My mother started relaxing my hair when I was around 12 or 13 — she didn’t know how to deal with my curly hair and I just continued on with that pattern until 2018 when I decided to embrace my natural, curly texture. Then in 2019, I decided to go fully grey. My roots were being overtaken by grey hairs and I didn’t like the look so I sought out a stylist that could take my box dye black hair to silver. However, things didn’t go as planned.
I found a stylist I thought I could trust, but in hindsight I think she may not have been very familiar with curly hair, unfortunately. When she attempted to lift the black box color and give me silver hair in one session, my hair ended up being extremely damaged. So damaged that when she saw the results she just chopped my hair off to about shoulder length without asking my permission. I was shocked and afterwards went to a stylist I was familiar with and then left there with even shorter hair, basically a pixie cut.
It was really tough going from my long, statement-making hair to such a cropped cut. Before the chop, people would constantly comment on my hair, but without it I felt like people didn’t see me when I walked into a space. That was one change I was grappling with and then my grey hair was another.
Before going grey I remember having a conversation with one of my coworkers and boss about grey hair as mine had begun to sprout. They encouraged me to grow it out but I was worried I’d look old, especially since my husband is a little younger than me, I definitely didn’t want to look older than I was. But, now that I’m grey I feel completely the opposite! Everyone comments on how young I look and are so complimentary. I’m a teacher and when the kids say how beautiful I look it makes me check myself and realize that ok, even with this huge change these kids still love me — it wasn’t all about my hair. I used to think that my power was tied up in my hair, just like Samson, and that it was my whole identity. But, having to let go of my cut and color made me realize that I am more than my hair.
Even the fact that I’m comfortable being interviewed and having a public Instagram page is big for me. I think cutting my hair and growing out my silver hair brought out a bravery in me that I didn’t have before. I was broken during parts of my journey, but have rebuilt into a stronger version of myself.