by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

Many naturals have a common goal. Besides the obvious, which is to have a healthy mane, they want length and retention. I have read so many articles about length retention. How do I get my hair to grow long? How do I keep the hair I’ve grown? SO many companies claim to have the answer in the form of a pill, a cream or oil. If you open up almost any magazine, there will be a before and an after photo of a woman suffering from alopecia who now has hair past her buttocks thanks to some miracle grow product. As a little girl, my hair was long but never quite long enough as far as I was concerned. I would tie brown ribbons on the ends so that they would blend in with my hair and give the illusion of long Rapunzel like hair. Girls were teased if they had shorter hair and compared to their male peers. No one wanted to play with the doll that was “bald headed”. Growing up with these images ingrained can be traumatizing for a little girl. So much so that as an adult, it can still creep in and eat away at your self esteem. I had a woman tell me once “Men like long hair, short hair is not sexy.” I was almost offended until I stopped and said to myself “she’s brainwashed” and dismissed the comment. The thought of having a head full of long hair and cutting it may seem unfathomable to some but to others, short hair is desired. Here are a few reasons people do the big chop post transition.

1. Necessity
If damaged ends are an issue, some find it easier to simply cut it off. Trying to repair hair that has been the victim of excessive heat and color requires a lot of time and effort. It’s almost like trying to repair a damaged relationship. Sometimes the best solution is to let go and cut your losses, literally. A fresh start at a healthy head of hair may do wonders for your mental as well.

2. Boredom
After I had my first child, I cut my longer than shoulder length hair because I wanted a new look. I was simply bored with the look. I thought I needed something to make me feel more attractive after months of waddling and feeling huge. Some people just need a change and consider cutting their hair as the first step towards renewal. I’ve heard stories of people who have grown long, beautiful locs for years and after cutting them feel a sense of release and relief. Hair for them was weighing them down mentally and physically.

3. Too Much Maintenance
I thought natural hair was supposed to represent freedom?! Well that freedom does not come without a price. More hair, more problems! (Biggie was so inspirational!) The maintenance that goes along with long tresses and retaining the length can be overwhelming for some. The tangles and knots create a lot of frustration driving some to start channeling a Brittany Spears episode. The longer your hair gets the longer tackling all of this takes. It can be very challenging on your patience. Those quick wash and goes you did while your hair was short are no more.

Don’t assume everyone who is natural desires long hair. It takes a lot of confidence to wear shorter hair because you cannot hide your face behind the hair. I wore my hair extremely short years ago and I loved it. You could always rock both like Cassie!

Would you BC again?