Sure enough you have heard a bunch of reasons as to why many of us would never choose to do a big chop. Whomever you ask, wherever they are, it’s very likely that you will hear the same type of answers; my face is too round, head too small, I will look like a man and so forth. You can probably add a few of your own reasons to the list yourself.
Although there is little doubt that the answers are truthful, the replies are suspiciously predictable. A good reason to dig a little deeper to find out what lies beneath the surface.
Society prefers long hair
First we have to acknowledge that we live in a society where long hair is far more appreciated than short styles, no matter the texture. An overwhelming majority of beauty commercials show women with long hair. Especially straight hair is portrayed as sexy, attractive, feminine and all that is pretty about women and being a woman.
Short styles on the other hand are not as often seen in commercials and hardly portrayed as sexy or feminine. They are merely worn by women who are just courageous enough to go against the grain and do there own thing. Even though the styles are usually very pretty, the women wearing them sure need their confidence because not only can a woman with a short cut be mistaken for a man. All too often women with short hair are being labeled as mannish or even gay. These stereotypes are general. We are not even talking about Black hair yet.
No short cuts for us
Another important reason that is quite often overlooked, is the fact that there are no trends for short afro cuts for women. Although we have a thriving growing natural hair industry that is very creative, we haven’t seen a variety in natural short cuts for women since the 60’s. When was the last time that you have seen a celebrity come out with a short sassy natural style that oohed us like Rihanna’s style did the relaxed haired community? Unfortunately the answer is never.
Where women with straight hair set trends for short cuts all the time, we completely lack that when it comes to African hair. In our community we women trail men’s styles when it comes to short naturals and that is unfortunate.
Prejudice and fear of the unknown
Maybe the most important reason why we fear a short natural is fear of the unknown. In our culture we often get a first perm as girls in our teenage years. By the time we think about going natural we are usually so alienated from our stigmatized coils that we hardly know what our real texture looks like. Trying to imagine a style in a texture that you don’t know is nearly impossible but that is just half of it.
When you take into account all the persistent negative notions about natural hair, the idea of a short natural can become quite scary. Not only don’t you know how to deal with your texture, you don’t know what it will look like and even if you imagine a great style, it is very likely that you will be stereotyped. Our community can be very unsupportive not to say rude when it comes to hair, especially short natural hair.
Face your fears
It is clear that cutting your hair low requires quite a lot of courage. Not only do you need a portion of boldness to withstand prejudice from the world around you. Maybe even harder is the fact that you will have to face up to your own deeply rooted emotions and notions about natural hair. This is no easy task as these beliefs were instilled in us since we were very young.
As scary as it may seem, the experience of a short cut can be a transforming and even spiritual one if you are willing to face and even more important reconcile with your fears. As a famous quote says “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.” More than a transition you will go through a transformation. By the time you’ve reconciled with your old thoughts your hair will be longer, you’ll experience a new kind of freedom and wonder what you were afraid off.
Opportunity for change
If you decide to go for the big chop you should also know that not only can you do it in style, you can be a natural trendsetter. Since we lack natural trendsetters, you have the opportunity to become one on your way to embracing your nappiness.
Natural hair is versatile at almost any length and the opportunities are endless. Even if our hair is very short we can wear coils for a change and for unlimited styling options we only need is three inches of hair. So, in case you need a little encouragement or just examples of natural styles to inspire you, take a look at our slide show of short naturals. We put it together to show you only a few options. Hopefully it inspires you to use your imagination and do you however long or short your hair may be.