I really try to minimize risk, but somehow, I convinced myself that cutting my own hair with scissors in my tiny NYC studio apartment one Sunday night was the right idea.
I was only 8 months into my very first Corporate America gig, but the pressure of daily assimilation and code switching was beginning to weigh prettyyyy heavily on my shoulders, y’all. Having grown up in an all white grade school, code switching wasn’t new to me. But after three years at Howard Law, I became painfully aware of the frequency with which I made myself small to comfort other people. Spoiler: it was often.
So, in an act of defiance and radical self-love, I took matters into my own hands and decided enough was enough.
Showing up to my ultra conservative law firm the morning after I had taken craft scissors to cut my own hair off goes down as one of the top three scariest days of my life. I already stood out as one of basically five black folks in the building, and I was so afraid that the big chop would make me stand out even more…and also that my coworkers would think I looked like a man.
Over the years, I’m proud to say I’ve managed to figure out how to keep my hairstyle classy and feminine (without feeling like I had to load up on makeup). Here are some of my favorite ways to accessorize my TWA.
It’s no surprise that long, dangling earrings are high on every curly girl’s list for accessorizing their TWA after the big chop, but the type of earrings you pick really matters. My new favorite earring brand for perfect statement earrings is Betsy Pittard Designs. BPD hits the nail on the head for earrings that actually fit the myth of “day-to-night.” I can wear these babies to the office and keep them on to stunt for date night too.
Scarf as Headwrap
One of my favorite natural hair bloggers has always been Nia from @niathelight. Earlier this year, she posted a BOMB youtube video on a few different ways to tie and style a headscarf, and since then, I’ve been obsessed. This method is sooo easy (after you watch Nia’s tutorial), and adds awesome color. I also really struggle with playing with my hair (a lot), so wrapping it with a headwrap definitely helps curb that bad habit and minimize breakage.
In my opinion, glasses help to add an interesting dynamic and positive attention to your lovely face without needing to layer on too much makeup. I am a huge proponent of eyelash extension (which is a blog post for another day), but I feel completely “made up” with my extensions, my brows filled in and a great pair of unique eye glasses.
My favorite eyewear brand for a few years now has been Warby Parker. Warby makes it super easy (and affordable) to keep a heavy rotation of v trendy eyewear in your arsenal. These days, they have stores in most major cities, but regardless of where you live, you can select a few styles online and they will ship you prescription-free testers to try out the styles in the convenience of your own home.
These are my go to ways to style and accessorize my TWA, but there are also TONS more, y’all. If you leave with one takeaway about accessorizing a TWA, I’d like it to be this: taking the leap for the big chop is scary AF, and it can definitely bring up a lot of insecurities you have about your appearance, desirability and worth. But! No matter how you decide to accessorize your TWA, the best way to rock your new do is with CONFIDENCE, hunty!
I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you. But I promise, you don’t look like a man. And the feeling of empowerment and self-love that you feel from cutting off those years of oppression (read: relaxer) will feel better than anyone else’s opinion. Plus, hair grows, ladies (especially when it’s natural), so in literally no time, you’ll have more hair than you even know what to do with. Feel free to head over to the natural hair section of my blog if you find yourself needing a little more inspo at that point 😉