Sep 30, 2013

Amber's Hair Diary: Why I choose to rock my hair short.

September 2013

Here’s where I stand on hair length and our obsession with longer strands in the natural hair community.  As I see natural hair becoming more prevalent in the public, I also see more natural hair companies, online personalities, others praising long natural hair while at time placing a negative connotation on short hair. As if to say that the TWA stage is the worst of them all! This, rubs me the wrong way.

I won’t get to preachy or pull out my soap box for too long, but let’s just think about the struggle that persons of color have gone through for a lifetimes. Whether those struggles have been external or internal, it hasn’t been easy. Yet and still we go from one extreme to the other.  Light over dark skin, good hair over bad hair, straight hair over curly, and now we have just taken it into long natural hair over short natural hair.

I’ve been on both ends. I’ve had long natural hair and short.  But my preference for my entire life has been for the short. I can remember getting my first monica circa “it’s just one of them days” hair cuts in 6th grade and loving it. Over the last 7 years I would say I’ve had two major freak-outs over heat damage caused by someone else. I literally threw myself into tantrums and walked around for weeks with frowny face and limp hair all because I refused to cut it off. 

Longer hair, 2011
After my last tantrum, about 3 years ago, I was at shoulder length hair. I went in for $40 press and curl (which I should have known was too good to be true). When I went to wash a couple of weeks later, my curl pattern was nonexistent.  After the crying session and the “oh woe is me” dramatics, I attempted every trick in the book to get the curls to return with no luck. Finally, I cut it off.

Earlier this year I made a conscious decision to cut it off - this time I had no damage. It boiled down to the simple fact that I am not longer interested in keeping up with traditions that were never really mine in the first place. Africans started straightening their hair to be like their European counterparts. Long hair in Africa and even today is not feasible it’s too hot; Hair was short because it was logical.  With my current schedule I don't have the time for long hair. 

Even as women that talk to me about my hair, they always say I’m “the kind of person who can pull short hair off.” “ I make it look feminine.”  Feminine is a state of mind and my short hair can be just as feminine as anyone’s waist length locks. Short hair does require you taking face shape into account but I’ve never come across any face that cant rock short hair, the cut just has to be right for you.

I need to know that I can and do love me in my rawest and most pure form. I’m not interested in being like some celebrities who show their natural hair briefly and then puts it back in hiding, because all that says to me, no matter how you may justify it is that there is a lack of love for self.

April 2012
Some women who have been natural forever have made a choice to rock short cropped cuts permanently.  If you found out today that your hair would never grow past chin length would you still be willing to embrace the natural movement or would you high tail it back to your weaves and wigs? Natural hair is about healthy hair, it has nothing to do with length.  Food for thought.  

P.S. In my next hair diary Ill tackle my next reason for loving short hair - haircolor!
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