The other day I was talking to two friends and was trying to complement one of them, Judy, on how good she was looking in her new hair cut. Adelaide, the other friend, quickly cut me off,”Don’t listen to her. This one had long hair and just chopped it off. Who does that?” Then turning to me she asked, “Why did you really cut your hair?”

I smiled, you know that kind of smile you pull when you can’t truly answer a question. The smile that says I-can’t-get-into-that-right-now. But I did tell her to get over it, to move on since I had shaved my hair more four years ago and most of the people I now called colleagues could not imagine or believe I could keep let alone grow long hair.

You see, I went to a catholic primary school and the only hairstyle allowed was short and neat hair. I therefore got to start keeping my hair in high school. If you met me either in college or afterwards I would have sworn against all odds that I would never shave my hair. I was so sure that nothing and no one could convince me to let go of my beautiful long hair that i had nurtured to more than shoulder length.

That was until 2012, when fate would have me reconsider my hard stance. Most people think that women cut their hair at the spur of the moment. I’ll have you know that this is not the case, we actually spend a lot of time antagonising on the pros and cons of shaving. It is not an event my friend, its a process of thoughts, emotions and logic.

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”~~~Coco Chanel

When a woman cuts her hair, it’s seldomly because of trends or the fact that short hair will flatter her. No, instead it marks a turning point in her life since it mostly involves something very emotional, unpleasant and most often than not will involve the man in her life. It is also true that the same woman will grow back her hair, healthier and voluminous as she grows into a new relationship and finds happiness. It therefore follows that women will cut their hair in times of strife and stress.

Consider this for a moment, how does hair and emotions relate? The simple answer is that hair represents the feminity and beauty of a woman. It also informs how a woman thinks of herself among other women,how she feels about herself. For doesn’t it say in the Bible that if a woman has long hair its glory to her? Even the woman you think is not beautiful will spend time and money to attain beautiful hair. Women all over the world invest time and money on the hair, in terms of products used and time taken to be styled. We spend on shampoos, conditioners, dyes and all sorts of hair accessories to attract attention from men. This is exactly why for a woman cutting her hair should come as a warning.

It may be explained as cutting off men, recoiling from being attractive, trying to camouflage oneself. Believing that you will become incognito and disappear from the face of the world. It may not be a conscious decision to do so and one may only come to realise it later on deep analysis.

A woman may also cut her hair in her attempt to reach out to her lover. The chop is a hint that something is not going so well in the relationship and a cry for attention. If you are sensible you will look beyond the hair cut and prod for more. If in luck you may be able to turn around your relationship. Rarely will you find women cutting their hair because it was falling of anyway or had suffered damage from over processing and the like. The first time I cut my hair it was because of two reasons. For one I thought if I cut my hair I would be less attractive and therefore command less attention from the menfolk. By extension I expected to afford my Person some reassurance of not being hit on by competition. I loathed long hair, blaming it for my misfortune not realising that my dear Person was insecure for his own reasons. It is true that a woman will withstand a lot of pain and abuse in a relationship but the minute she makes up her mind to walk away there’s no stopping her. This is how I chopped my hair, to signify a new beginning. As an African i should have buried that hair as a symbol of my new journey.

The other reason, that now seems unreal, was the lack of proper hairdressers in my new neighbourhood combined with my new calling of motherhood. When you are a working mother balancing between the self and motherhood can be tricky and most often you let yourself go. At the same time the convenience of short hair can be quite addictive, I should know because I always find myself at the barbershop.

As much as short hair is becoming trendy, what with having people like our very own Lupita Nyong’o donning it, as a man or a mother do not ignore that hair cut. At the very least she’ll be happy that you noticed her.

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