By Erickka Sy Savané
It was supposed to be a quick trim before an event. My husband had been cutting my hair for the past few years and was largely responsible for my hard fought independence from hair. Obviously, I still had hair, but I’m talking about my freedom from twisting, curling, ironing, and curl defining. I’d finally embraced a pick out, which I love for its easy manageability. Pick, pat and go. Some days I don’t even do that, I just wake up, mold it around with my hands, and I’m out. That said, I was now suddenly thrust back into the lion’s den when my hubby/barber accidentally cut a plug out of my hair.
“Oh sh*t,” he said, as the clippers grazed my neck so close I thought I saw blood. “I forgot to put the guide on.”
Oh shit, times 100. I thought. I have two choices. Grab him by the neck and end it all right here, or take a deep breath. I chose the later, and walked to the bathroom mirror to take a look.
Okay. It was bad. As bad as I thought, minus the blood. Now what?
I’m taken back to my past relationship with hair. The way I always prided myself on it being perfect. How I wouldn’t go on the front porch to check the mail until every strand was in place. How I wouldn’t trust anyone in my hair, including my mother, once I was old enough to do it myself. How I would beat it into submission with chemicals, heat, bleach, whatever I could use to make it do what I needed it to do. It took years, and everything shy of professional help, to get me to this place where hair isn’t the center of my life.
But at the same time though, I love the shit out of my haircuts! My husband and I have fun. He’s not a professional barber, and has never cut anybody’s hair outside of mine, but he always comes up with the goods. It’s because of him that I cut my hair like this in the first place (he was tired of seeing me spend every waking moment of my time on hair), and it’s because of these cuts that I’ve learned that it’s just hair. If he goes in a little too deep around the ear one day, no problem, it grows back in a few days. Granted, a little extra snips around the ear is nothing compared to this deep gash, but how do you know where you are if not for a situation like this?
“Just do whatever you need to do,” I say to my husband, drowning out his apologies.
When he finishes cutting, I feel the breeze on the back of my neck and check it out in the mirror. l don’t recognize the woman staring back at me. She looks badasssss. Honestly, I’m happy to know that I can still look edgy. You start popping out a few kids, flip-flopping on your weight, catching a few grey strands and start to wonder if edge is just that thing you stay away from at the Grand Canyon.
With little time to waste, I slap some oil on my scalp, get dressed, and head to my event.
Looking back, I can honestly say that this hair mishap was the best thing to ever happen to me because I had fun. More fun than I’ve ever had with a cut. It was bold, courageous for the Winter time, and it taught me not to take things so seriously. I now understand why women who have shaved their heads say that every woman should try it at least once. Imagine all the free time. Who knows, if my hubby forgets to put the guide on the clippers again I will try that next…