Have you ever thought about what your hair truly means to you? Sure, you might think about how you're going to style it pretty often. But have you ever thought about your hair's innate connection to your identity? Since this is a safe space for honesty, I'll admit that I'm incredibly attached to my hair. Bits of anxiety and nerves tend to flood my thoughts whenever I commit to a major hair switch-up. At one point in my life, I couldn't give up extensions. Then I finally gained the confidence to proudly wear my natural hair. The truth is that I think my hair complements my features. And I'm not sure how I'd feel if I didn't have my long locks as my crutch anymore.
This narrative extends beyond hair. At the core, your hair can be a strong symbol of self-confidence, self-love, and vulnerability. This is every reason the women below are so inspiring. They decided to let go of stereotypical standards of femininity and define beauty on their own terms. If you've been thinking about cutting your hair but something's holding you back, let their bravery be your source of strength. From faded buzz cuts to curly, cropped styles, their personal hair stories will empower you to let go.
"I cut off my hair for the first time back in 2009 when Solange did it. Ever since then, I was hooked. At first, I was nervous that my hair would make me look less feminine, but I found the opposite. It allows my makeup and accessories to take center stage. This summer, I started playing around with color—think rose, purple, platinum blonde, rust red—which made me love my hair even more. The older I get, the more I realize it's a blessing to standout from the pack. My short hair allows me to do exactly that."
"I never wanted to be defined by my hair, but it has always been such a special part of my expression. Last February, I cut my locs off after growing them for almost seven years and for a fresh start. It was like I grew a new superpower and was instantly inspired by the step I'd taken to liberate myself. I feel most beautiful and powerful when I have the least amount of hair because it allows me to explore my femininity in a way that I can define for myself and forces me not to hide."
"I think every woman, more specifically black women, should cut off their hair at some point in their lifetime. For the first time in my life when people see me, they truly see me. I can see it in their eyes. We're told that our beauty is contingent on our hair, but in actuality, our beauty is based on our intelligence, our guts, and our tenacity."
"To be honest, I felt completely vulnerable at first, but that was the point. I cut it so I could own my inner beauty. Short hair made me finally see myself and granted me the divine ability to physically wear self love every single day."
"Cutting my hair unlocked a level of confidence and self-love I had yet to experience. There's something undeniably powerful about being able to meet the world each day in the same way that I meet my reflection that morning—authentically my truest self."
"I was always frustrated that my hair never looked perfect due to weather conditions, working out, or dance. I live an active lifestyle and kept damaging my hair to make it look perfect with extensions. I was tired of my hair being the reason I couldn't live my best life. So I chopped it off. I'm fearless now. I've never been this confident in my entire life."
"I attached my hair to my femininity for too long, and one day, that stopped making sense. Having no hair has left me no choice but to really look at myself, inside and out. And I found just how innate my femininity is and have never felt more confident."