For our final installment of the Chop Chop series, which celebrates the 2nd chop, we have Tomiko Fraser Hines. It was recommended by several people, including previous Chop Chop’er, Felicia Leatherwood, that I catch up with this lady to hear her story. So glad I did because it truly is a powerful narrative to round out this series!
Natural Selection: What inspired your 2nd chop?
Tomiko Fraser Hines: I decided to do another big chop because I felt at my core that it was time. I have been on a wonderful journey of self-discovery and self-definition these past few years. As I mature, I realized that I wasn’t always being my TRUE me. I was being what I thought I needed to be or how I was expected to be. I knew it didn’t feel right, but I was afraid to do anything else. But when my spirit is ready for a change, it does not keep quiet. It lets me know every chance it gets that it is time for a change. For example, I’ve wanted to pierce my nose for years. But I was afraid that it would negatively affect my modeling career. But my spirit would not keep quiet until I finally decided to do it last summer and I couldn’t be happier. Were my agents happy with my decision? Probably not. But I was doing and BEING who I wanted to be and it’s working out just beautifully. And not to mention what can be done with retouching these days. My nose ring can be “gone” with the click of a mouse.
The same thing holds true for my “choice” to do another big chop. And let me first clarify that the first time I big chopped, I was not happy AT ALL. I wasn’t ready to embrace my hair like that and I re-relaxed my hair the first chance I got (it fell out and I ended up HAVING to go natural again). As I was saying, my choice to big chop again came from my spirit. I found myself drawn to black women with TWA’s or who were wearing Caesars or completely bald. I stopped wanting to style my hair. The regiment of maintaining my hair was becoming too much for me to handle. While I love wearing headwraps in general, I found myself wearing them more often because I didn’t want to comb my hair. I even began looking at my own pictures where my hair was pulled back or wrapped and placing my fingers over the picture so I could see what I’d look like with a TWA. I thought once I mentioned what I was considering to my husband, he would dissuade me from cutting my hair for reasons like it would negatively affect my career or he wouldn’t find me attractive with short hair. But boy did he call my bluff!! He not only gave me his blessing, but he told me that I am beautiful no matter how I wear my hair and it didn’t matter to him what hairstyle I wore just as long as I was happy. I have an amazing husband! : )
NS: What has the reaction been?
TFH: The reaction has been amazing! Everyone from my husband, to my friends, to my agents all love my new look! While I’m happy that they all like it so much, it wouldn’t have mattered much if they didn’t because I love it. And that’s all that matters in the end. : )
NS: How do you like the new look?
TFH: I am in love with my new look! Not only do I love the way it looks on me, I am blown away with how much easier it is to take care of. I’m now a “wet and go” girl when it come to my hair. I no longer have concerns about what my hair will look like if I work out or get caught in the rain. It’s so freeing!
NS: What’s your regimen like now?
TFH: My regimen is simple. I wet my hair in the morning and add a little less than a palmful of “Hair Rules Curly Whip” styling gel. I then rub my hair/head in a circular motion, which creates a beautiful curl and then I let it air dry. The whole things takes less that 5 minutes. To say I’m thrilled with this new regimen is an understatement. : )
NS: Are you planning to keep it short or grow it out?
TFH: I plan to keep it short for a while. I just can’t beat how simple it is to care for. And I can be a little lazy sometimes when it comes to styling my hair, so this style suits me perfectly. But I am also a chameleon and love changing my hairstyle every few months, so you never know. : )
NS: Anything else you’d like to share with Natural Selection readers?
TFH: I’d love to invite your readers to subscribe to the new YouTube channel that my husband, Chris, and I recently created. It’s called “Chris & Tomiko Talk About….” and we post videos of us talking about a variety of topics with our own uniqueness added to them. They’re a lot of fun and we are upping our production value and will be putting out bona fide talk show material very soon. Our ultimate goal is to have our own talk show on a major network and we’d definitely appreciate the support of your readers. The link to the channel is “www.youtube.com/chrisandtomikotalk2u.