Beyoncé Opens Up About How This Notable Change in Her Appearance Signified a Major Act of Rebellion

 Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance.
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance.
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Beyoncé (unfortunately) rarely gives interviews, so when she does, we’re hanging on every word. This was certainly the case when she recently opened up to Essence about her new haircare line, Cécred, where she spoke about the role that hair salons played in shaping her life—and how a change in her hair represented an act of rebellion.

Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance

Back in 2013, Bey debuted a very short haircut, which she reflected on to Essence: “I love how we associate a certain hairstyle with moments in our lives, like that short hair moment,” she said. “I remember the day I decided to just cut all my hair off. I didn’t have a particular style in mind. It wasn’t an aesthetic choice, but it was a very big emotional transformation and metamorphosis that I was going through.”

Many women have an emotional connection to their hair—especially performers. “So much of my identity as a performer has been connected to flowing hair,” Beyoncé said. “Cutting my hair off was me rebelling against being this woman that society thinks I’m supposed to be. I was a new mother [Blue Ivy Carter was born the year prior, in 2012], and something about the liberation of becoming a mother made me want to just shed all of that. It was a physical representation of me shedding the expectations put upon me. I just wanted it off.”

Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance

Bey recalled how her hairstylist and friend Neal Farinah “was freaking out because it was really long, really thick, and really healthy,” she said of her hair at the time. “I just got the scissors and chopped it off. It was very intentional. And it was what I needed to do. And after that, I became super brave. It was the first step to many more audacious decisions I made in my life and my career that have led to who I am now.”

Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, owned a salon when Beyoncé was growing up. Bey worked there as a child, and said the space inspired her in countless ways, including as an artist. (Take a look at Destiny’s Child’s 1999 video for “Bills, Bills, Bills” for a sample of this.)

Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance
Beyonce debuting a major change in her appearance

“My mom had a roster of amazing clients at her salon, and while the environment was therapeutic for them, it was also for me,” Beyoncé said. “She found a therapist for me during a period when I was extremely introverted and hardly spoke. It was in her salon that I realized my dreams of being a performer—inspired by one of her clients who happened to be an opera singer. I was captivated by her stories of a recent trip to Germany. In awe, I distinctly remember telling my mom that I wanted to be just like her client.”

She continued “So much of the fabric of who I am came from her salon. It is something that just connects to all of my senses, and it’s a beautiful place to grow up. That’s my foundation—and I think as an artist, so much of my bold experimentation with hair comes from being inspired by art and sculptures, getting creative with braids, figuring out new techniques, and exploring ways to maintain hair growth with protective styles and wigs while still feeling fabulous. It all stems from my experiences growing up in my mother’s salon.”