- Why I Shaved My Head During the Pandemic
Over the course of my life, I have had a pretty complicated relationship with my hair. I used relaxers and heat to straighten my naturally curly hair from early childhood until age eleven. At eleven years old I started my natural hair journey. This journey was not an easy one and started with a conflict between my mother and I. I wanted to do what is known as the “big chop” but my mother was firmly against it. The big chop is a term used to describe when a person who has chemically processed hair cuts all of their hair off in order for their natural hair to grow out. I had quite a lot of hair as a child and my mother refused to let me cut away my permed hair. My mother was worried about me being mistaken as a boy and even forced me to wear earrings for a few years after I fully transitioned to going natural. For the time being. I grew out my permed ends and eventually cut them off to become a fully fledged natural.
I had been toying with the idea of cutting my hair short again for some time now. I had a short “do” for a good portion of my high school experience and grew to enjoy the convenience of not having to style my hair everyday, but decided to grow my hair out once I entered college. Unfortunately, I have not been taking very good care of my hair since I have entered college. I grew lax in making sure I was using the right products, oils, and deep conditioners. I started using cheaper products since my mother was no longer funding my hair care needs. By the time spring break 2020 rolled around, my hair was in crisis: I had thin strands, breakage, split ends, incomplete split ends, and a whole lot of single strand knots. Knowing this, I planned to make an appointment with my hairdresser but got swept up in my job working at a daycare, trying to meet up with friends, and planning my travel plans to return to campus. Fast forward to May 2020: masks have become the new normal, there’s no Lysol ANYWHERE, and everyone is more or less confined to their homes. In addition to that, hair salons are not exactly safe havens during this global pandemic, leaving me to fend for myself battling my kinky 4c hair by myself. And let me just say I was not winning the battle.
On May 9, 2020 I ordered a pair of clippers and decided that the damaged hair had to go. On May 17 my mother and I, with the assistance of a trusty pair of rechargeable clippers, managed to shave my head. After the haircut, I felt somewhat conflicted about my decision. Being able to achieve length with hair as tightly curled as mine is usually quite a feat and now all of that hair lies in the bottom of my bathroom’s wastebasket. Had I made the right choice by shaving my head once again? I sat with this question for a few hours and concluded that I had made the right decision. With a deadly virus running rampant it was going to be a while before I felt comfortable walking into a hair salon. I knew if I were to truly get the health of my hair back on track that shaving my head was the right decision. With hair, friendships, and so much more, it is imperative to not sacrifice health for the sake of length. With a new, shorter cut, I plan to embark on a journey to finally repair the damage I’ve done to my hair.