Cutting it all off and what that means…

A few weeks ago, I had my beautiful Sister Locks cut off; all four hundred and fifty (450) of them.  I had had them for five years, which for me, was a record for wearing one style!  I have always loved having different looks and I was in the perfect business to exercise that option.   Back in March I had a real urge to cut my hair off.  But I wasn’t mentally prepared to make the leap at that time.  So instead I cut about four inches off my Sister Locks and wore them in a precision Bob style with blond tips.  It was fun, hip, and I received a lot of compliments.

Fast forward to the fall and this itch to cut my hair off was driving me nutty.  I was constantly thinking about it and planning how long it would take before I would have enough new growth so that when I did cut my Sister Locks off, I could transition right into another stylish Khamit Kinks “do“.  But alas, I couldn’t wait that long.  That would have meant waiting until January. I’m an Aries, waiting is pure torture for some of us Aries.

I waited until the new moon in September which fell on a cloudy Monday.  Late that afternoon, Aingeel met me at the salon and that was it.  She cut them all off!  Afterwards I kept looking at myself in the mirror thinking, you’re kind of crazy!  What did you do that for!  But initially, I did like it and the new cut was well received. There was a kind of freedom I felt from having it all chopped off.  I received many compliments and encouragement from friends, family and clients.  At the time it was still fairly warm outside.  However, being that it was September, it didn’t take long for the weather to switch up.  One day soon thereafter the mercury dropped and a breeze hit my head feeling somewhat like a slap in the face.

As the temperatures continued to drop, I began wearing hats (caught a cold anyway).  My head wasn’t  used to the exposure.  But now (four weeks later) my hair is at a stage that when I put on a hat, I have to keep it on or run into the bathroom and fix it up before letting others see it.  Hey, this is way too much maintenance for me.  I’m use to carefree hair; you know, wash and wear.  In order to achieve wash & wear  with this style, meant that I would have to cut my hair down really close to the scalp to achieve the true freedom of a short cut; and in this weather, that was not about to happen.  Go shorter as we head into winter, no way!

So now I have an appointment (this week) to get the famed Baby Curl Twist.  I’m excited and hoping they’ll stay in considering how short my hair is.  I guess I’m really surprised at my own response.  Obviously my hair is in that in-between stage where it’s not short enough to be carefree and not quite long enough to do anything much with it.  I’m certain I would feel differently about this if it was above 75 degrees outside and only going to get hotter.  I would definitely consider cutting my hair shorter under those conditions /temperatures.

I want to feel fabulous and this short cut, in its in-between stage, hidden under a hat, is just not doing the trick for me right now.  Hey, I am not going to feel bad about this!  It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, exercise her options! There now, I feel better about abandoning my short cut for a Baby Curl Twist.  So what does cutting it all off actually mean?  It means it’s just hair and it’ll grow back or not and either way, I’ll just have to rock it!

If you cut your hair short and and went through mental changes, let us hear from you.  If you cut it and loved it and you’re still wearing it short, let us know what that’s like too.  We’d love to hear your story.

34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Java Girl on October 30, 2008 at 8:24 am

    OMG!!!! How cute! I, too had the urge to cut my Sisterlocks back in April. I wanted to go back to the “old” me which was dyed and fried hair. I soon got over it because it was really about embracing whatever state I am in. I don’t think I would have been any happier with my perm. Anu, you go girl!!! Once again you are a spark of inspiration!


  2. I am one for experimenting, but going back to a perm! Now that’s a cause for a pause. No I wouldn’t pause, I’d beat your butt Kesha. Never that! NO MORE PERMS. Stay in the church MY Sista, the church of natural hair. Hallelujah!


  3. Posted by Lisa Braswell on November 3, 2008 at 5:44 am

    Wow! It’s so strange that I’ve also had a yearning to chop off my dreadlocks these past few days. I’ve had dreadlocks for about 3 years now, and I actually miss wearing it short and care free. I actually want to go super short, but have never had it cut close to the scalp. I’d also love to add color in a nice brown or copper tone, but definitely no perm. I’ve been having dreams of a ceasar cut. *Sigh*

    I’m here in WA State which is definitely not warm, but I think I could just wear hats and wraps.

    I’m just in need of renewal and cleansing in my life so a big chop is one of the things I want to do. Anu, the more I look at your short cut the more I want to cut mine too.

    I ‘ll let you know what I do in a few days.

    Peace and Blessings


  4. Dear Lisa,

    Cutting your hair as a part of your renewal and cleansing process is such a natural direction to go in.


  5. Posted by Jacque on November 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Anu,

    I hope you remember, I had my locs for over 7 years when I felt this weird attachment to my hair. when I realized the type of energy trapped in my hair, I knew it was time for me to cut my hair. I’ve always felt free and independent of my hair. for the first time in my life, I felt my hair helped define me.

    I decided to cut my hair 2+ months before my birthday. on April 30, 2006, my birthday, the deed was done. I cut, then with clippers went completely bald. for 2 years now, I’ve been with either no hair or little fuzz on my head and have felt at ease and at peace.

    now, tho, I’m feeling the call back to my locs and I’m not quite sure how to address this longing in my spirit. because my hair grows so dang slowly the in-between stage for me is longer than most which plays havoc with my patience meter.

    in time, I’ll be with locs and positive energy locked in my soul through my hair.


  6. Posted by Lisa Braswell on November 7, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I cut it! Yay! I do feel much better. Now I’m just debating on whether I want to just get a trim, or actually have it cut shorter. I’m also thinking about coloring it. This is definitely a cleansing phase for me. Now my next step is to finally get serious about dropping a few pounds. I’m already taking vitamins, and I’m a vegetarian, so working exercise into my life is definitely much needed. I love the church of natrual hair. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


  7. Posted by CeCe on November 7, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I definately know what you are going through. When I was about 17 and going away to college I began the transition to natural hair. I have had locks ever since…until about a year ago. I had my first child two years ago and I just could not figure out how to take care of him and go through the maintenance of locks at the same time. I had always felt beautiful and confident at every stage of my locks from the super short to the mid-back length. It helped that I always received compliments on my hair (however ignorant the comments sometimes were, such as: i don’t usually like locks but your are wonderful…) When I first cut my locks I was in shock. I felt like it was not flattering. I also didn’t get great feedback either. Since long hair seems to be so important to some of us in the African American community, some just can’t understand why you would decide to cut it all off. Well that was a hard time for me and I did a lot of soul searching. I was amazed at how it exposed how much of my confidence came from my outward appearance. I used that time to consult with God about how I might change my own perspective. Now I am much more at peace and my hair has grown to a point where I can do more with it. Currently I have a fabulous huge afro and I am loving it. Ultimately, I think I really needed the rough time I had in the beginning to work out how I felt about me and in the end it was such a blessinng!


  8. Congrats Lisa and enjoy!


  9. Hi Jacque,

    Yes, cutting can be a cleansing and when it’s time to switch that up you’ll know that too. Keep me posted.


  10. Beautiful story CeCe. Yes, since I have been conditioned like many of us to equate hair with femininity, it’s sometimes an adjustment to realize that as beautiful as we can make, our is not us and does not define us.


  11. Posted by Michelle on November 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I can definitely identify with both Cece and Anu. I first cut my locs in August 2000 when I was about to begin chemotherapy. Everyone told me that I should cut them because I wouldn’t want to wake up one morning and find them on my pillow. Well, even though I received a lot of compliments, I had a lot of trouble adjusting. Then, when my hair fell out many months later, I had a total meltdown. But since it was summer, I was more comfortable sporting a bald head than wearing a wig. As soon as the medication stopped my hair grew back. It is now a different texture, but still as thick as it was prior to chemo. A couple of years later I had sista locs. It was beautiful and I was happy to have my locs back, but after a few years I began to get the itch to cut it off. I needed a change. I thought that since I had already had the short cut I would be okay with it. It was only a little less traumatic than it was the first time. I thought I looked like a boy. I think that’s because I was able to see how much my youngest son and I look alike. But once again I adjusted and after a couple of years of two-strand twists, I’m now wearing it in a twist-out that’s fun and funky. I’m still discovering how versatile natural hair is. I love it!


  12. Posted by Barbara Hill on November 10, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Hi Anu:

    How are you? I have had problems with my locks because of thinning, and falling out. It was suggested that I cut my locks but I couldn’t bear the thought. After many attempts to have a decent look with no success, I cut off my locks, and decided to just leave my hair alone and wear a cute short wig.

    I will be seeing you probably in March, if I can wait that long to get a new look. Wigs are fun but there’s nothing like your own hair.
    Barbara Hill


  13. Posted by Sheila Anderson on November 10, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Good Day Sistas!!!!

    I myself had locks, cut them was bald for 6 years, now in the process of wearing it short. I had difficulty with how I was going to wear my hair, but I have all intentions of getting Loc Extensions, but until I reach the length I need to do that, I colored my hair chestnut blonde, and I use activator gel and I am styling in my natural curly state, it professional, and carefree, and I feel great!!!!!


  14. That’s so true Sheila, I too am looking forward to having fab styles using my own hair.


  15. Posted by Lisa Braswell on November 18, 2008 at 6:52 am

    I was wondering if there is a site I could visit to look at short natural styles (ranging from short to bald)? I’d also like to know your recommendations for shampoo, conditioner, styling products to keep your hair and scalp healthy. I have disoid lupus so the front of my hairline goes through phases especially when I’m stressed out (hair loss and sores about once or twice a year, but it always grows back…so I’m lucky as far as that part goes). I’m looking for products that leave moisture and will provide more curl definition without feeling greasy. My goal is to let my hair grow so I can do twists, afros, etc. I’m enjoying my natural hair, but longing for better products to keep my hair and scalp healthy and happy.


  16. Posted by Candice Mitchell on November 19, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Your blog has inspired me! I’ve had locs for 3 years now and lately I’ve been wanting to cut them. It’s not that I don’t want them- I lOVE my locs, it’s just that there’s a huge part of me that feels like I need to start at the roots to actually appreciate all of me. I’ve dealt with systemic lupus since 2004 and I haven’t been taking the best care of myself. I know I need a change for the better. If I cut my hair now, I feel like I’ll be able to fully take care of all of me instead bits and pieces of me. Sometimes drastic changes must be made in order to fully grow and mature. I’m ready to take that leap. I might be seeing you very soon. Thanks again for the inspiration! Your hair looks great! 🙂


  17. Posted by pendulumswing on November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    You look fantastic!!!


  18. Fashion savvy Miss,

    Coming from you, that’s a rave! Thanks so much!


  19. Dear Candice,

    Thank you for the compliment. If cutting your hair off is going to make life easier and allow you take better care of yourself, then that’s the move to make. My sister had/has systemic lupus that came from drinking diet sodas – due to Aspartame. When she stopped drinking the sodas her symptoms ceased. It’s only when she over taxes her energy that she has problems of fatigue.

    Take the leap and keep me informed.


  20. Posted by Lisa Braswell on November 22, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Wow. thanks for the lupus information. I have no clue why I’ve been plagued with it. I don’t drink diet sodas, and as far as I know I don’t have any relatives who have it. I just know I haven’t been taking care of myself either, plus I’ve been really stressed out. I hope things get better for you Candance.
    Anu, are you still wearing your hair short or did you add the baby curl twists? You forgor to answer my question about a site where I can look at short natural styles. I want to have my hair cut into a professional style since I whacked it off myself.


  21. Hi Candace,

    Hi Lisa,

    Like I mentioned in my blog, I am not wearing my hair short now. I added the Baby Curl Twist and I’m loving it. I’m losing about one twist per day though. But they’re all coming out at the bottom back as the nape of my hair doesn’t have as much kink to it. But when I get my touch up (hair line re-twisted), I’ll just have them put back in.

    In terms of cuts, I don’t know of a site that features natural hair cuts. But in the meantime, for natural styles without extensions, check out


  22. Posted by Renae on November 27, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I wore sister locs for seven years. I got the cutting itch and cut out my locs. I got a relaxer and I am wearing a pixie cut, which I do like, however I am now feeling I should be chemical free as my scalp is dry and irritated.
    I was told my hairstylest that because I wore my locs for so long that it caused my hair to thin.
    I am also going through menopause. I am considering wearing twists and going back to my locs, but keeping them short because I like short hair.
    My question is will wearing locs or twists damage my hair or make it even thinner?


  23. Dear Renae,

    It really depends on how strong your hair is. We would need to see your hair to make a proper assessment. Please call us for a consultation appointment or fill out our consultation form on line.


  24. Well I haven’t cut my locs, but this story is real genuine and shows some of the emotions, that I know i would go through if i decided to


  25. Posted by Laura M on December 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I have not had a relaxer in 9 weeks and I work-out at least 3-4 times a week. I am having my hair cut by a stlylist tomorrow and I am very anxious.
    My scalp has been itching and very sore off and on to the point I have been tempeted to cut it myself.
    I am also going through the change . I have no patience in waiting to get my hair permed anymore. I just need the faith to go through with getting my hair cut so I can get rid of this perm.
    Maybe I feel that I will be viewed differently with a natural. Had my hair cut to a natural 10 years ago, and I remembered it was a sense of freedom and liberation!!


  26. Posted by Tahirah 'Born A Queen' on December 26, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Greetings Ms. Anu,

    Wow you look gorgeous as usual but I can’t believed you’ve transitioned from your gorg Sister Locs!!!Well I cut my locs off also from having those same thoughts of wanting to try “something new” and I first did a bob on May 17th (Feb 17th born baby so, I love the #17 or 8 I should say) then on June 12 I looked into the mirror and said I want it all off. After cutting them off I felt a little crazy and weird but after I had a mini ‘fro and received compliments it became “more real” to me. About three weeks ago after the fabolous braids styles and ‘fro out I decided I wanted my locs back so I came back to the salon for NeNe to start my locs on Dec 17th. I’m glad I cut them off for me to experience this reflection year and moment and now I’m ready for the next journey. I love to do my hair and learn new things and locs give me that experience. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!


  27. Posted by Sister Colleen on January 7, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Hey Sister, I also thought many times about cutting my locks but, I felt that I would be sorry later, so I started laying my hair flat under my clothes and around my body, then I put on a wig!. It looks great and everyone really likes it. They say that I am so creative. It’s, a little uncomfortable because my hair is past my waist, however I cut off one of all the locks that were twisted together, reducing the weight and bulk. When I wear a wig, I wear a turtle neck and also a bulky scarf, a beautiful poncho or shawl to cover any of the shape under the clothes. It’s fun and cures me of the desire to cut my hair.
    This is the letter that I sent to Tyra Banks show under ideas for new shows. Please check it out and respond so that the natural hair sisters, can be seen in their beauty.

    We have seen beautiful women from all Nationalities and even beautiful Black women on your show, but all of them are fried, dyed and flipped to the side with added extensions and other artificial textures for the hair. We panic when our hair is not straightened, permed and looking other than natural, and the cost for us to change our natural hair is phenomenal! We are so afraid of not looking like other women that if we had to choose between eating and getting our hair done, we would get our hair done. But God didn’t make a mistake, he created African American Women beautiful in their natural state too! Most of us do not feel beautiful in our natural state because advertisers do not show us that way. Can we see some Sisters with some beautiful natural styles, such as Loc’s and the various styles, Afro’s, Cornrows, Twists and the many other natural styles that highlight the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of the Black Women’s Natural Hair! In my profile picture my natural hair is loc’ ed. The length of my natural hair is past my waist, but I have come up with a technique for styling them that I call, ” Locks-In-Loops” (see pictures attached). There are many creative Loop styles which appear short and when taken out are, extremely tight curls that last as long as you want. In that state there are endless beautiful, styles that can be done. Never having to cut off any of the length. Also check out if you want to see some beautiful natural styles.


  28. Posted by Tishawah on February 7, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Anu, I remember coming into Khemit Kinks on a cold rainy November 13th to have a consultation with you about cutting all my hair off and going natural. I must be honest I actually went to tendrils first but I really hated the vibe once I walked into the establishment, so I left. I wondered the streets for a while then remember meeting a lady at my daughters dance class who had beautiful twists that was done at Khamit Kinks. When I walked into the salon I felt good, I said yes this is where its going to happen. I was still a little weary about my big chop happening on that day but after speaking with you I changed my mind. You asked me if I was certain because you had a couple of months prior taken the same journey and at the time we met you had already twisted your hair.
    After you showed me your pictures and advised me that I had about the same amount of new growth I was convinced that I wanted my big chop right then and there.
    When Andre walked in I was a bag of nerves, however his demenor distracted me and he seem patient and understanding which eased my mind a great deal.
    He jumped right in and began cutting, my heart sank an hit the floor but it was too late to undo it. The lady behind me at the dryer screame as if she was having her hair cut and that scared me even more. Andre advised me after he shaped and washed my hair I would like it. I loved it!
    It has been 3 months now and I have had good days and bad days, I think the worst part of cutting my hair was all the comments from people who really did not have a place in my life. My parents absolutely loved it, and most importantly my 4 yr old daughter loved it and I was satisfied, however it was still a huge transition with all the talking and gossiping at work. I have now realized that no ones opinon about my looks matter but my own. I am taking it day by day with my hair. I have been more active with seeking products that are good for my hair and my skin and I have also thrown out all my hair and skin care products that have chemicals and that is not made for “our” hair and skin types. Cutting my hair has made me realize how much more beautiful the real me is and I love it. If half the African women out ther would take off the fake hair and make up and give up their perms they would be surprised at what they really look like, but to each its own not knocking anyone.
    You definitely have to be ready to take the natural journey, in the past I have started and stopped so many times and I did not expect this time to be any different, but I grew up and stop worrying about what others thought and now I can be me.

    Thank You Anu for sharing your story with me and giving me that extra push. Thanks to Andre who hooked a sister up, I will send a pic of my growth progress soon.

    Peace and Blessings*


    • Dear Tishawah,

      I do remember our consultation and your hesitation about which way to proceed. It seems you have gleaned quite a bit from the experience, as I have too. I’m still going through it, it seems to be a process. I’ve had the Baby Curl Twist twice since we met. But lately I’ve been wearing a little Afro that’s called A-Nu Fro. We used to have it on the website. The style initially starts out as Starter Locs and then I lift the base of my hair with an Afro pick and so it’s an afro with spirals (from the Starter Locs) on the ends. I have received lots of compliments on it and I do like it, but not all the time. It depends on the day and how I’m feeling. Some times I love it, other times I feel like it make me look boyish.

      What you said is all so true. It’s all a matter of how we see ourselves, it’s the conversation that we have going on in our heads that make the difference. If you’re loving and accepting of yourself, subconsciously you affect how others feel about you. And the same hold true about when you don’t feeling loving and accepting of yourself, others will pick up on that too.

      In your case, it sounds like you’re on a great journey on unfoldment, enlightenment, and empowerment. Enjoy the journey and keep me updated.


  29. Posted by Brenda B. on July 26, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Hi Anu!

    Just wanted to share my story. I am single (no kids), in the military, stationed overseas, late 40’s, have gone through menapause (early) with thining hair that is a little damaged around the temples from wearing braids to tight.

    I had started to feel a little self conscious. My hair would not hold curls, it was thin at the temples, it was thining at the front and top.

    Anyway, to make a long story short. I went to a professional hairstylist (a friend of a friend) and we talked about my hair. I had told her that I had thought about cutting it off, but I wasn’t sure. When she saw my girlfriend she suggested to her, that because of my facial features and because I had a small head, that I could sport a fade. So about a month later, I had all my hair cut off (barber cut)…It is almost August and I am still wearing it.

    I’m really a quiet person and I keep to myself. People would see me in the hallways, and since they knew my girlfriend and not me, they would tell her how nice my hair looked and how it complimented my face. She kept telling them to tell me.

    I was and still am a little self conscious of my hair. Every time I get a barber cut (about once a month), you can see more scalp than you do hair. I like color, so I get my hair colored about once a month because of the gray.

    Some days I love it, some days I wish I had hair. I wash my hair about once a week and I try and deep condition it with a heating cap about twice a month. The water here is so hard, that when I first moved here, I was washing it (permed) every week and had damaged it.

    I’m not sure how long I will wear it like this. I would like to move on to sister locs or grow it long to try the Tom Boy. All in all, I do like the hair and right now, I wouldn’t trade it for any other style.


    • Hi Brenda,
      I loved hearing your story. I’m working on a documentary right now about us and our hair. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ve had my hair cut short four different times in my life. The first time as a child. That was traumatic! The other subsequent times were to cut off locs. I like my hair short too, but I get bored fast.

      In terms of the water, if it’s damaging to your hair like that, can you imagine what it’s doing to your skin? I highly recommend having a filter on your shower head to filter out many of those toxins and harsh chemicals. You will notice a remarkable difference. I sell a great filter Aquasana on my site Anu Shops Check it out. And in the meantime, enjoy your hair journey!



  30. Hi Anu,

    It’s been a year since this posting — where are you now? how are you wearing your hair? how’s your documentary coming along? I would love an update!


    • Shelly it’s very interesting that you asked about my hair. Her the link to what I wrote last month Hair Integrity. It’s a lady’s prerogative to change her mind and I’ve changed my mind again. I will be posting my most recent decision early next week. So stay tuned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: