Let’s do a little back story before I begin. Ever since a traumatizing episode with my mother in kindergarten, I have learned to not trust her with scissors. It all began with me sitting in the living room of our apartment with my feet swinging from the chair with excitement. My mother stood behind me with scissors. I can’t remember what strange, outlandish style my naive, cookey, six year old mind had conjured up but I was excited to be getting a trim because a trim translated into my hair somehow becoming different and FABULOUS!
At that age I was pretty obsessive about tying a t-shirt around my head and imagining that the length of the t-shirt was my hair. I would flip my “hair” from shoulder to shoulder in front of the mirror and chatter away in fake Spanish (which by the way was a pretty damn good impersonation). You see, while a lot of black girls where aching to be white with blond hair and blue eyes, I was longing to be Puerto Rican with a mean “r” tongue roll!
Anywhooo, to say the least I was excited to get my hair trimmed. I remember my mother starting to cut away while being a bit shady and vague. I remember her saying “Shanti, it’s not healthy! It’s all scraggily. I am just going to trim off the bad ends”. I remember feeling my head once it was all over and having no hair to pull. I ran to the mirror. My hair was boy short. I was six years old, missing my front left tooth while my front right tooth protruded big and square and now I was bald-headed! God dammit! And to top it all off I couldn’t wear my Puerto Rican hair to school! I still carry the outrage and violation within me to this day. Whenever its brought up, my mom’s eyes soften and her shoulder’s hunch “I am sorry Shanti”.
She knew that shit was wrong.
So when she looked at my hair recently and said those words “It looks scraggily” and “Let me give it a trim”, I shuddered. The thing is is that I knew that she was right. My hair has grown outto be significantly uneven. Long and even in the front and sides while short and layered in the back. If you look at the picture, my ends are red and dry from past henna applications coupled with the summer sun. I needed a trim. I needed my mom. As I sat in the chair now a woman, my feet rooted on the ground, I allowed my mother to regain my trust. I let the hair fall where it may and she assured me it was going to be okay. “I am just cutting off the dead ends.”
I got up, looked at my haircut and felt sad for the lost ones. The front and sides were DRASTICALLY shorter. Could I still put it in a bun? Was it going to shrink even more once I wet it?!!! My hair was finally growing to be long and then I did this?
shanti’s hair blown straight, around the way curls, shanti’s hair cut
A week later and I love my hair. It is MUCH healthier and cooler in this heat. I am not mad at the cut. She did a great job actually. I really like the shape. The layers all match. Hopefully, my hair will grow out a bit more evenly after this shape has been established so that history will not have to repeat.
My advice ladies: If it ain’t healthy and happy, let it go. You will learn to love the new!