Writer details the pain, growth and acceptance of her big chop process

Timi before

Timi before


There has only been one other time in my life when I had short hair. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I had a bald fade. Don't ask me why, I honestly have no idea. The next time I had short hair again was June 20, 2009, when I did my big chop. I had just turned 20 and I was still trying to figure out who I was. I was still an occasionally awkward and shy college student.

As I sat in that barber chair, as the chunks of hair fell to the ground, I realized that I could no longer hide behind my hair. Gone were the days where I could hide beneath the swoop of my side bangs. My neck had no covering. My ears had no more canopy. My eyebrows had no protective neighbors. I was naked, with no hair to hide behind.

Without hair surrounding my face, I saw my face for the first time. I saw the bright eyes of an eager learner. The straight nose of a inquisitive explorer. The full mouth of an enthusiastic entertainer. The scars of a bashful do-gooder. I was seeing myself naked for the first time and I liked what I saw.