Why I Cut My Waist Length Natural Hair… I Have No Regrets!

By: Courtney Akinosho

texture-before-big-chopWhen I first decided against relaxing my hair in October 2008, I fantasized about growing thick, luscious, bouncy curls that hung down my back for days. You know, the waist length natural hair that we all lust after? Like many women, I’ve always had long hair and friends, family and suitors all saw it as a signature part of my style. So imagine the shock on everyone’s faces – even mine – when six years later, I cut my waist-length hair…to a tapered fade (Check out 6 Ways to Rock a Tapered Fade), no less, right before a holiday.

See: 4 Foolproof Ways to Grow Healthy Hair

Read: What I Learned From Growing Hip Length Natural Hair

[ad name=”Media.net”]Now one year, four months post-second big chop, I can safely say I have no regrets about ditching waist-length natural hair for a TWA, and here’s why:

  1. Wearing hats is now my go-to style, one I was never able to achieve before.

    Turbans and hats are truly a lazy natural’s dream. But aside from the many head wrapping options that there are, dressing up an outfit with a hat is another level of fun that I’d never had before now. 12 Lazy Hairstyles for Natural Hair
  2. I see my face in a new light. I mean really see my face.
    If you’ve never used your hair as a disguise, you won’t believe how easy it is to hide behind in times of anxiety or distress. Despite my somewhat outgoing nature, I always used my hair as a security blanket. Once those inches were gone, I had no choice but to get acquainted with the “new” face in the mirror. Though skeptical about wearing my forehead in public, my husband was extremely supportive of my short ‘do. “It really brings out the shape of your face, your beautiful eyes and the natural arch of your brows.”  he said. You know what? He’s right. How’s that for a boost in confidence?
  3. Protective styles are neater and last longer.
    One thing I hated about protective styling with box braids or Senegalese twists is that the investment hardly seemed worth it. A week after an install, I’d notice frizzy ends sticking out from braids or twists, refusing to seamlessly blend. I also worried about moisturizing my hair and whether or not that would make the style heavier/oilier/stinkier/looser. Having shorter hair seemed to solve that problem the next time I tried a protective style. 5 Reasons You Should Protective Style
  4. Why I Cut My Waist Length Natural Hair… I Have No Regrets!I’m making new friends who share interests other than hair.
    Achieving waist length natural hair will undoubtedly bring questions from newcomers and even seasoned naturals who are curious about hair growth and length retention. Although I never considered myself a hair blogger, my social media following grew from networking with other naturals, offering advice and attending hair-centered events. Funny, but people don’t ask as many coif questions when you’re rocking a TWA. This leads to conversations about any number of things, and ultimately, I’ve formed a new group of friends who seldom talk about their strands.
  5. 1-month-post-chopI’m finally enjoying the TWA stage.
    When the goal was to achieve long hair, my focus grew away from best practices or low maintenance styles, and grew towards showing off all that length. There’s nothing wrong with setting length goals, but personally, they took away from my initial belief in having healthy, bouncy tresses. The irony. This time around I’ve forgone flat irons and blow dried styles for flat twists, a weekly wash-n-go and heat-free updos. Faux double buns with real bangs? Sure. Butterfly headband? Why not?
  6. Medical conditions and health concerns aside, I can always grow long hair again.
    If there’s anything I’ve learned in these 7 relaxer-free years, it’s that appearances are temporary. I may have short hair this month, but I can have long hair next year if I continue on this healthy hair journey until then. More importantly, I can be happy and love myself regardless of my hair’s length.


Have any of you decided to big chop again? Are you surprised that I cut my waist-length natural hair with no regrets?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about celebrating the TWA. Leave your kind comments below!


10 thoughts on “Why I Cut My Waist Length Natural Hair… I Have No Regrets!

  1. Pingback: Why I Cut My Waist Length Natural Hair… I Have No Regrets! - find-a-black-salon.com

  2. Michelle

    I just big chopped my mid-back length hair and once I did I realized how much I was living for the length! I’ll grow it back, maybe but for now I want to really enjoy this twa phase as well!!

    1. Charlene

      Wow Michelle, wish you had pictures..I just told my husband today that I think I’m gonna cut mine..I’m sick of this long hair..it just hangs, I want something shorter!!

  3. Curlykinks

    Grateful I came across this post. I was just telling my husband I’m thinking of cutting it all off. Mine is long as well and honestly, after having to balance it’s maintenance with with my life…. I would rather not. I just can’t do it anymore! I dread wash days and am so over dealing with porosity issues. I’m now 85% sure I’m gonna chop it. I didn’t chop it before, so this will be a first. Natural for 10 years. Heat free for the last 3 of them.

  4. wellnessisimportant

    I have mid back length hair and I’m considering it! I spend an incredible amount of time and effort on my hair on protective styles and general maintainence and I really don’t think all this effort is worth it at this point. It’s either I find a long term, low maintenance hairstyle or cut it 🙈

    1. Courtney Akinosho Post author

      Totally understand! As it’s growing out, I’m leaning on twists, updos and head scarves. If you’re considering a cut, I’d say go for it! Even a few inches could make a difference.

  5. Kim

    Any suggestions on natural hair that is naturally curly, but fine and soft. Products I have used are too heavy. Been natural for four years.

    1. Courtney Akinosho Post author

      Hi Kim! Congrats on crossing 4 years! I like the Shea Moisture products geared towards fine hair. Sometimes I have to pick and choose between their lines. I also prefer conditioners that aren’t necessarily “natural” or marketed to women of color. These include V05 (the green line) and Aussie Moist conditioners. For styling, I’m usually good with a leave-in (try Mane Choice or something from SM) and a butter on my ends. No heavy oils or creams.

      Hope this helps!


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