Snip and chop; it all falls down. My braids and twists gracefully wisp down onto my shoulders. They fall onto my lap, and for a moment it’s sad to see it go, but I can’t help the excitement I feel as my mother holds the scissors her hand. I sit watching some show, or maybe a movie with my mother’s knees next to my ears. I untangle each little cut off bud to release the rest of the hair. With the extra weight off I see the progress I’ve made, how long my hair has grown, how well it’s been doing after its short vacation from my constant manipulation. With each braid, I comb and fluff. Once we’re finished I have an afro the size of the moon. The world, however, feels like it is revolving around me. From here I start to prepare for the most satisfying wash and condition. A wash where I can finally scrub my scalp and a condition that makes it from root to tip. As I nourish my hair I start to imagine all the new cool things I can do with a few more inches. It’s a time full of potential and euphoria, and it’s always been whether my hair was permed straight or had natural curls.