After 10+ years of wearing braids, getting my hair relaxed and various hair adventures, I finally cut my “long” hair off. All of this is part of my new life starting at 30.
The process didn’t really happen all that once. It started about 8 months ago when I decided to get my ends clipped. The last time i got my ends clipped was about 2 years before when I was in America. I didn’t know where I would get my ends clipped here in Germany. I am sure i could have found someone, there are now two African shops in Opladen but we decided to just go to a salon in the Mall. I am not mad at the lady, she just tried her best. other women didn’t want to even attempt to do it because they didn’t’ want to mess up. None had dealt with hair like mine. When the girl was finished she cut what seemed like about 5 or 6 inches off my hair. I think the decision was made then.
The next step was when the opportunity to go back home and visit my family came to fruition. I had promised my niece and nephew when they were 3 and 4, that they could cut my hair. I was like yes, they can do it. I don’t think i was quite ready because it seemed like we ran out of time; I think of course we could have made time. My whole trip to America, though felt like there was never enough time. Before I left though, my brother Jaime cut my hair, but only cut the sides and the back and left the top. I was going to wear it like that for awhile and i did until 8/13/2016 at midday. No tears, I just think i was ready to let it go
For years, my mom asked me when I was going to cut my hair, and tell me how handsome I would be. I would always tell her and others, I like my hair. My hair for years, was a way of defiance. Other than moving here, it seemed that I always had gone down a path that others had chosen to me. It was me and my hair. That was a way to show defiance.
I always told others that through my hair was my strength, like Samson in the bible. A gist of the story from how i heard it in a sermon was that Samson had super human strength and Delilah was trying to trick him into giving away his secret in order to give the information to the enemies. Eventually, he gave in, probably because of love. He ended up losing all of his strength and was beat and blinded. So for others was “If I cut my hair, then I would become weak and lose focus. If you say something often enough, you will start to believe it. I really felt that my hair was part of my identity.
The reasons why I cut my hair:
I was spending more money on my hair and hair products than my wife. I would like to say i spent more time, but that isn’t true. Once my hair was braided, i kept it up for 2 weeks. Still though, I have bought beads to wear in my braids, hair bands, combs, picks, hair lotion and other conditioning products. having short hair versus long hair, means I can wake up in the morning and just go. of course I will brush my hair, but that will not take long, I can do that while walking or on the train.
After 10 years, and getting close to 30 years, it just felt like it was time. I tell people that I was getting too “old” and it was time for changes. I shouldn’t have said that. People take it wrong. When i say i am too old and someone is actually older than me with long hair or with tattoos, they take it as literally an age thing. What I mean is that sometimes I am in need of something different. Sometimes I don’t want to wake up and have to comb my hair or have to sit and feel the pain of getting braids. At one time, i was completely used to getting braids but lately each twist seems to hurt.
I was afraid my hair was going to fall out: One of the biggest fears many men have is the fear of their hair falling out. George Constanza from Seinfeld worried about this. Many parts of the series was based on his thinning hair. Rogaine and other hair is, I am sure, is a billion dollar company. The advertising works at causing fear. non life threatening fear, but one that works. Also from the pulling and pulling from having tight braids did seem to have an effect on my hair line. I worried too much about my hairline constantly. While I admit some men can pull it off. Jason Stadthman can have the balding head look and pull it off, while the Georges in the world can’t pull it off. Maybe it is a confidence thing. Being in great shape and having model looks help. Other men though, like Dwayne Johnson, just shaves his head completely bald, that is probably the route I will take when my hair does fall out. For right now, My once thought fading hair line is good.
I will miss my hair, and I have ideas about growing it back out, but I do like that i am making changes, every time I look in the mirror i see a different person. A person that is forced to see that the changes have begun. No point in turning back, it would take a while for my hair to grow back.
Gone are the days of sitting in the salon getting my hair braided, chatting with the ladies that gossip versus the men that gossip. All about the same thing. I will miss my hair, the different ways i could express myself. Those days are gone