Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's time to go...

I’ve come to a rather momentous decision. It’s time to shed the dreads. This will be the third time I’ve shaved them off, but this time I think it’s for good. I made an appointment with the hairstylist for Friday, so I guess I’m pretty committed to the idea.

I mentioned my intentions to Olivia because it’s not fair to spring this on her, especially because her own self-image with dreads is so grounded in both Loverman and I having dreads. The last time I cut off my locs, Olivia was four and she didn’t like it then, and my sense was she wasn’t going to be happy with this newest revelation. We talked about it last night and sure enough, she’s been trying to change my mind ever since. I’m trying to explain to her that I need to do this for me, because I feel like I need a change. For me, it’s important for Olivia to understand that one’s beauty/attractiveness emanates from within. I don’t want her buying into this Western standard of beauty crap, where all that is good and lovely begins with long, cascading hair. At this point, I think she gets it because she’s very proud of her locs and I can tell they make her feel special and unique.

I started getting a hankering for this change in the summer, but I opted to simply cut off a few inches into a cute little bob. This worked for a few weeks, but soon after this clipping, Miss Dae, who’s been grooming my locs for more than 10 years, announced she would no longer be working this side gig come the New Year. I was disappointed, but not surprised. I have a sweet set-up with Miss Dae. She comes to my house; we drink a glass of wine, chitchat, and watch Law & Order while she twists my hair. Since I’ve grown my locs, I developed a lack of tolerance for the salon experience, so Miss Dae’s declaration may have expedited my decision. I don’t see myself going to a salon for my usual loc grooming sessions. I guess I'll have to learn to handle a quick visit for a monthly shape-up.

There are a lot of things I’m looking forward to with my new natural short ‘do, the first being feeling the warm water of the shower hitting my head and running down my face and neck. I’ll enjoy sporting all my hats and funky earrings. I wear earrings every day, but my hair often covers them, so I’m looking forward to actually having them make a statement with my outfits. Next summer, I’ll enjoy jumping carefree into a pool with the kids and helping them with their backstroke, instead of worrying about how long it’s going to take my hair to dry.

I’ll miss my locs. I’m little afraid I’ll regret this decision, because I’ve often had alarming dreams of not having dreads and when I awake, I’m so relieved that my hair is still locked. I haven’t had one of these dreams in a while and I don’t know how I’ll react if after Friday, I have one, only to awake with just a short cut.

In the past week, I’ve been acutely aware of countless beautiful sisters with fabulous, striking, short naturals, some cut closer than others, but all fabulous and at this stage of my game, that’s what I’m looking for.. a little bit of FABULOUS!


Liz said...

I came to your blog via Nerd Girl. Good for you for listening to the spirit that's telling you to start over with something fresh.

I'm planning on cutting my relaxed hair off in December on my birthday. I'm really excited about it. Should be good.

Mango Mama said...

Liz, Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog and loved it. Your writing is incredible.

Is this the first time you're going natural? I'm sure you'll be fine, but I'd be interested in knowing how you feel after you cut your hair. Please stay in touch.


Anonymous said...

Cutting locks (or hair, period) is no small feat. There is just something spiritual about the process. Anyone thinking about cutting, growing, processing, unprocessing... hair should check out the anthology "Tenderheaded" by Pamela Johnson. (Full disclosure: my essay about cutting my locks is in it.)

ALSO: A shoutout to our sistagirl Kawania who is growing her hair so she can cut it and donate it to Locks of Love, the org that makes wigs for cancer patients. Love her madly for that.