1 of 15
This is me last week with a head full of hair and bored with it. I've worn my hair long my entire life (except when a Dominican blow-out gone wrong left it choppy and badly broken). Up until age 16 my mom relaxed my hair until I decided I to take over at the sighting of spiraled new growth. After months of braid outs to blend my natural curl pattern and the dead straight "permed" hair and several trims later, I'd finally rid my hair of any relaxer.
2 of 15
I'm on my way to see my stylist Yesenia at Hair Rules, who's been caring for my curls for two years after a group of friends hosted a girls night out at the salon. I thought I'd mastered how to work with my hair, but she showed me how to bring out my BCE (best curl ever). I was impressed.
3 of 15
At the salon, the editor in me comes out, discussing outtakes from a recent photo shoot from the February issue of ESSENCE plus an old photo of Amel Larrieux onstage in a curly bob. My sister joins me for moral support.
4 of 15
In the chair anxious, hoping Yesenia will understand my hybrid of a haircut. But after we agree a dramatic, sharp cut is better than playing it safe with a graduated bob, we're all in! First she blows it out.
5 of 15
Next, she begins to cut it dry to get the shape sharp and just right.
6 of 15
Even though my locks of love are on the floor, I'm so excited about this new cut that I'm not looking back — literally.
7 of 15
Yesenia making sure both sides are symmetrical.
8 of 15
Like a trimmed hedge, the shape is like sculptural perfection. Not too triangular and not too round, she nails it!
9 of 15
I pass by model Coco Rocha on the cover of a mag and she confirmed my new haircut would be tres chic, even before it was finished.
10 of 15
I decide to leave with my hair styled curly, so Yesenia re-wets it and we discuss how I'd like to style it. I opt for medium curl capacity (a term I totally made up) because my hair volumizes to full capacity as the days progress.
12 of 15
The overhead dryer semi-dried my hair, so the stylist goes in with a diffuser to stretch my curls and finish it off.
13 of 15
I'm one happy, selfie-taking customer when it's all done.
14 of 15
Three days later I'm loving the way my curls fluffed up. The cut definitely gave it new life.
15 of 15 Michael Rowe
It's pretty freeing to let go and detach yourself from one particular image anyone has about how you should wear your hair because they love it that way. And, at the end of the day, it's just hair and it will grow back.
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