In my family there were nearly a handful of sayings we lived by when it came to our hair. These words were passed down to me by my mother, to her by her own mother, my grandmother by my great-grandmother, and lived-on through aunts, cousins, and neighbors. When I began to play around with the length and color of my hair when I was 17, I began to push these truths that were so valuable between us. I don’t regret any of it, but now that I have a daughter with evolving hair of her very own, and sit square in my thirties, I see what they meant when they said that thing they said.
“Don’t let an angry hairstylist do your hair.”
“Don’t let a pregnant person do your hair.”
“Don’t wash your hair when you’re bleeding.”
“Don’t cut your hair when you’re mad.”
“Spirits, people, and memories, cling to your hair, so cut it when you let go.”
I thought about all of these words as my friend Rubi chopped layers of my fro off inch by inch one Monday afternoon. I felt nothing. The kind of nothing that told my soul I was beyond ready. The kind of nothing that was not only ready for repair, but more importantly, the restoration that happens within oneself after hair is shed so freely.
There’s a lot of catching up to do, but let’s start here at this 10 year anniversary big chop, shall we?
Photos by Kelsey Cherry for LaTonya Yvette