It has been a week since I cut my locs. The kidney disease that I have has been in remission but the damage done to my hair was not reversible. At one point, my hair was so thin that I was considering shaving it all off and rocking a look similar to Okoye from Black Panther. My locs were literally hanging by a thread and the stylists that I see both tried to save the length but alas…snip snip.
The day I got my hair cut, my daughter, The Bee, looked at my hair and said that she liked the way it looked. She offered me some edge control to help me keep it looking slick. My partner, The Librarian, hugged me and told my how great my hair was and how I could no longer hide my face. Besides, he said, your SMILE is what people see. My sister, after some good natured ribbing (’cause that’s how we roll) told me that she was ready to chop her hair off and start over. Other reactions ranged from “welcome to short hair” to a member of the cast of the play I am in asking why did I cut my beautiful long hair.
Honestly, I thought that I was beyond the hair thing. As a child, hair was such a thing. I used to wish for long flowing soft and silky locs and with my locs I had everything I wished for. Mermaid hair that bounced as I walked, a precariously large bun that made my library kids laugh when I would stick every object imaginable in there (my record is three ink pens, two pencils, a sharpie, a crayon, a knitting needle, a Fisher Price Litter Person – the blonde lady – and two expo markers), luxurious locs that would elicit compliments from so many people that I was secretly thrilled.
A few folks have told me that “it’s just hair” and that’s just it. It’s not “just hair.” I mean it is but it isn’t. With my long hair I felt sexy, something that is not always on my list of feelings. It didn’t matter that my stomach is soft and flabby, that my arms wiggle and jiggle. I had a head of hair that cascaded down my back that I could hide behind when I was feeling less than. With this shorter do…I am lost. I feel like my hair defined a big part of me and now I don’t know who this Rachee is.
I walk past the mirror and when I catch a glimpse a myself I pause and briefly wonder, where is my hair? I find my hands drifting up to my hair and touching, grabbing, caressing. I love short do’s…on other people. Yes, hypocrite, thy name is Rachee, and need to figure a way to love it on me. It’s cooler and while a bit fuzzy, does not have the wild, unkept look that I have been rocking for a while.
So hair it goes, a new journey. Learning to love myself as I am, learning to share this new face and new hair and new looks and appreciating who Rachee is.