Cosmo’s “big chopping” adventure

I always get the desire for change as it gets closer to my birthday. This year change was enacted on my hair. I had been wearing my hair perm free for about a year and a half after I had this epiphany that there was really no point to it for me: 1. I was only getting perms about every 3 to 6 months and then 2. It really didn’t make my hair that much straighter than I could get it (or my hairstylist) with a flat iron. When I asked my mom why she gave me one in the first place she told me it lessened the thickness of my hair and made it more manageable.

I definitely can see that as my hair is quite thick…lol But I decided why spend the extra money on a perm if I really don’t need it? And so I stopped. I continued to flat iron and no one knew the difference. But then I started to get tired of the hassle of flat ironing and starting experimenting with twist outs and braid outs. I couldn’t do a wash and go yet, because my hair had two textures going on. So I kept on with the braid out, twist out and flat ironing until I just got tired. I made up my mind to cut it off and hopefully have one texture.

But it still took me time to do it. It is always hard to hear your inner voice when you have people telling you that you are crazy to cut your hair or encouraging you because it apparently is the right thing to do. Honestly, the naturalistas can be quite crazy in their hair nazism, but so can chemically treated ones. I think it is important for everyone to have the right to decide what to do with their OWN hair. And once they make that decision, they should not try to force their opinions about the “right way” to wear your hair unless it is asked.

Anyway, I am done venting. The bottom line is that I chopped my hair off because I am lazy(exercise 5X a week and crazy school life will do that to you) and more importantly wanted to see my curls.  The glorious curls that started to develop in the lower part of my head. I wanted to see them everywhere. So for my upcoming 32nd birthday, I decided to make the decision to let  my curls be free and hopefully low maintenance for the time being.

Although, it was a little traumatic–I hadn’t had my hair this short since I was in high school and before that, as an infant. So I mourned the length, not the straightness.

Here’s me in the chair about to have it chopped:

Choppy chop time!

I felt very seventies walking around with my afro. I hadn’t had one since infantdom…lol

And finally, today’s curly look:)

Close up of my curls:)

I am looking forward to this journey and seeing what type of curls come out of my head. Thus far, I am loving the short time it takes to do it! We’ll see if that changes once it starts to grow…lol

Join me on my curly journey. I will probably post a pic of my head once a month so you can see the curly progress.

So to all of my naturalista and curly head friends, what inspired you to cut your hair or leave it curly? To my buds who rock chemicals, what inspires you to do so? Either way, tell me what you love about your hair?

This entry was posted in being present, do it yourself, empowerment, happiness, health, journey and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Cosmo’s “big chopping” adventure

  1. Michelle says:


    I’ve BC’d twice. The first time I transitioned for about 3 months and BC’d. The desire to embrace my hair and see what it would do outweighed my comfort with long hair. After three years, I relaxed it. Poor hair care practices left me frustrated and constantly cutting raggedy ends.

    2 years ago I BC’d again. This time after only 1 month post-retouch. For me, a long transition didn’t make sense. I wanted to see my hair and be completely natural. Plus, it’s pretty great to have that period of time when “doing hair” is virtually non-existent because there is so little of it.

  2. Tracey Jeanbaptiste says:

    Awesome Shanta! Enjoy your journey!

  3. Kyle says:

    Not that you need my cosigning, but I’m a huge fan of the look. Do your thing and do it proudly!

  4. Ivy says:

    I got a bad relaxer from a Dominican hair salon and the left side of my “kitchen” fell out. I’d been doing really well taking care of my hair too so that was super annoying. I knew a couple of girls at Yale who were natural and I’d been curious so I just stopped relaxing it and cut it off after 7 months. It was so crazy having such short hair and not having anything to frame my face but it was a good process in terms of embracing my looks and not feeling crazy two weeks after the relaxer when my roots started to grow in.

  5. rashayla says:

    Hey Soror, My 1st big chop came to be in my bathroom at 14 years old, to my family’s chagrin. What inspired me to cut off all my hair was the book “Raisin in the Sun” and an intense fandom that made me want hair like Lauryn Hill, ha. At first, everyone mourned, but the next week my mother chopped off all her hair, and eventually my sisters and my best friends went natural. It taught me a valuable lesson: do what makes YOU happy; people will fall in line if you wear it with confidence. Making the decision to chop off processed hair while transitioning takes guts, so I salute you! Feel free to hit me up if you have questions.

    • brandnewphd says:

      Thank you!!! And thank you for sharing your story. What would you say your favorite product(s) is(are)?

      • rashayla says:

        Of course, you’re welcome. I keep my products pretty simple, even when my hair is long. I rely heavily on Shea Moisture’s shampoo and conditioner and, for styling, Kinky Curly’s Knot Today or a big ol’ jar of clear gel (really I get the cheapest or whatever’s on sale). I also keep a bottle of olive oil nearby and sometimes use shea butter (lightly!) for braids or twists. Most important are my super wide tooth comb and large paddle brush. Couldn’t live without them.

  6. Priscilla Cole says:

    This from your Aunt Priscilla for years my hairdresser told me that I didn’t need a perm, my hair is naturally that God I got that from Nana and grandma Bert. I have been wearing my hair natural for about 2 years now and I love it. I keep it short because that is who I am. Enjoy your new adventure and my advise to you is cut it shorter. Hair is hair and that is all it is. As you know I work with cancer patients that are so uptight when they lose their hair. Again my respones to them it’s just hair, We as afro american women should embace what God has made us to be, and that is strong and proud of our hair without chemicals that say we should look a certain way. Love you Shanta!!!!!!!

  7. cindylumpkin says:

    Looking forward to your hair journey. I have been perm free for about 3 years. I stopped because my hair was just over processed and coming out. I didn’t think I could go natural and still manage my hair. I flat iron it; however, now I am getting tired of that process to. I am not able to get it done as often as I like and have a hard time doing it myself. I would love to try a more natural look; however, my hair texture is very difficult to manage and I haven’t gotten enough courage to do the natural look yet. You just might inspire me. Do you!

    • brandnewphd says:

      Thanks Cindy! It took me about 6 months to commit, but once I started wearing bread outs, I started to get accustomed to my hair being curly. Currently I love it fuller than straighter and I love my new curls! But it is comforting to know I can flat iron it:) You will do it on or own time or not. The lovely thing is that it is your choice!

  8. Te says:

    Love the new look! You look great. I did my big chop in 2010 and my favorite part is not having to run to the salon and sit 2 hours to get a nice style. I have, however, accumulated way too many hair products to keep my hair mouisturized.

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