hair was cut, there was no going back.
That evening, my heart raced as they cut my hair section by section. Tramond stood nearby smiling and taking pictures on the Polaroid camera we took with us (it’s hard to believe we got married before the smart phone craze).
After my cut, I stood there and looked at myself in the mirror, barely recognizing the person I saw. For the first time my hair was short, and for the first time it did not cover my face. I could see my eyes, the birthmarks on my forehead seemed more prominent, and my face seemed even more round.
I nervously left the salon to go head home. In the car, I realized that I had to go home, and there will be highly vocal relatives anticipating me. The next day I had to go to church, and then to work on Monday. This was it! There was no going back. I could not glue my hair back to my scalp. I could not wish it back.
There was a sense of unveiling to my cut. I could not hide behind my hair literally and figuratively. The only thing I could do was embrace the hair that I now had.
Once my hair was short, it also meant dealing with criticism, blatant and subtle. I had not considered that people may have such strong opinions about my hair that they would stop talking to me altogether, but it happened. It most certainly was an eye opener.
It was a new look and a new reality as well. And maybe this is the very thing that has fascinated me about cutting my hair.
It opens the door to new beginnings. It separates the those who love you from those who simply admire, or even idolize the way you look. Please do not hear me say that a person who disagrees with your hair choices must not love you. I am not making such a claim, nor do I believe that to be true.
Since that initial haircut, I’ve cut my hair back short several times for various reasons. Each time, it has been an adventure. There are always new styles and new experiences ahead. And sometimes there are frustrations and moments of wishing-my-hair-were-still-long involved.
This year it has been to spend more time in the Word of God and spend more time with my family. With a new baby, a school-age child and a husband accepting the call to ministry, practicality has been at the top of my list.
And it is a blessing that my husband and I both welcome short and long lengths.
Wear a style you love, and that allows you to live life honoring God and treasuring relationships. There is no use to cultivating a gorgeous head of hair that takes up the time we should be spending in the Word of God and in communion with others.
For the past 6 months, for me, it’s been a low cut…but just like that first Fall when I grew it back. I am now ready to begin the “growing out” process.
How do you wear your hair? Do you find yourself sticking to a particular length?