It is now over a year since you announced to the world your decision to stop relaxing your crowning glory, and got stuck right into your journey transitioning. During that time you have been inundated with questions and curiousness about your flourishing mane, which you are more than happy to answer of course, but there is just that one question that works a nerve in you;
‘What are you waiting for…why don’t you just go and chop it off?’
Let me tell you why I’m personally not too fond of this question. When I started my hair journey, my goal wasn’t solely to be natural, but first and foremost to stop using relaxers and grow healthy hair (if that makes sense). Relaxers were stirring up all kinds of havoc, and so I decided that I needed to let them go in order to relieve me of problems such as; a terribly irritated scalp and damaged hair. I was concerned with health reasons and the aesthetics of natural hair were to be a bonus. As far as I know, I have achieved that goal – a healthier head of hair and no use of a relaxer. So, why does it bother you that I haven't given my ends the final chop?
Now for me, the question above seems to devalue my achievement. It ignores the purpose of my journey and prioritises 'the' look instead of the improvement in health. It puts pressure on the person transitioning to take their journey to a place they are not yet ready to explore, and gives the impression that it’s better to hold that ‘all natural’ status. Pourquoi? Bragging rights? Maybe if I was doing this as some sort of fashion statement it would appeal to me but, the reality is; I‘m not. I am not in a hurry to claim natural status, as that is not the purpose of my journey.
It can become somewhat annoying when those around you place this kind of pressure, when the fact is; many transitioners may also use this period of time to mentally prepare themselves for cutting their hair - hence their decision to transition as opposed to taking the big chop route in the first place.
Everyone’s journey is different - such a simple concept, yet so easily forgotten. Transitioning is NOT a competition, so don’t ever feel the need to measure the length of your journey to the next person. If you are feeling the impact the pressure from others is starting to have, make yourself a list with the headings: ‘Reasons to Chop’ and ‘Reasons to Wait’ before you make any sudden moves.
After all…who wants to end up with an ‘after’ pic that features you crying a few rivers, matched with an expression that screams regret?
Have you felt pressure to chop? Do people tell you to ‘just cut it off!’?