By Tyra of Indigenous Curls
When I big chopped I was a few months into a new relationship. For years I rocked waist long weaves, huge fluffy wigs, or braids, while my own hair was crying out for attention. I spent months researching, and planning how I would transition, what styles I would rock, and how to maintain the new style. I was ready to make a change, but scared of the possible results. One day, I came home, frustrated with life, I sat on the edge of my bed and took out my weave. “I need a change” I kept telling myself, as I unraveled each braid. 30 minutes later the weave was gone, but I was unsatisfied.
My hair was a dry, dull mess. I took a long look in the mirror, examining every strand. I loved how my 2 inches of new growth had so much life, kink and shine. But the rest of the hair strand looked limp and lifeless. Without another thought I chopped off all my relaxed ends and hopped in the shower. There I stood, with nothing to hide behind, no weave, no makeup, just me. Minutes later my boyfriend came over…….
“Oh Shit” he howled, as his eyes connected with my new do.
“You like it?!” I asked excitedly.
“What you ‘bout to do with IT?” he asked. His face had “concern” written all over it.
“Nothing…” My heart sank. Not the answer I was looking for….“I can rock some big beautiful earrings, and headbands—” he cut me off.
“No Weave?” he asked, as he took a seat, breathing deeply. “I have to get used to IT” he said, as his eyes bounced around my hair.
My feelings were hurt. He could have lied, and left my feelings in tact. Hindsight is 20/20, today I appreciate his honesty.
We had a group outing planed the following weekend, but he canceled, citing fatigue. I had a feeling it was my new do. As weeks passed I noticed a change in our dynamic. Once extremely affectionate, he began to become distant. He used to walk with his arm around me, post BC, he would barely hold my hand in public. I began to feel as if my hair wasn’t good enough. I noticed his eyes would travel to girls who still rocked their long weaves. Occasionally he would point out hairstyles on other girls he liked. They were all flat glossy weaves.
2 months after BC I began to develop a complex between his side comments, and the surprising reaction from my mother. I felt insecure, and started regretting my decision. I purchased a (hideous) full lace wig, and hid under that for 2 weeks. My boyfriend’s response: “You look like ‘You’ again!” He was excited, and immediately offered to go out on a date. I smiled and agreed, but I was boiling inside.
Did he only like me for my unauthentic appearance? Why was he only affectionate and romantic when I had an 18 inch weave? His true roots were starting to show and I didn’t like it one bit. Needless to say, we broke up, and I was happily single!
Time passed, and I was sitting on the edge on my bed, once again, in dire need of a change. I had been rocking braids 6 months post BC. I had also started dating someone new. His hair was locked, and he fully understood the needs of natural hair. He’d seen the beauty of my coils and complimented even the most shrunken wash & go’s. His family introduced me to natural hair products.
My hair (and love life) has been thriving ever since. He finds my 4C hair sexy and I love that.
My experience with dating and big chopping may or may not be unique. What was your experience? Was it well received? Do you attract a different type of person depending on your style? Ladies Weigh in!
Tyra is the author of Indigenous Curls.