Lengthy lessons I learned from doing the big chop

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| February 21 2016,

02:00 am

When it comes to my hair's texture, I'm not a 4b or a 4c. I'm neither a 3a or 3b. I have an African mane with some characteristics of my grandmother's Arawak heritage. My hair doesn't curl, coil or zigzag. It defies the laws of the natural hair community, but it was the perfect formula for the long dreadlocks I had three years ago.
When I get frustrated with my loose hair, I often regret making the spontaneous big chop. However, this new hair journey has taught me more in three years than my locs did in six. Here's what I learned:

Freedom

It was a Saturday in November when all the weight of my problems fell on the salon floor. Some believe that one's hair can hold a lot of good and bad energy. I resonate with that philosophy. I had my locs during the crazy teenage years of my life. All those memories were overwhelming and it was time for a fresh start.

Vulnerability 

I went back to school the following Monday after chopping off my hair and I felt like an alien. People kept staring and asking why I would cut my beautiful hair. All of a sudden it dawned on me: Did they see Mykalee or a girl who had great hair? Either way, I felt naked internally. But it forced me to not hide behind my appearance and express myself fully.

Patience 

As someone who endured the 'awkward stage' of dreadlocks with no problem, letting my hair grow was an emotional struggle for me. At times it was too short or too long for a certain style. There were times when I wanted to cut it all over again. But, eventually, I came to appreciate the process and my successful hair milestones. It reminded me that the best changes are the ones that happen slowly.

Acceptance 

No matter how many hair blogs I read or vloggers I watch, my hair doesn't cooperate with their methods. I used to wish that my hair bounced and curled like theirs, but I grew to appreciate my thick and uncomplicated hair. It has led me to accept my body, my skills and my environment. But most importantly, acceptance has brought me to the present moment.
When I think about what I've learned, my frustrations with my hair dissolve. Who knew that a new cut could update your look as well as your perspective?

Are you considering the big chop? Did you already go through with it? If so, what was your experience?

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