Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Choppa Style: My Hair Story (Pt 2)

Happy hump day, good people.

So yesterday, I talked a little bit about my big chop, and today I'm back with part 2, reminiscing about my past hairstyles.

I'm still loving my new haircut.  Just like in my last post, I'm still grooving to "Choppa Style" in celebration of my big chop!

I told a few of my friends that this cut takes me back to 1999 when I was a recent transplant to the DC area.  I had worn my hair short for years. I cut it off during my freshman year in college.

College TJ
The pic above is what I looked like when I moved to the DC area. Sometimes the bangs were shorter; other times they were longer, but for the most part, I wore it short. One night I decided to shampoo while exhausted. Well, I didn't quite get around to wrapping, getting under the dryer, curling, styling, etc. My then-relaxed hair sorta curled up post-shampoo. Bam! I had a new curly style. I just decided to keep going with this look, and I didn't look back.

Looking back on my story, I guess I went natural on accident. Most of my family didn't get it. My boyfriend at the moment was mortified.  He took me home to meet his folks, and they weren't the kindest. Upon reflection, I laugh at how women with hard, outdated, colored fingerwaves found room to judge. Ha!

I didn't cut my relaxer off right away back then, so I had some straight ends with all the curls living below. Then I started coloring. Pics of my orangey-brown hair should probably stay hidden, but I pulled one out just for y'all. Keep in mind I went natural before natural hair blogs, meetups, YouTube channels, etc., so I just did what I thought was best.

I eventually found my way, and my styles got cuter and my hair got healthier. I grew out that orangey-brown.
Um. . . what was I doing? 
I then started wearing my infamous afro puff.
At my cousin's wedding, 2006
Another cousin's wedding, 2008
Houston, 2009
I was queen of the afro puff, like the one pictured above. My husband (boyfriend at the time) affectionately called it "Poofy."
Hubby (then boyfriend) and poofy at a De La Soul concert
I'd even press it from time to time.
Poofy pressed out for my students' prom
All pressed out on one of our early dates. 
Finally one day in 2009, I decided that it was time for change. Against pretty much everyone's opinions, especially my mama's, I decided to lock my hair. It was a little tough in the beginning, but I grew to love them.

This was the first day I had them done. This was a WTF moment.
I initially pinned them into updos.

I strategically started them in the fall so that I could wear hats - and boy did I wear lots of them!
Headed to class
NYC, winter 2009
Then I learned to style them.
Headed to a lunch date
Easter 2010
Eventually, my elder family members became fans of my locs. They grew, and grew, and grew.  I curled them, and styled them. Y'all have seen plenty of pics of my locs. Just look around the blog. Wore them in lots of top knots, buns, and crimps, and then
I got tired of them. 
I began to grow tired of them after the wedding.  They were taking hours to twist. My arms were sore.  I knew I wanted a change, but I wasn't sure where to go next. I watched videos of people picking out their locs and ending up with big bushes of beautiful hair, but I decided I wanted to go back to the beginning. I knew it was time for a big chop!

So, after only telling my husband, sister, and my bestie, I got up Friday morning and went to a hair stylist. I visited Indigenous Beauty Salon Concepts in Woodbridge, VA.

Hubs' opinion on my big chop as we both headed out of the door that morning:

On a serious note, my husband was supportive.  As a matter of fact, he encouraged the big chop.  I chuckle when people ask things like, "He let you cut your hair?" Girl, bye! Thank goodness for a loving husband who just watches me dance to the beat of my own drum.

With my hubby's love and support, I made my way to Woodbridge.  When I first got there, I was certain about cutting my hair, but still a bit anxious.

Checking out my length in the mirror behind me right before the big chop started.  
The "Oh sh!t. I'm really doing this!!!" face. 
Jackie, the stylist was great. She was a bit quiet at first, but then she opened up and told me that she'd recently cut her locs. We talked about what our hair meant to us. I only saved about 5 locs. I was ready to release them. They had served me well, and their work was done.  Jackie started clipping without warning. She was a little uncomfortable with me recording or taking pics, so just know that I was calm, but a little chatty. She was laughing at my deep breaths.

Right after the cut, I was a little uneasy.  I'm glad I didn't have an accident from staring at my TWA (teeny weeny afro) in the rearview mirror.  After a quick trip to Target for some styling products, taking a shower, and running a little gel through my hair and styling it, and I was in love! I think this TWA is much better than the orangy-brown 1999 version. I'm enjoying TWA 2.0.

Having a freakout in Target
My hubby didn't want to see any pics.  He wanted to experience the cut in person. I went to happy hour to show my girlfriend my new 'do.  After happy hour, I went home to meet up with my hubby.  Before getting out of the car, I powdered my nose, applied a little lipstick and went inside for the verdict.  He liked it! He liked it! He was in a bit of shock, though.  It was shorter than we both had anticipated, but you know what Hubs said: "It just shows how beautiful your face is." That guy is the best!  I'm about to go smooch him! Oh yeah, Tyson approves, too!

I can't wait to see what my hair grows into. Jackie cut my hair to grow into a sorta faux hawk. Can't wait to see how it looks! I feel lighter. I feel freer. I miss my locs a little bit, but I'm ready for the next phase!

My hubby finally got around to taking some good pics with his fancy camera, so I'll leave you guys with some fun pics that Tyson and I took the other day.

Until next time . . . go cut all your hair off! LOL!


  1. I love it!! It's beautiful!!! I am such a huge fan of doing what makes you feel amazing and lovely in your skin, despite what anybody else thinks. I'm so glad you found my little internet niche and I'm glad to meet you!!

  2. Hahaha! Like I said on facebook, I LOVE IT! Work it honey!

  3. wow loved this blog post!!! I have been contemplating it for about 7 months...well about 5 hours ago I did the big cop and just 3 days before my 35th bday. This shift marks an intentional shift for my future. I feel freer-I'm still stopping by the mirrors like oh my...that's me...but I am digging it. Now, the journey begins. I am looking forward to seeing what it will look like as it grows out. let the fun begin!!!

    1. Welcome to the big chop club, girl! Thanks for stopping by my little piece of cyberspace. Yeah, my cut was about an "intentional shift" (love that!) as well.

      PS: A month later, and I'm still shocked when I see myself sometimes. I'm loving the wash & gos, though. I do it for the sistas who ain't able.

      Thanks for reading!

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