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Bald & Boujee: A Guide To Cutting It All Off This Summer, As Told by Black Women

We asked five dope ladies to share their big chop stories.

Summer is upon us, which means the temperatures are turnt up. And while the sunny season typically calls for cornrows and goddess braids, once the block gets hot, sometimes less is more. Considering becoming a bald baddie but not sure if you're ready for the clippers? Vixen asked four bald beauties to share their experiences to help you take the plunge.

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Dee Williams, Photographer

 

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Time for a haircut 🧓🏾

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When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I cut my hair in November 2016. I don't have a cool awakening story, I honestly cut my hair because I was tired of doing it. I had dry, long, thick, 4b curly hair and the daily maintenance was driving me nuts. I'd spend my whole wash day doing my hair for it to look a mess in the morning. I swear every two seconds I saw photos of beautiful women that had shaved heads on Instagram (someone spying on me lol). I think it was meant to be.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

I felt amazing! I called my parents and my mother was pissed (laughs out loud). There is a lot of conditioning in the Black community that ties beauty with the length of your hair, especially within her generation. But, I felt like a million bucks and the most beautiful I have ever felt. My hair was always the main focus, but now it's my face and I love it.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

I honestly don't think people have treated me different. I do get praised a lot and told I'm "bold and super confident" to rock a baldie, though.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

Dying my hair a rainbow of colors and not having to worry about it breaking off or damaging my hair. If I don't like a color, I just shave it off and try again. I didn't really get to do that too much with my hair before, because my hair was already super dry and I didn't want to make it worse. So I would only use henna or vegan hair dyes and not bleach it.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

I think all women should shave their heads at least once in their lives. It will grow back! That's about all the advice I give because it is a huge lifestyle change, one that you should 100% make on your own.

Nadirah Simmons, Editor and Producer

 

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high tea ✔️

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When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I first cut my hair in February of 2017. I always wanted to have a buzz cut, and after having weaves, braids, and extensions and then cutting off all of my hair and returning it to its natural state in the form of a big afro, I knew it was time. I was also going through a bit of a transformation. I felt like I had relied so much on my hair and sometimes hid behind it.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

I felt nervous. The crazy thing is when I first cut my afro off I actually didn’t buzz it. My hair was long enough for finger waves. I still had some red dye in my hair from when I had my afro, and my hairdresser who’s also my aunt couldn’t get it all out with bleach. She kept trying to cut it short and I wouldn’t let her. I was holding onto it and preferred to burn my scalp with bleach than go any shorter. Then a week or two later I got the courage, went back to the shop, and got it buzzed all the way down. My confidence skyrocketed and hasn’t gone down since.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

Men call me Amber Rose all the time! Or they tell me to get waves. I don’t like waves in my hair. Just a lot of requests for what to do with my hair or which famous short-haired woman I look like.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

All of the fun colors I can do without worrying about damaging my hair since I shave it all off every week!

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

Just do it! The more you think about the more you’ll push it off!

Gynai Kristol, Filmmaker

 

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“And when you see a nigga, please act like you know. Won’t sit around here stressing on no old hoes...”

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When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I first cut my hair in 2008 because of Rihanna (LOL I am not ashamed of this at all). And then I ended up having to chop it all off in 2017 because of breakage from going blonde.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

The initial cut in ‘08 made me feel like I was grown because I did it at the start of my senior year. But when I had to cut all the way off I cried because I'd never had my hair this short and automatically felt like I was going to look like a boy. But now, I'm more confident than ever and I don't regret cutting it off and I don't plan on growing it back anytime soon.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

I'd say yes, mostly women though. I feel like I bond with more women over hair now whether it be about the color my hair is or them trying to convince themselves to cut it off.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

The fact that my morning/night routine is much shorter. Like all I have to do is brush it and move on with my day. My ultimate favorite thing though is taking showers. I completely submerge myself under the water every time. I love it so much.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

It's just hair! It will grow back and if it doesn't grow back quick enough for you, get you some cute head wraps, hats, or even a wig.

Sofiya Ballin, Journalist

When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I cut my hair last year, July 2018. I’ve been natural my entire life and always had a thick, healthy head of hair, but I noticed it began thinning. My styles weren’t coming out how they used to so I decided I should start over.

Also, I was always very curious about what I would look like with short hair.  And I wanted to challenge myself to expand what I felt made me beautiful. My hair (short or long) was part of my beauty, but it isn’t and will never be all of my beauty.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all?

Cutting my hair was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. After the first big snip, I thought “there she is.” I felt like I really saw ME. At the time, I was so nervous, I convinced myself I wanted a tapered cut but I knew I was going to go lower because I saw her (me) under there.

A few days later I went to the barber and had them cut all of it off. I was shaking. I felt nauseous. But I had never felt more beautiful. It took about a month and a half for me to not have phantom fro, haha. I would wake up and forget I cut my hair and I’d get a pang of nausea or start questioning why I did it. But when I looked in the mirror and I saw that beautiful face and spirit that I hadn’t seen so clearly before, I knew I made the right decision.

My confidence has increased because I feel like I’ve made my self-love more unconditional. Cutting my hair removed the condition or feeling that I needed to have hair to feel and be beautiful. Now, I feel beautiful no matter what. I care less about what other people think when it comes to beauty because when having a baldie/short cut, you’ll learn real quick not everyone will be a fan.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

Yes. Especially when it comes to men and dating. There are those who LOVE it and those who don’t like it all. The first week I cut my hair, a guy felt the need to tell me he doesn’t usually go for women with short hair but he’d “make me an exception.”

Yeah, that was a dub.

For the most part, people have loved it.  I think a lot of that has to do with the confidence I’ve gained since cutting. This confidence is a different breed. It doesn’t need to be validated by anyone but me.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

I love how it shows off my face and neck, I love how easy it is to maintain and love what it’s taught me about patience. I’ve been growing my hair a bit, and since I’ve always been natural, this is my first big chop experience. I’m learning to fall in love with my hair at all of its stages. Like life, it’s really about falling in love with the journey and my hair has helped me see that more clearly.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

Definitely, be sure this a decision that YOU want for YOU.  And also be prepared to feel free and liberated in a way you may not have felt ever or in a long time. It’s an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with yourself.

And even if you’re not feeling it, your hair will grow faster than you think.

Orixa Jones, Artist

 

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catalogue modelé.

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When did you first cut your hair, and what inspired you to do the big chop?

I cut my hair in January 2017. To be honest, I was scrolling through Pinterest one night looking at women with buzz cuts and decided to shave my head. No trauma. No man troubles. Just a late night decision.

How did you feel afterward? Did you regret it at all? Has your confidence changed in any way?

I had a few moments of uncertainty in the first couple of days of cutting my hair, but it never takes me long to find my groove. So the bounce-back was amazing. For the first time, I could see myself completely, my power started showing itself. And since then I have no desire to grow it out.

Since cutting your hair, have you noticed that people have treated you differently?

Oddly enough I started receiving more attention once I stripped myself down. Both men and women approach me about how well I wear my shaved head. Those encounters are always humbling because it feels like they're complimenting my being moreso than what I look like if that makes sense.

What’s your favorite thing about having short hair?

My top two favorite things about having short hair are the freedom and low maintenance. I don't spend a dime because I cut it myself. The wind doesn't bother me anymore and neither does water. I'm good on any block, ha! Except for when its cold out.

What words of motivation do you have for other ladies wanting to go low who may be a little hesitant?

With anything in life, I would encourage someone to decide and commit. Make your decision, and commit to your decision over and over again. It might feel weird in the beginning, but once you find your pocket - get well acquainted with her.

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