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  • Writer's pictureKeturah R

I Cut My Hair... and My Mom Hates It.

We’ve all seen it by now - the big reveal to my mother that I had cut my hair. We all saw how she stared at me wide eyed and silent. Probably a million thoughts racing through her head trying to piece together… why.

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“Your hair was so long and pretty why did you cut it?”

“It’ll take forever to grow back”

“You were prettier with long hair”

“Was it damaged?”

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But the only words that came out were a short but stern “I don’t like it.”


No surprises there.


When I cut my hair three weeks ago, I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t some life changing decision for me. My hair wasn’t damaged, I wasn’t having a Britney ’07 moment, I wasn’t chanting manifestations and mantras of starting anew. I literally just wanted to do it.


So, I got up out of my bed at 9:30pm on a Wednesday night, raced to target before they closed to buy some scissors and about 45 minutes later… I was back in front of my bathroom mirror. The camera was on and rolling, the group chat was on facetime for support and I just did it.


The only emotion I felt was fear. I was cutting with no real visual just chopping at my box braids. The only real thoughts running through my mind were “don’t f*ck this up cause you don’t know ANY barbers out here to fix this.” And clearly that was enough because the results were amazing.



I sent my family pictures after the fact and was met with mostly praise. I mean- what else could they really say? The hair wasn’t coming back. But my mom….my mom y’all.


Mrs. Raymond is old school. To say the very least. We don’t share any of the same ideas of gender roles, womanhood, beauty, any of it. To give you an idea – she expects me to be married by 26.


Yeah. That kind of old school.


So, I didn’t expect her to like the cut. I knew she wouldn’t like it. And the Keturah years ago living under her roof would have never done this. But part of moving 200+ miles away from home was finally doing things for myself.


Three weeks later when I showed her my haircut – it suddenly had meaning. It meant I was finally stepping into my own. I was letting go of the Keturah I had been my teen years all into college. I wasn’t Keturah with all the hair. I was just Keturah. Keturah who did what she wants because she doesn’t need approval from anyone. Letting go of the Keturah who let her mother dictate everything from what she wore to what she should study in school. I was grasping at this new me when I chose to be the first in my family to go away for school. I was grasping when I chose to relocate to Atlanta for an internship. I was grasping when I flew across the Atlantic to study abroad the next summer. I was grasping when I moved out immediately after college. Something my siblings would never dare to do till they were married and had proper “approval.”


But one thing always remained. My hair. I never colored it because “it was beautiful just the way it was.” For a while I even stopped wearing wigs because that too was just “covering up God’s gift” to me.


Cutting my hair was never a radical move. But seeing the shock in my mother’s face and how after she would touch the back of my own hair then gesture towards my older sister and ask, “look at how beautiful Deborah’s hair is – why did you do this?” I knew.


For so long I let my hair define me. For so long. I was literally known for my long hair. I mean look at me, I blog about natural hair and started a business surrounding it. It was the entire brand. And it was also deeply entangled with my confidence.


My long hair did make me feel beautiful. And with what my mother would drill into my head I felt different. Because Black girls didn’t grow long hair, right? Because it’s almost impossible to find a Black girl who wears her hair natural and “wears it well” right? Because our hair grows sooo slow so the fact that I even have length is a miracle…. Right?


Wrong.


Just like everyone else our hair grows 1/2 inch a month. The blatant lie that our hair doesn’t grow like everyone else’s is rooted in the idea that natural hair is difficult to manage, needs extra attention and the twisted standards of beauty and if we’re being honest… there’s definitely a sprinkle of racism in there too.


So, boom. They tell us our hair doesn’t grow as fast because of the curls and kinks and growth products are flying off shelves. You hold onto breakage because they are so obsessed with length, damaging your poor ends even more. You’re buying Monistat and mixing it with blue magic because tiktok told you too. And you’re using up all of the ingredients in your momma’s fridge making omelets and casseroles in your strands because YouTube told you the proteins in eggs and mayo could help.


And all of this for what?


I’m not preaching to anyone. I didn’t cut my hair and suddenly have an epiphany. I never cut it to prove some type of point. It just took cutting my hair for me to realize that our standards of beauty are a little bit jacked up. And I’m definitely going to explore this more – and if you’re reading this and made it this far, I challenge you to unpack your own ideas of what beauty is. Especially as it retains to hair length.


It’s perfectly fine to have growth as a hair goal. But it should be healthy growth and it shouldn’t be because you think long hair will give you a confidence boost.


Despite the mending I now have to do with my mom, cutting my hair has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Length isn’t even a fleeting thought right now. And if you also want to cut your hair? Do it. There’s your sign.


So to you who may want to cut your hair - I share the words that I wish my mom had shared with me. You’re beautiful with your hair now and you’d be beautiful without it.

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