The Big Chop. One More Time!

I keep things from you, oh fine readers of The Right Style. I keep lots of things from you. For example, about two weeks ago, I got a hair cut. Quite a dramatic haircut, actually. I cut my hair allllllll the way off. Now, if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m not afraid of scissors. I first cut all of my hair off when I was 16 years old. This was about 13 (gasp) years ago, before Black women fully mobilized around the cult of natural hair. I remember walking into the salon fully intending to get a touch-up on my relaxer and asking for my long-time stylist, Gloria, to cut it off instead. She looked at my mother.

“Can I cut this child’s hair off?”

Mommy shrugged. “It’s her head.”

And then a surprisingly short time later, there I was, free of my shoulder-length straight hair.

My mother has, fortunately, never put any kind of value on the texture or length of my hair– I think that this is one of the things that has enabled me to feel so confident when I decide to change it. A lot of people felt strongly about that first cut. Most of the reactions were good, great even. But my, oh my, was there shade. People would smile at me and ask me why I wanted to cut off all that pretty hair. People told me that it would grow back.

But we’re in a different time and place and this haircut and the many ones that came before it, were much less impactful than that first one. I had grown my hair out into a wild and unmanageable afro this time, all resplendent with brown roots and sun-bleached reddish-brown tips. I had previously dyed my hair a deep auburn black but my hair is always eager to return to its natural, kind-of-wacky color. One of the reactions to my new hair cut? My friend, Carmen, “That’s so you. It always was.”

My hair, in its (old) usual style.

My hair, in its (old) usual style.


The Final Countdown.

Immediately pre-hair massacre. It was a wildly humid/rainy day–my hair had shrunk 3 sizes from that morning.

This is the new me. The new old me, you could say.

This is the new me. The new old me, you could say.

Have you made any big style changes? How did the people around you react? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Anna-Marie
    October 21, 2014 / 12:36 pm

    You’re gorgeous, Kerri! As a matter of fact, I think you were the first person my age that I met that had no attachment or value on the length of their hair – and wore it like nobody’s business. So, big ups to you! I just did my second big chop a month ago, it’s heaven! 🙂

    • kerriestella
      October 21, 2014 / 3:25 pm

      Thank you, Anna-Marie! Your words are much appreciated, my friend. The funny thing is I din’t realize how bold it was until people began to react. I think the combination of my mother, my impulsivity and growing up in a “not-Black” community made me just go for it. I copied my beautiful mother’s hairstyle and people seemed to like her… ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Keep chopping, my lovely sista!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.