Bold. Risky. Spontaneous. Brand New. Crazy. These are the words your family and friends use to describe you and your drastic hair change. Whether you did the big chop, colored your hair hot pink or platinum blonde, or just shaved it all off, you’ve heard every adjective in the book. But one of the most common, much more appropriate, things you hear is, “What made you do it?” Most times your response is “I just wanted to try something new.” But just like the diversity among Black women, in all of our shades of melanin and textured locks, there lies something much deeper that makes each one of our hair changes unique.

Because of a Breakup

Six years in with your partner who once stole your heart. You two were inseparable. But with time, growth and new experiences, the love you two once shared has faded. You probably noticed this two years before you gained the courage to end it, but the thought of being alone, starting over with someone new, or just having your entire daily routine drastically change, kept you with them. But once you did decide to end it, the weight of it all lifted off of your shoulders and birthed a new journey for you to take. You move, you purge old clothes and personal items, and often you spontaneously head to the salon to color your hair a new and sometimes wild color. Your friends marvel at your bravery and call you spontaneous, but deep down it’s exactly what you needed to release the rest of the weight you carried from your previous relationship. With your new hair color you wear the changes you made proudly, and invite the growth to come.

Because of Loss

Unfortunately we have all been there; the loss of a loved one, a job, a home or a spouse that put everything in our life at that time to a standstill. What makes losing someone or something so hard is that it can happen at any moment and sometimes unexpectedly. We all go through a grieving process by trying to make peace with the loss, heal and continue to move forward. We try relieving stress by working out, starting therapy or even cutting our hair. Cutting your hair gives you the feeling like you can breathe better and think clearer, making the grieving process not as heavy. Some people may whisper or cut their eyes at you out of concern for what you may be going through, but we encourage you to find strength and peace in your new haircut. Letting go of the pain you endured means acceptance and growth, and that allows you to shine even better than before.

Because You Needed a Fresh Start

Although we hate to admit it, we’ve all held on to things. Our favorite bag with the broken strap we’ve fixed six times, our Usher Confessions CD with too many scratches to count, or the dead ends of our hair because just look at this length! Even though reminiscing on the good times makes you feel good, a fresh start makes you feel even better. It’s time to move on. For a fresh start some people throw out or donate their old clothes, quit their jobs or do a big chop. A big chop is considered one of the most drastic hairstyle changes that often has people calling you crazy, but that’s because they don’t understand growth. Choosing to live a healthier life inside and out is much more important than having long hair that’s likely heat-damaged anyway. Embrace the new chapter ahead of you with your head held high, leaving old baggage, habits and hair behind you.

The changes we face in our lives ultimately and almost always affect our hair too. The way we wear it, maintain it or change it can help shape how we tackle the changes thrown at us. No matter your reason for shaking things up with your hair, we applaud your bravery and your growth. You serve as inspirations for women to leave the people, pain or baggage they’ve carried behind and channel their inner strengths to rise above them. Keep growing and glowing!

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