The very first time I went natural I was in graduate school (circa 2008). I was in Peoria, Illinois where I didn’t know very many people–completely separated from friends and family and every considerable connection I had ever known. So in a heated argument with my hair, I finally decided to quit. I quit my hair. I stormed out of the bathroom to my boyfriend at the time (now my husband), and told him to shave it all off.
“What?” he said in certain uncertainty.
“I’m sick of it. Cut it off.”
To this day I am still amazed that he (and I) followed through. But we did. That was my first big chop. When I returned to school that next week, one of my Black professors was impressed with what she was convinced was an act of connectedness to my culture. I say one of like she wasn’t the only Black professor. At any rate, she admired my courage to cut my hair and immerse myself into the Harlem Renaissance, and I never had the guts to tell her that my Big Chop had nothing to do with the African American literature we were studying that semester.
Over the course of the last ten years, I’ve struggled with my hair going back and forth between short and long, relaxed and natural, and colored and non-colored. It has been a journey to say the least.
And here I am again. Right back where I started in 2008, give or take a few inches and lots of color. This time, I am excited to share this journey with the world. Let’s see how long it lasts.