Leanne Laylor, singer-songwriter known on stage as Amenta, 42
What spurred your decision to cut your hair short?
“Most of my time and energy goes to running a household and making sure my kids have the time and attention they need. After that I have my art, music and visual expression. Also I was born with a genetic condition called sickle cell anemia that causes fatigue and intense pain episodes. Spending three hours a week on my hair simply didn’t suit my needs. Additionally, short hair can symbolize resilience, beauty, embracing your most natural state.”
How did you feel when you first did the cut?
“I did the first cut myself — it felt really personal, so I wanted to be alone and in my own space. I felt cold! That first gust of air blew against my head and I shuddered. I ran my hand over my head and it felt so smooth and soft. I felt natural and I felt a connection to certain aspects of my culture.”
What made you want to stick with it?
“It’s so easy, yet it can look so elegant. Also, I can focus on scalp health, which is very important. It’s low maintenance and lower cost. And if I feel like length, I can throw on a wig — I find wigs fit better now.”
Who are your shorthair icons?
“Grace Jones, Lupita Nyong’o, Michaela Coel, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Sinéad O’Connor, Adwoa Aboah and Skin of Skunk Anansie, to name a few!”
ARTS & LIFE
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited