I Am Not My Hair

In 2006, India.Arie released a song titled, “I Am Not My Hair.”  The purpose of the song is to remind people that the person is defined by what is inside, not by the external.  Contrary to how many use the song, it isn’t an anthem to run away from pressing, relaxing, or otherwise chemically altering your hair.  It is, however, a song to say, “Be you, be free to be you, in whatever form you choose.”

Oh no, not another natural hair blogger.  NOPE.  Not I.  Remember, Better Part of Me is about my ongoing journey to find the best of who God created me to be.  And today, that topic is hair :-).

I love my hair long.  I’ve cut my hair three times in life. The first time, I was in high school when my hair stylist thought I pointed to a different photo and cut my hair into a short bob (let’s not discuss that in detail, okay?).  The second time, I was in college, and had spent my freshman year looking for a hair stylist.  You’d think that would be easy in Atlanta, but alas, it wasn’t, and hair suffered the consequences. While it appeared that I had a lot of length, the crown of my head was no longer than 2 inches.  Shoulder plus length in the back, and 2 inches in the center.  Really though?  The last time I cut my hair was about 4 years ago.  I wanted to do something different, so I cut it short.  And it was cute, but I really hate having to work to do my hair, so it quickly became annoying.

Earlier this year, I decided to go quasi-natural.  For those that don’t know, “going natural” means you stop using chemical products (like relaxers that make my hair go from tight coily curls to bone straight) and just let your hair grow in its natural state.  I said quasi-natural because I’ve seen my hair texture and I’m not fully ready to embrace it, so I wanted a little something in it to help the curls out some.  I put a weave in my hair briefly (*gasp*, I know a bunch of you who know me are like, whaaaaat???), then, when it was time to take it out, I decided, I want to cut my hair.  All of it.  Off.

My hair stylist didn’t believe me.  I never want to cut my hair. And yet, I was ready to cut it all off. So I did.  And I learned something about myself in the process.

I’ve lived most of my 34+ years of life with long hair.  There’s an attitude, sometimes diva-like, that comes along with that long flowy hair.  There’s a confidence.  At least, I thought it came from the long flowy hair. Then I did a photo shoot this weekend and realized the attitude, the confidence, it came from within.  I forget I don’t have long hair, but I toss my head around and back as if I do.  I feel more empowered, more confident, and more sure of myself than I ever have.  Nope, it’s not the haircut.  The haircut became an outward expression of who I am on the inside.  Defined by who God says I am, and that’s all.  And that makes me happy, confident, and empowered.

Whoever you are, embrace it.  Embrace it wholeheartedly; living your BEST life, being your BEST self, and letting the world see you, in all of your beautiful glory!

Photo taken by Pete Taylor of PTaylor Images (www.ptaylorimages.com) (c) 2012