Nappily Ever After: 9 Black Women on Their Big Chop Experience

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There is a black lady somewhere in America right now, staring during herself in a lavatory mirror, her palms sweating as she clenches a span of scissors. She binds a scissors adult to her hair as India Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair” blares by her bluetooth speakers. She’s about to make a vital decision—”Should we clout it all off?”

“Cause it was time to change my life
To turn a women that we am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlocks all gone
Looked in a counterpart for a initial time and saw that…
I am not my hair, we am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair, we am not this skin
I am a essence that lives within,” India Arie belts out via a song.

The significance of healthy hair isn’t mislaid on black women, and abandoning a altered locks (that took perpetually to grow out), a weaves and other protecting styles that have turn a partial of a identities takes a whole lot of cojones. But it’s also liberating and self-affirming; it allows us to entirely welcome and accept a authentic selves and teaches others to do a same. This tour is explored in Netflix’s newest strange film Nappily Ever After, starring Sanaa Lathan, who indeed took a thrust to do a IRL vast clout to prepared for a movie.

In Nappily Ever After, Lathan plays Violet, an concerned captious whose mania with her external coming defines her whole lifestyle, eventually pulling divided her boyfriend. After an astonishing dissection and removing kicked off a plan during her job, Violet has a relapse and goes right for a clippers. Without hesitation, she shaves her conduct bald and unexpected (well, for thespian effect—it’s a rom-com) she becomes a code new person.

Of course, not each woman’s preference to vast clout is fueled by a break-up or pursuit loss. And not each woman’s vast clout knowledge leaves them feeling giveaway and prepared to conquer a world. Ahead, 9 women share what their initial big-chop knowledge was like and how they schooled to welcome their new identity.


Marle Hylton, 23

I’ve always been healthy though when a healthy hair transformation blew up, we finally felt we had a accede to adore my eccentric hair (thanks naptural85!). we altered divided from home to investigate during an extraordinary propagandize and median by a year, we was repelled to find a dime-sized bald mark in a behind of my head. we freaked out, we cried and we called mom. we positive myself it would be fine. It wasn’t conspicuous though as a months went on, some-more and some-more began to tumble out.

So during a finish of beginner year, we big-chopped. we finished adult slicing it into a lovable slim character to censor a areas we felt uncertain about. This wasn’t a dream a healthy hair transformation sole me. It told me to take caring of my healthy curls and afterwards my hair would prerogative me with beauty and length. But it didn’t.I’ve been rocking my slim cut and braided styles given afterwards and I’m not gonna lie—I’m flattering cute. But each day is different. Some days we arise adult and adore a hair on my head, and others I’m flattering undone that this is a predestine that’s been forced on me. But even on my misfortune days—I am free. Cutting my hair forced me to comprehend that who we am isn’t tangible by governmental standards of beauty.


Nye Cardoza, 24

Do we ever feel like a universe we know is descending apart, and that all we once had a grasp on is slipping away? That is accurately how we felt during a commencement of 2018 and a usually approach we felt we could get a hold of all of a things spiraling out of control was to go full on 2007 Britney.

I had been meditative of doing a vast clout for months now, though adult until this point, we didn’t have a courage do it. But anticipating myself alone on Valentines Day and during a finish of my romantic rope, we motionless that instead of great about all a things going wrong, we would finally set myself free. So, we went to a internal beautician we had been eyeing, and asked a hair stylist to cut it all off. It was a many liberating nonetheless terrifying impulse of my life, though I’m blissful we did it. For me, a black woman, hair is a defining feature, though determining to cut it off was accurately what we indispensable to uncover me we could let go of anything.


Tamara Sarpong, 17

My vast clout was one of a many impulsive, nonetheless best decisions we have ever made. we was transitioning during a time, and we listened a gossip that trims means your hair to grow faster, so we motionless to give myself one. A disaster. we finished adult looking like one of those Troll dolls. My father was mortified, and my mom started to giggle hysterically. She immediately designed for me to get a haircut a subsequent day. So we went to a salon, and all of my loose hair was cut off within minutes.

I was nervous, as we always had hair during slightest to my shoulders, and we was fearful we would demeanour boyish. However, it was positively liberating, we was repelled nonetheless vacant that we indeed went by with it and everybody was repelled as well. Some favourite it, others called me a boy. I’m not gonna distortion and contend that we didn’t have any insecurities when we had this haircut, generally given we was 13 and my courage was intensely fragile. However, we wouldn’t change anything about my hair journey. we even went on to cut it into slim cut. My hair has turn a partial of me, and we adore each singular strand.

I would inspire anyone, quite a black woman, to cruise chopping off her hair to mangle giveaway from a subjugation that we’ve authorised to foreordain a worth.


Chaia Raibon, 30

For black women, beauty is an romantic trip. We are taught how to contend and contend a hair with monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly appointments. Hair upkeep is a pointer of class, hygiene, and beauty. My initial relaxer was around a age of 8 and my final was during 19. we have always had thick, full hair and never suppose slicing my hair short. My insecurities with carrying a vast head, tiny ears, and tiny facilities didn’t concede me to dream past a life though my vast hair.

To safeguard we wouldn’t behind out after we motionless to chop, we personally done an appointment and a subsequent week got my hair cut alone. The liberation, a freedom, a fun we felt by saying a 6 inches of my hair on a floor. It felt like a verbatim weight carried off my shoulders. At first, we didn’t feel as appealing as we did with my prolonged afro, though it didn’t matter. we was free.


Sherly Smith, 24

A few months ago, as we finished soaking my hair, we walked past a counterpart and hardly famous myself. we satisfied that my hair had thinned, there were strings and knots, my hair was soaked in H2O though it shaped no kinks, it usually hung there lifeless, hopeless. In that moment, with no hesitation…. we did it! we grabbed a scissors and CHOPPED. A few days after we woke adult and went into full panic. we had a pursuit talk and my hair was brief and kinky—I wanted to hide. we went to squeeze my long, true wig and a middle strong, bold black lady in me stopped and said, “Enough! This is who we are and who we are is beautiful.”

I am about 2 months healthy and short. I’ve cut it twice given a clout and I’m formulation to let it grow out. I’ve recently started a doctorate module and bland we hover a elephant into category with zero though beauty and pride. It might have took me some time though we am in adore with my kinks and curls and prepared to let my hair develop a approach it’s meant to.


Tameka Abraham, 22

For many partial of my life we believed that my hair tangible my identity. we always indispensable my hair done—mostly gripping it true by a use of prosaic manacles and prohibited combs. Overtime, my hair became skinny and really feverishness damaged. There was a indicate where we didn’t even commend myself anymore. My hair was arguably something we would cruise to be one of my best features. Cutting my hair was a possibility to redefine my identity—and filter by a some-more critical facilities that we had fibbing underneath a surface. A lot of a time, us Black women feel pressured into carrying what others would cruise “good hair,” when in reality, all hair is good hair. The idea is for a hair to be healthy and strong—just like a rest of a body. we went from prosaic ironing my hair each day to flat-ironing my hair once or twice a year. My hair in a healthy curly state is an temperament that I’m unapproachable of, and a realest chronicle of me that I’ve grown to love.


Obinna Naana, 24

I big-chopped usually days after going to a H.E.R. concert. we usually did it. we theory we was feeling really desirous and empowered, generally after saying Tiara Thomas perform—who has a lovable brief cut in pink. At first, we was like WTF did we usually do? But everybody told me we had a conduct for it (LOL). I’ve painted it blonde, pink, purple, behind to dim brown. we always suspicion that if we didn’t keep some bundles in or if we didn’t have some form of length, I’d be ugly, though turns out that’s distant from a truth. we consider that’s what “they” done me consider all my life, though it’s been such a journey. I’ve schooled by usually forcing myself to be some-more vulnerable. Sure, when we get wearied (rarely), we contend “Hey, wig!” But I’m still carrying fun with it.

Black women are taught that a hair has to be “tamed” or demeanour discriminating in sequence for us to be noticed as attractive.


Brittany Jones, 23

I will never forget a day we motionless to vast chop: Oct 7, 2014. we was a sophomore in college and had been transitioning for about 6 months with a assistance of my reliable sew-ins. we had taken out an aged sew-in and started a routine of detangling my hair though fast got undone as my hair started knotting up. we now grabbed conditioner and scissors and chopped a loose ends off, with a assistance of a friend. Before that impulse we was fearful to vast clout given we feared how I’d demeanour with drastically brief hair or what my twist settlement would demeanour like. As shortly as a hair was on a building we now regretted it and literally thought, “OMG, what did we usually do?” and commissioned another stitch in that same night. After a integrate of weeks, we took my wobble out and began a tour of amatory my hair however it was meant to grow.

I feel like hair is so critical to black women given it’s one of a initial memories. We all remember carrying to get a hair combed Sunday night for school, a initial relaxer or removing a rinse and set with a ends bumped. Black women are taught that a hair has to be “tamed” or demeanour discriminating in sequence for us to be noticed as attractive. we am, however, super happy that a account of black women carrying to have long, true hair to be pleasing has altered to us embracing a kinks, coils, wigs, weaves and all in between.


Danique Green, 24

At some indicate a few summers ago, after being totally healthy given about sophomore year of high school, we motionless that not usually did we wish to get a pixie cut though we also wanted a perm for a new, sleek, irritable look. Pretty in-tune with a fact that my mind changes about as many times as my underwear, we still went for it. After a month and a half, we finished adult with box-braids. What a tangible f–k did we do? Why did we put a chemical in my hair usually to feel opposite about myself?

In that moment, we didn’t hesitate. we couldn’t! we woke up, Jackie Chan jumped out of bed, and grabbed a span of scissors. Before giving myself a possibility to breathe or consider too hard, we clipped each singular box plat from a root. we afterwards proceeded to content my then-boyfriend (now fiancée), “Baby I’m bald.” With him, we didn’t have to worry about acceptance. He took me to a barbershop that weekend and hold my palm by a chop. Now, on trend with a lapse to a healthy hair, it was a ideal time to be hairless. It done it even some-more transparent that we indispensable to welcome my hair as it grew, in a purest form.

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