A main focus of this site (and the natural hair community at large) is achieving hair length goals. This goal is significant because it disproves the long-held belief that kinky/curly hair is incapable of retaining length. But the pursuit of length sometimes turns into length attachment, causing naturals to feel all their beauty and worth is tied up in their long hair. This is why 12-year-old Destanee’s story is significant. Last month she cut off 10 inches of hair and donated it to Locks of Love. We asked her and her mother a few questions to get to to the heart of why she made this decision.
Destanee why did you want to cut your hair? Is it something you’d been thinking about for a while or was it a spur of the moment decision?
D: I cut my hair because I didn’t want it to get sucked into a vacuum when there was better use for it. I had been thinking about cutting my hair for a while, just not in this style.
Many women are afraid to let go of their hair. What gave you the courage to let it go?
D: I was not scared of cutting my hair because I thought donating it would be for a good cause.
From Destanee’s mother Michelle:
Cutting hair is almost a cardinal sin in many black families, especially for young girls. What was running through your mind when your daughter said she wanted to cut her hair?
M: Destanee had been asking her dad and I if she could cut her hair for a number of weeks before we agreed to let her. She has been taking care of her own hair for a while so she wanted something easier to manage for the summer. We discussed the pros and cons with her and her rebuttal was that she had been wearing her hair in a very similar style for a number of years. On the morning of her haircut, she decided to cut it short enough to be able to donate it. People have asked me how I felt when she said she wanted to cut her hair off. My answer to that is hair grows back.
We often tell our black daughters that their beauty is tied up in their hair. What do you think of this mindset?
M: People say her hair is so beautiful. Her hair is beautiful but Destanee is beautiful with or without her hair being long. If something were to happen to cause her hair to fall out, would she be any less beautiful? I have tried to instill in all my children that how you look doesn’t make you as beautiful as having a beautiful spirit.
Destanee has shown me that she understands this by having a servant heart and doing the best she can. Des is a straight A student who actually skipped a grade this past school year. She also serves at church in the Early Elementary and Preschool areas. Des does the best to set a good example for her peers and for younger children even if it is not the “cool” thing to do.
Wow. Remarkable! Ladies, what do you think of Destanee’s story.