Me and my beloved Zoe Rene'
Me and my beloved Zoe Rene’

As the New Year was just around the corner, I kept thinking about “What can I do to upgrade my current look? My personal style?”  I’ve been wearing dreadlocs since 1999. They have been waist long for years. I was in desperate need of something new.

I embraced hair change often during the 90’s.  I wore pixie cuts, braids, bobs, you name it. I was changing my hairstyle like the weather. When I decided to loc my hair, I had just given birth to my baby girl Zoe Rene’.  Back then locs (especially in Los Angeles) were not as common as they are today. Perfect for a girl like me. I have never been one to play follow the leader or color inside of the lines. I have always lived my life outside of the box.

Back in 1999, I personally cut all the chemicals out of my hair and wore a short fro until I officially started my locs. Zoe Rene’ was not even a year old.  As Zoe grew, so did my hair.  My locs are the only hairstyle she has ever seen me wear.  Last month I told Zoe Rene’ I was thinking of cutting my hair, that I wanted something new for 2016. To my surprise she got very upset. Her exact words were “I only know you with locs! All of my friends think you are so cool because of your hair!”

My jaw dropped!  Honestly, I was not expecting this reaction from her. Zoe of all people knows that I live my life outside of the box. I tried to be sympathetic to her reaction, but that lasted all but 30 seconds.  I was quick to tell her that I don’t choose my hairstyle based upon the popularity of her friends. I also told her that as my 17 year old child, she does not determine the style of my hair either- BAM. She fought back her tears and quietly stared out of the car window.

As Zoe Rene’ spent the next couple of weeks glaring at me every time I would mention cutting my hair. I was hyped! I searched the internet, read blogs, and flipped through magazines for inspiration. I was on a quest to find myself a new hairstyle. I saw pictures of beautiful, stunning women with their hair cut close to their scalp. Would I dare take the plunge and do the “Big Chop”?  I swooned over the women rocking afro’s! And let’s not forget Lisa Bonet, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Cassie with the one side shaved!  Every single one of these natural hairstyles were stunning, sexy, and ME!

My friend was sending me inspiring pictures everyday, I couldn’t get enough. Even worse I couldn’t make a decision. I started sharing some of the pictures with Zoe Rene’. You know, kind of ease her into the idea. We both knew I was going to do it eventually. She loved all of the styles, but she stood her ground with how she felt about my locs. I stood my ground with wanting a change.

The New Year came, as well as the day, that I called my longtime stylist Tammy Griffin, owner of Urban Suburban Salon, located in Alta Dena, CA.  I told her what I wanted to do, I made my appointment, and the rest is history. I told Zoe Rene’ I had scheduled the appointment. She said it would be a sad day for her. Really???

When the day arrived our levels of excitement were complete opposites. I didn’t let her blues get me down or sway my decision at all. I let Tammy do her thing and was so happy that I made the decision to change my hairstyle. It wasn’t a significant change, but it was enough of a change to make me happy. And that is what mattered most.

When Zoe Rene’ came home from school and saw my hair, she was quiet. I asked her for a hug, which she promptly gave me. But clearly she was sad. I explained to her that our hair is a way of self expression. We walked down memory lane through all of the hairstyles I’ve allowed her to get. I supported every last one of them. I told her she needs to do the same for me. That I will always be her mother, and that I will still get in her ass like I always do. Regardless of what hairstyle I have. That made her laugh.

Zoe Rene’ told me she would be happy for me, because she saw how happy my haircut made me.  She also said it would be only right for her to support my decision to change my hairstyle, because I have supported all of hers. Wow! What a kid! I raised her right. Then I really surprised her…

I  told her that this experience has made me think about the self expression she has asked me for permission to do. She has been wanting a tattoo. Nothing big, just a music note. She also wants a nose ring. Sigh… For those who do not know me personally, I have 7 tattoos AND  a nose ring. Lol I don’t have much of a leg to stand on here, with her requests for her new found self expressions.  For now, I have agreed to get her the tattoo. That is just our way of respecting and understanding one another’s self expression.