The Colored Girl Founder Victory Jones shares how cutting off her fro lead to a re-energized focus on refuting the societal beauty standards that keep women down.
"Shave your head, change your life." I didn't know how true this statement was until I did it three weeks ago. Cutting my hair went beyond checking an item off my bucket list.
As the barber put his clippers to the middle of my scalp, I felt a small sense of relief that morphed into a huge release. Despite shedding a tear or two, I didn't know just how different my perspective would be after making that decision. This was totally different.
With so much happening in my life both personally and professionally, I decided that it was time to streamline everything and stop worrying about the things that distract from my focus and purpose. For me, hair was one of those things.
Before my big chop, I hadn't seen it in its natural state until two years ago when I decided to transition away from relaxers. As any naturalista will tell you, the natural hair care regimen is very real! I would care for, style, wrestle, wrangle and wear my curly kinks to the point of exhaustion.
It was a different type of maintenance, but still time consuming and mentally draining. It became too much, and I wanted to refocus my energy on other things instead. Don't get me wrong: I loved my fro! It was thick, curly, versatile and fun.
But shaving my head wasn't just for aesthetics or edge. I truly wanted to feel different. It was a cleansing of sorts; a reset. And as I became more decisive about it, I realized it was more than that, too. I wanted to look at myself fearlessly and in a different way. I wanted to revel in the true beauty of just being myself.
And so far, I've gotten exactly what I expected. As women, we tend to cling to our looks, including our hair. For Black women specifically, it's a deeper issue, as we're surrounded by so many conflicting ideas regarding how we should wear, treat and also view our crowns!
Our beauty is constantly policed and it seems we can never get a break! I was tired. Tired of always feeling the pressure to look a certain way both for myself and those around me. I never realized just how impactful imposed societal beauty standards were on me either, until I founded The Colored Girl with my best friend Tori Elizabeth.
We spend most of our time making sure women of color are seen, represented and heard in mainstream media, in unprecedented ways. And we work tirelessly doing so.
But it wasn't until I decided to devote most of my time to helping other women redefine beauty standards, that I realized my own beauty wasn't bound by these same restrictions I was working so hard to disrupt.
Shaving my head is a reminder that my beauty and purpose is not relegated to my physical appearance, and it feels damn good! I’m not sure just how long I'll keep it, but for now, I am totally obsessed!
As far as day-to-day maintenance is concerned, I use Simplicity Hair Oil and Lucid Bliss Vitamin Hair Drops for my scalp, in addition to Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse and Algae Deep Conditioner. I also brush regularly with a boar bristle brush and massage my scalp daily. (Sidenote: it feels AMAZING!)
I think every woman should shave her head or rock a super short cut at least once in her life because it's liberating. Cast your worry, fear and doubt aside and just do it. After all, it's just hair and if you treat it right, like anything else, it will flourish and grow.