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It’s More Than Just Hair

I was casually watching a Beleaf In Fatherhood video on Youtube, titled “Dad Cuts Son’s Hair” and I found myself on the verge of tears as I watched a powerful exchange between a black father and his son. The father, Beleaf, had been trying to persuade his son, Theo, to keep his locs for almost a year already. 

However, Theo was certain that he wanted to have his hair cut for his 7th birthday. It makes sense that the dad wouldn’t want to cut his son’s hair because he had an attachment to it. After all, hair is not just hair, especially in the black community.

For hundreds of years, black people have used their hair as a source of power, status, identity, and self-love. There is a deeper meaning to cutting away the strands of kinks and coils. Theo knew that his hair had power and he was ready to take that control into his own hands. He was maturing and his mom and dad knew it. His locs were a symbol of his childhood and he was ready to put away childish things. And that’s why I found myself in an emotional state. I had the same experience when I was 17 years old. 

My mom had been perming my hair straight since I was 4 years old and as I grew older I realized that the straight hair was not me. I wanted to shed the chemically processed hair and release my wild curls. An afro was it for me and my mom was not ready for that but I took both the figurative and literal sheers and chopped away my long timeline of straight hair. I had become the Tyra that I wanted to be and not what others envisioned for me. I was finally my own and for that, I commend Theo for taking that brave step to maturity and for proving that he was ready to claim himself.


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