I’m FREE! You can be, too!

A few months ago I took it into my head that I was tired of my style.  I had been straightening my hair since I was thirteen years old.  My hair was past my shoulders, but rather than feeling alive it was like having a dead animal around my neck.  It was the hair society told me I as a black woman should have–long and dark, over processed into acceptability.  I didn’t feel like being “acceptable” anymore.

So for the last few months I’d been wearing my hair in long, dark braids, but truth be told, nothing could hide the gray hair growing in.  I am not ashamed to admit that on my last birthday I turned 53.  That’s not the cringeworthy number it used to be.  I am far from ancient.  But, thanks to my dad, I have been going gray since high school.  My hair is now downright white and refuses to take a dye anymore.  So what’s a lovely (gasp!) middle-aged woman to do?

old me--cute, but . . .

old me–cute, but . . .


 I chopped that shit OFF!

Well, it wasn’t quite that easy.  I closed my eyes and let my Fairy Godmother do her work on me. When I opened my eyes again, a new me was revealed, one I wasn’t even sure I liked.  It took a few minutes for me to reappraise myself in this new light.  Who the hell was this new woman that had emerged from underneath all that hair?

Suddenly, I felt emotional, on the verge of tears, but I immediately understood what I was feeling–relief!  I felt like Thidwick when he tossed all those freeloaders off his back (check your obscure Seuss references, y’all.)  I felt like the butterfly without the confines of the cocoon.  I felt free!

Butterfly graphic

imgion.com | Butterfly | Forward this Picture


It’s funny, but so often we associate hair with potency.  Think of Medusa with snakes for hair or Sampson who lost it all when his hair was shorn, but there is also power in shedding that which is no longer needed.  I was holding onto an image of myself that no longer suited but was so ingrained in me that I didn’t realize it was NOT me. 

You see, this is what I mean by a createthrough–abandoning the safe, the easy, the known, the usual to create a new solution for yourself.  If nothing else, I want to lead by example.  Cutting off my hair was really scary–but as they say, everything you want is on the other side of what you fear.  I believe in walking the talk. So without further ado, here’s the big reveal–me with my new ‘do.

new me

New me still in the salon.


So I challenge you to ask yourself, what am I holding on to that I need to let go of?  What is keeping me from moving forward that I could shed from my life, my belief system, my view of myself?  Or maybe you’ve recently released something that was holding you back. Either way, tell me about it in the comments below.  Maybe you, too, can inspire someone else on the need of a createthrough to start their own process.

And remember, dream big, dare greatly, create from the heart–

yes woman 


17 Responses so far.

  1. Lori says:

    u are quite an inspiration!!! A power house!! u look beautiful!!!

  2. Luv your new do. Going short worked for me too. Now it takes me less time to get “beaux-dacious”.

    Great look. Enjoy it.

  3. Dahlia DeWinters says:

    What a huge step to take! You look so good, my dear!

  4. vannieryanes says:

    Dee, thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I started going gray since high school, I am now all gray. I was told that gray hair at a young age was good luck. I guess it has been, because through the years I have met wonderful people and found good friends. As always you inspire me to look at things differently. I have been decluttering my apartment and things that can’t be held in the hand. This morning I was going to perm and possibly dye my hair–you have given something to think about and declutter. Looking at your lovely picture, I am leaning towards, “Go for it girl!”

    • deesavoy says:

      Hey Vannie–
      I agree–go for it. Always glad to offer a new perspective. Decluttering is the first step. I live by the motto–when in doubt, throw it out. If you need one the Universe will send you another. : )

  5. Delightful, inspiring post. When I turned -gasp-fifty, my daughter told me NOT to cut my hair ’cause it’s just so pretty. So here I am at-another gasp-83-with long hair and looking swell, writing books about Sexy Seniors full of fun and romance. The title of my latest book released this very week-is She Didn’t Say No. How ’bout them apples.
    Thanks for your post and woman, you are gorgeous both then and now.

    • deesavoy says:

      Awww, thanks so much for the compliment. I do feel pretty gorgeous right now. Love your encounter with coincidence. The Universe has a way of letting us know we are on the right track.

  6. deesavoy says:

    Delaney, Shelly, Dede–

    Thank you all for your kind words. I feel beautiful and I absolutely the freedom–not just from the long hair but of expectations, mine and other people’s. I wanted to do this years ago, but didn’t have the guts. Only goes to show it’s never too late to make a good decision . . .

  7. deesavoy says:

    Wow, Chanta. Waist-length dreads to bald–that must have been some transformation. I do believe I am in some very good company!

  8. deesavoy says:

    Thanks so much, Zaji. It is always wonderful to share and commiserate and tell our stories. The truth is, beauty shines through, no matter what length or style your hair is. It’s about giving up that ego belief that I can only be me one way.

    I plan on sharing the story of the woman who cut my hair shortly (pun intended). She is a great lady.

  9. Love it, and you look gorgeous!! I’ve been natural for about 10 years now and have no intention of going back.

  10. You look beautiful. The shorter length really works for you!

  11. Chanta Rand says:

    Dee, your hair looks wonderful! I know what you mean by being free. I gave up my relaxer three years ago. I’m 100% natural now and loving it. My husband, who had dreadlocks for 11 years, decided to cut his hair off about 7 years ago. They were down to his waist. One day, he just decided he needed to cut his hair. Girl, he went totally left and shaved it all off! Now, he wears it bald – and I love it! He said he felt the need for a new start. Getting rid of his dreads was a cathartic experience for him. So, you are in good company.

  12. zaji says:

    Wonderful! You look beautiful my dear sister. Simply beautiful. I too went through nearly a year of debate before cutting my beautiful locs. It wasn’t that I didn’t love them, but I realized I wanted to feel my natural hair in a different way, outside of locs. I miss my length something terrible, but I celebrate this new journey with my new hair.

    • Dede says:

      Be free! Embrace the true self. I’m approaching 40 and I’m resolve to show the world how beauty is unique and individual. Letting go of societies expectations and confounds of beauty helps me to feel and look more beautiful.

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