Afros, box braids, cornrows, dreadlocks—ask any black woman about their hair and they'll likely explain how important it is to a black woman's identity and personal expression. But sometimes, you just need a fresh new start and you decide to take the plunge to big chop, which can be both scary and freeing. For Lena Waite, Emmy award-winning writer, actress, and producer, her latest hair transformation was more of the latter, as she revealed in a recent interview with Variety on why she decided to switch up her 'do'.
"I’ve gotten gayer, guys," she told a reporter on the red carpet for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual grants banquet. She explained that she thought about cutting her locs for quite some time, but was afraid of how she'd be perceived by the public.
Back in July, Waithe share an image on her Instagram page showing off her freshly shaved head, courtesy of @barberdolltheslayer who chopped off Waithe's trademark locs.
"I felt like I was holding onto a piece of femininity that would make the world feel comfortable with who I am," Waithe said. "I think I thought for a long time, 'Oh, if I cut my hair, I’ll be a stud, I’ll be—in the gay world, there’s a lot of categories—I’ll be a stud or I’ll be a butch,' and I’ve always thought, 'Well, no, I’m not that, I’m still soft,' and I said, 'Oh, I gotta put that down ’cause that’s something that’s outside of me.'"
Waithe added that despite her fears, cutting off her dreadlocks made her feel "so free and so happy and so joyful, and I really stepped into myself.”
"'If people call me a butch or say 'she’s stud' or call me sir out in the world — so what? So be it. I’m here with a Prada suit on, not a stitch of makeup, and a haircut — I feel like, why can’t I exist in the world in that way?"