A woman who cuts her hair is about to change the world.
Or get rid of her man.
Cutting our hair often signals a major change. We cut to big chop. We cut because of grief. We cut in anger. We cut in growing pain. We cut in joy. We cut in liberation. And sometimes we cut our hair when we should really be cutting people off. More specifically, men. Even more specific, toxic men.
Some context. Some of y’all know I loc’d my hair back in late August. I was excited about the journey. Hair was doing what it was supposed to do. And then two days ago I started combing them out. Just like that, 3 months and $xxx down the drain. Or maybe not. Maybe it was just a lesson that required an investment of 3 months and $xxx. Because I learned a few things in that impulsive decision my spirit been planning for weeks. And while I didn’t cut my hair, I did make a major change that in many ways felt the same as cutting it. I’ve done two big chops with a return to perm in between so I got experience there too.
And y’all know I mostly just be talking to myself but in case it helps you sis, here are the lessons I’ve learned in the loc, unloc, and now I’m bout to reloc process.
Sometimes, it’s not the journey, it’s the relationship with folks on the journey with you. I had no issue with my locs. My issue, was with the person I chose to accompany me on my journey- my loctician. We got to be careful about who we allow to walk with us.
When you feel a way about somebody, go with your gut. Don’t be giving folks hella chances to confirm and reconfirm what you already know. I knew I felt some type of way about stylist dude a while ago. As my girls reminded me, I said something about those feelings a while ago. But I kept thinking maybe this time, he won’t make me wait an hour past my appt start time, maybe this time, he won’t keep me two hours past the time he said he would be done, maybe this time, he’ll answer my questions in a satisfactory manner, maybe this time, I’ll trust his judgment and advice even though he seem like he don’t know what he talking about, maybe this time, I won’t have to wonder if he is actually intoxicated while he is twisting my locs, maybe this time my appt won’t get cancelled with little to no notice, maybe this time…
All them maybes turned into dreading the twisting process (pun, but not intended). I considered switching to a stylist in the same salon but thought that might be messy for her. It had taken me so long to find the first loctician, I couldn’t bear the thought of going through all that again. And that dread manifested in frustration. And that frustration ended with me in my bathroom combing out my hair. The equivalent of cutting it. Drastic change.
Ain’t no maybe, if you feel like it ain’t right, it ain’t right. Your gut is evidence enough.
Shit ain’t supposed to be that hard. They tell us that adversity builds character, Black girls got enough of that. Relationships, hair, everything ain’t got to be an uphill battle.
We get confused on what toxic behavior looks like. The loctician wasn’t cussing me out, but he certainly wasn’t being respectful of my time, energy, process and desires around my loc journey. He was definitely disrespecting my pockets because I was paying nicely for a subpar experience.
Actions are reflections. Of thoughts, goals, emotions, situations. My hair wasn’t the problem, the problem was that I was engaging with someone (my stylist) that I didn’t trust, that didn’t place value on my time, energy and money. Rather than get just rid of the person and find another stylist, I engaged in behavior that only hurt me. Not getting rid of my loctician was a direct reflection of my not getting rid of exes and allowing them to use my energy. I got parasites y’all. I’m the ex-girlfriend turned “friend.” The one who still gives support and advice about business, life and even your new love life. They say we friends. But they just parasites. Some of them fine, nice as heck, funny and even sweet. But they still parasites. So you might be asking sis, how you recognize a parasite and how you know when you need to cut them off? I’m glad you asked.
Parasites are one-sided transactional in their interactions with you. Parasites always get more than they give. They hide it well by giving things that might be of value to someone, but are really of no value to them. Yes, he’ll call and text you things that sound like he still cares. Means nothing. Yes, he’ll listen to you talk about your family issues because you feel like he understands since y’all was together at some point, means nothing to him. He might even buy you gifts. Means nothing. What does mean something to him, is access to you. And he’ll trade trinkets that look like snippets of time and empty words to maintain access to the very valuable time and energy you give him.
Combing out my locs was a direct reflection of the fact that I do things contrary to what makes me happy because I be dealing with men who, just like my stylist, be disrespecting my energy and time. Because they don’t give a damn about my journey. They care about what they can get from me for theirs. Loctician got my money, exes were still getting my time and energy by being allowed to keep engaging me, keep picking my brain, keep my listening ears, keep being able to make use of me after not choosing me.
You ain’t starting from point zero. I didn’t start over. I got rid of toxic energy, regrouped and will chose a better partner for the journey next time or get out sooner. At first I was horrified by what I did because I thought I had “ended” my loc journey. But as one of my sisters pointed out on Facebook, this is all part of the same journey. The start, the stop, the restart…same journey. And this time, I get to continue knowing exactly what energy I can not tolerate.
In my most cliched voice, I ain’t taking nan parasite into 2019 with me. I’m blocking every ex (I legit just heard that in a pastor’s voice). Some folks need to break every chain, I need to block every ex. Stop cutting your hair sis, and start cutting off toxic men. But don’t mind me, I’m just talking to myself.