This is not going to be one of my usual posts. I want to take a step back from my usual topics and change thing up this time. I want to tell you a little about myself. Some of you that read my posts know me personally; others of you know me through Twitter; and, the rest of you don’t know me at all. What most of you don’t know is that I’ve been growing and locking my hair for the last 4 years; and, they’ve grown pretty long – down to almost the middle of my back. Before I go any further, let me give you a little bit of a back story.
I was born on a tiny Caribbean island named St. Croix. I was raised by very conservative, church-going parents and went to a private school from K through 12. This school and my parents had strict rules regarding hair styles, so I wasn’t allowed to do much with my hair. Whenever they believed it was too long, I was promptly sent to the barber.
After leaving high-school and escaping my overbearing parents, I decided to become creative with my hair. I went through hairstyles ranging from gel twists to puff balls, to cornrows. Finally, during the spring of 2007, I decided that it was time for another avenue of experimentation: Dreadlocks. See, even though my parents didn’t approve of me having anything more that an afro, they still respected the fact that I was an adult now and could do whatever I wanted. They, however, were not at all going to entertain the idea of me having dreads.
Understand that where I grew up having locks was a social stigma that identified you with a certain class of people. Although that thought has changed, my parents are old school and refuse to accept the idea that it is an acceptable hairstyle. This began the war of opinions between me and my parents. In the years following, my parents took every opportunity to convince me to cut my hair. They questioned how people would view me, arguing that it would prevent me from advancing professionally. It was futile. It’s my hair.
Last week I made the decision to cut my hair. I was meditating one day and decided that it was time for a change. It’s been 4 years. I did struggle with the decision, though. Thinking about all the time, effort and money I put into my hair, I was worried that I would miss my hair and regret cutting it. After I actually did it, the regret never came. My decision felt pretty good.
I still haven’t told my parents that I’ve cut my hair; and, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I want to hold on to the feeling that I did this for myself without them thinking that I finally caved in to their request. The adventures of my hair and I are sure to continue. I’m not sure what I’m going to do this time. I may leave it short, or I may look for another hairstyle to play around with. Either way, it’s my hair. I have the freedom to do what I want with it.
I’ve embedded a video I made a few months ago chronicling the last 4 years below. Enjoy.