The last shot of 2015; me with long hair. (*and with apologies to The Zombies…)
I’ve been contemplating doing a hair post for some time, as I’ve been getting a lot of questions and compliments over the past year about my waist-long locks – mainly about maintenance (do them myself), and how long I’ve had them (just over six years), or what I put in them (nothing). As my hair grew longer, the response was almost exclusively enthusiastic, while my own feelings about it were increasingly less-than.
And so, on Tuesday night, while I sat in front of my laptop, dreading (ha) the idea of washing 19 inches of locks (and spending the next 19 hours indoors as they dried), I decided that I’d simply had enough; I grabbed a pair of scissors and headed to the bathroom. I stood in front of the mirror, examining my hair and scalp beneath each lock, and asked myself if I really wanted to –
Snip! I hacked one off before I gave into second thoughts.
After that first one, the rest of them were easy-peasy. Just snip, snip, snip…One by one they fell, 68 more times the scissors sang.
And then there were none.
To say I didn’t worry about what I’d just gone and done would be a lie, but as I got re-acquainted with my face, I was surprised by how my features had taken a backseat to my hair over the years. Any feelings of doubt quickly passed as I remembered how much I liked my eyes, and I realized, hey, I kinda like my cheekbones. I was never one with perfect skin, but I’ve been working hard at keeping it as free and clear as possible, and having short no hair is an incentive to keep up the effort.
feeling a little lighter…
I gathered my hair into a bundle, and examined it. Six years of my life culminated into 69 rope-like strands. A move to Montreal, countless trips back and forth to Toronto. Three full-time jobs. Two trips to Jamaica. Two nervous breakdowns. Three major relationships and a few interesting flings. The death of a relative. A wedding. Seven (eight? ten?) hospitalizations. A baby. My daughter.
Aisha woke up just after I’d finished showering to rid myself of the hair clippings. She popped up like a little gopher at the sound of the door opening. Blinking in the dim light, she looked at me for a few seconds, then giggled.
“Hi, Baba,” I whispered.
I scooped her up and sat with her on the edge of the bed. She leaned away from me as if to examine my handiwork. In the time that I’ve been her mama, I’ve never known this child to cuddle with me or nestle into my neck. I just assumed that it was because she wasn’t into that sort of thing, so I just found other ways to hold her close.
Her eyes never left my face as her little hands caressed my cheeks, chin and then down my neck – something I’ve never felt her do. She reached up and patted the left side of my head, then the right, and after a moment’s silence, she gave me what I consider THE ONLY REACTION THAT MATTERS:
She popped her fingers into her mouth and shifted her position to rest her little head on my shoulder – right in the crook of my neck. I relished the sensation of her hair tickling my chin, and felt her breath, soft and warm against my neck. I sat there, rubbing her back and basking in the sweetness of the moment until she fell asleep again.
*cue sappy tears*
I’ve already been asked if I’ll grow my locks back, and the answer isn’t no, but right now I’d rather make up for all the months of missed cuddles with my girl, than have a cascading mane of locks once again.