I met and began dating my husband when I was seventeen. At that time in my life my hair was long and relaxed. Not only was I consistently getting relaxers, but I also received more compliments on the appearance and health of my hair than I could count. So many people told me that my hair looked beautiful and healthy including my boyfriend.
Over the years I did what most women do to their hair. I cut a few inches off here, experimented with a variety of styles, I even played with color a bit. My boyfriend seemed to like those styles and never had any complaints.
It was when I decided to go natural that I got worried. The last time my hair was natural was probably when I was around 10 years old and it had NEVER been short. There I was, about to big chop and change something that was synonymous with who I was and expecting him to be fine with it all.
Now after going natural, he sees me as versatile, spontaneous, fearless and bold.
Even worse, when I made the decision he was working out of town in Tampa, Florida. I told him what I wanted to do over the phone and there were a few pauses in the conversation as I explained my thinking. To top it off, I told him that I scheduled my hair appointment for the day he arrived back in town and that I wanted him to be there.
Every time we spoke over the phone after the initial conversation I would remind him of my plans so he could never say that I didn’t warn him. Surprisingly, there was no backlash and all I could think was, “He must not believe I’m going to cut it.”
Before I knew it Big Chop Day was here. My sister and her boyfriend met my boyfriend and I at the salon for this monumental day. Everyone watched in awe as I laughed uncontrollably and my relaxed hair was cut to pieces.
Years later, my boyfriend is now my husband. When I asked him what he thought in that moment, he says, “I just couldn’t believe you went through with it. It was the only you I’d ever known.”
Fast forward to the present and I have been natural for six years. In those six years, I’ve gotten married, had a baby who is now three, gained new careers, had short natural hair, long natural hair, straight natural hair, and braided styles as well. At one point I even shaved both sides of my hair for a Mohawk.
My husband was there for me throughout these changes. As my personal style evolved he saw the confidence of an already confident women skyrocket. Now after going natural, he sees me as versatile, spontaneous, fearless and bold. He said, “For you to do the opposite of what many women seek to attain takes guts. You did it to be a better version of you.”
Going natural affected my relationship because it helped my husband to realize parts of me that were hidden for a long time. To hear the person you love say you are fearless, bold, and beautiful and it have nothing to do with your outside appearance is a spiritual and powerful thing. My only regret it that I didn’t go natural sooner.