Leah Hawkins’s Big Chop

Written by Leah U. Hawkins
Rebelliously Beautiful
My whole life, I’ve always felt out of place with my age group. I’ve never enjoyed the club scene, I loveeeee Golden Girls, I don’t have a tattoo (yet!)  and I’ve never had any chemicals in my hair. No perm, no rinse not even a dye. I’ve been natural since birth but for the last 6 months or so I decided to stay away from my beloved flat iron and leave my hair alone. I even cut the heat damaged ends off and “started fresh”. Recently though, I started to get really bored with my hair. I was tired of the same look. The fro, the curly fro, the twist out fro..blah blah blah. So I started thinking about cutting my hair and doing something drastic. My hair has never been long but its never been short either. I didn’t think I’d really do it. I was scared I’d look really weird on top of me having my father’s head. But 2 weeks ago, 2 days before the start of my 4th year of college, I woke up called the hair salon and did it.
Leah Before Her Big Chop
Leah Before Her Big Chop
I went into the hair salon anxious and excited and of course had to wait. Fortunately, my best friend was in for her hair appointment so I didn’t have to go through it alone. The shampoo girl washed and blow-dryed my hair which was split but was touching below my collar bone! When I got in the chair I showed my hair dresser a few ideas of what I wanted and the cutting began. That first cut was liberating. It felt good that I was making the choice to cut my hair and not cutting it because it was damaged (as it was in the past) or because I was following someone’s fad or trend. She kept cutting, and I kept getting excited. When she was done it was shooooooort and straight but I liked it! She took me to the bowl, rinsed and conditioned it, put eco-styler gel in it and defused. When I looked in the mirror at my short curls, I was HORRIFIED! My heart started racing my hands went straight in. Five minutes after looking in the mirror, I started bawling like a three year old child, with my best friend laughing the whole time. I couldn’t stop crying. I even freaked my hair dresser out and made her tear up. My hair that I’ve had my whole life was gone and it was my fault! I pulled myself together (somewhat), paid and thanked my gracious hair dresser and left. When I got outside and on the subway, I teared up some more, got some stares-( I couldn’t tell if it was admiration or because I looked miserable)- and went home. That night I left for school and stayed in my room, too afraid to show my face. I was finally getting to a point where I was comfortable and happy with myself but this had set me back.
In the last 3 years I had stopped being nervous about the first day of class. As a music major and member of the university choir I was comfortable about my “position” on campus but such was not the case for this year. I was nervous about reactions and comments and opinions. To my surprise, between facebook and face to face comments, people gave me positive feedback on my hair! Some guys said they loved my hair and some said they prefer girls with more hair, but 95% of people who knew me with and without hair love the change. I can say peoples opinions don’t count, but in a case like this when you’re not sure of yourself, it helps to have approval.

This change as helped me to embrace ME 100%, to get to know my face like never before and to be confident, or be great at faking it. This is a lesson well learned. Hair is just an accessory. It doesn’t make or break you unless you let it! It’s still a growing process, one I’m going to embrace wholeheartedly. The best compliment I’ve gotten to date is from a random man when walking with another short-haired friend. He said “I love your hair, thank you for not weaving it up, tracking it up and for wearing it natural. Short hair exudes confidence. You’re rebelliously beautiful” I smiled and hugged that man. I will continue to try and be just that.
Leah Embracing Her New Look!
 Have You Ever Had These Feelings? How Did You Overcome Them? Are We Really Not Our Hair? 

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3 thoughts on “Leah Hawkins’s Big Chop

  1. Wow, she looks BEAUTIFUL! This is a great BC story, and I have to say, I hope she goes back with being comfortable with herself, and confident, because she looks amazing both with longer and shorter hair.

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