As we take the time here on the TJMS to reflect on Black hair, I am reminded just how much our hair defines us. India.Arie’s song suggests that we are not our hair, but I would suggest that our hair is indeed a reflection and self-expression of who we are and what’s going inside of us.
When I interviewed Alicia Keys in the Red Velvet Cake Studio, whose voice, career and album are all “On Fire”, we discussed the power of letting go of things in your life that are no longer working – everything from hair, to lifestyle to people.
I couldn’t help but ask Alicia about cutting her hair. This was a dramatic change from the Alicia Keys that the world has become accustomed to seeing on the small or big screen singing at award shows, performing in videos, promoting her projects, speaking about issues close to her heart or more recently, acting. Whether her hair was in braids, natural curls, coifed or flat-ironed; the one constant is that it was always really long.
Here’s what Alicia had to say about cutting her hair: “You know, I think I just feel more easy. I definitely feel like when you’ve had your hair for a lot of years – and then you cut it – it kind of let’s go of a lot of years and just kind of allows you to be fresh and start again. And that’s a lot about … just finding my place and my newness now and it just feels really empowering, sexy and fly.”
Hair is a reflection of our essence. The Bible says that a woman’s hair is her glory. So what does your hair say about you? Is it free, heavy, fun, sexy, stylish or conservative, dark, light or bright? Changing your hair is like changing your identity. When a woman cuts her hair it’s like cutting ties with her old self and beginning anew. Stylist Mattie Michelle says, “By the time a client comes to me to get a major haircut, it’s usually a reflection of change that’s already happening in her life. Most times, a haircut is a manifestation of a metamorphosis from the inside out.”
Letting go of your hair can often make you feel exposed and vulnerable because there is less hair to hide behind. If you cut your hair really short, it can almost be like a coming out party; letting go of what was and reinventing yourself. You must be ready to be revealed.
Are you ready for a fresh start? What do you need to cut out of your life so that you can begin again, get free, be light and limber?
Letting go of something, be it hair, a relationship or a job, does not have to be a negative. Sometimes you just need a change, something new, fun, exciting and different. Unfortunately, change is difficult for some people. And when it’s time for a change and you’re afraid to move forward, you drag your feet and waste time. When you look back, valuable time and opportunity have come and gone. Be open to change and to discovering something new about you and new about life. Give yourself a new boost of energy by letting go of every weight that brings you down, depleting you of the energy and strength that you need to move to the next level.
Deya “Direct” Smith, is a producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of Girlfriend FM & Beyond the Studio celebrity interviews. She is also the author of Touch Yourself, 30 Ways to Live, Love and Let Go (www.touchmebooks.com)! Deya is a life-style and inspirational speaker.