For many women with natural hair, a big chop represents a fresh start. The change might hold great emotional significance for some, while others might just see it as a way to rehab damaged strands. Whatever camp you're in, there is something undeniably freeing about chopping it all off — and Tia Mowry, who has been on her own natural hair journey for a few years, can relate.
Last week, the actress and entrepreneur enlisted the help of celebrity stylist Nakia Collins to take her shoulder-length curls to a super-short pixie cut. "It was time," Mowry wrote in an Instagram caption. "This is me. #selfcare isn't selfish." Mowry's post quickly amassed millions of likes from fans praising her new look, but the actress revealed to Refinery29 that her decision to cut her hair actually came from a deeply emotional and difficult place.
"If I'm honest with you, 2020 was just starting pretty rough," Mowry told me over the phone last week. "Between the natural disasters to worrying about viruses, and then the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant... I just wanted to chop my hair off and start over."
Mowry says her relationship with her hair is complex, and dates back to her Sister, Sister days when she felt pressured to straighten her curls. "My sister [Tamera] and I started in this business and I've never worn my hair curly until adulthood," Mowry says. "My curly hair was seen as problematic and inconvenient, and it made me insecure."
But in 2014, after witnessing the impact of the natural hair movement, Mowry decided it was time to embrace her curls. "My outlook changed in adulthood," says Mowry, who did another big chop when her son, Cree, was younger. "I felt like, If this is what God gave me, I am gonna roll with it."
Though the circumstances for Mowry's recent chop represented a difficult time, the star says she is looking forward to 2020 with a renewed outlook and appreciation. "It's part of a new year, new me — mentally and physically," says Mowry, who recently launched Anser, a line of supplements inspired by her own self-care journey and diagnosis with endometriosis. "After having my children, I was inspired to take better care of me," she says.
For Mowry, self-care drives everything she does, which is a realization that came into greater focus in recent weeks. "For me to be the best mother, wife, and human, I have to be well mentally and physically," she says. "Whatever helps you get to that point — do it. Sadly, life is too short not to be the best version of yourself."