red carpet lupita nyong'o
photo: Xavier Collin/Image Press/Splash News

When Lupita Nyong'o first hit the red carpet, her cropped haircut was in a league of its own. By  being unapologetically herself, she made numerous best-dressed lists and encouraged other women to embrace their natural hair texture with unconventional haircuts. 

However, when Nyong'o first debuted her haircut, not everyone was so accepting. 

In an interview with Allure, Nyong'o revealed her mother was in shock when she debuted her short hair. 

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Nyong'o decided to cut it because she was frustrated with constantly having to relax her hair. "It was almost a dare to myself: Can I live without hair?" she said.

"When I got home, my mother was horrified," Nyong'o said.  

lupita nyong'o red carpet
photo: Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

She added that she didn't tell anyone other than the hairdresser that she was getting it cut. "[My mother] was just like, 'What have you done to my hair?'" Nyong'o explained. "I remember her saying that: 'I’ve been growing that hair since you were born — how can you?' Then I felt really self-conscious. It was hard to see the horror on my mother’s face," she said. 

"She was so disapproving, and I was so sensitive about it at the time, that I started to get scared that I had done the wrong thing," she admitted.

Lupita nyong'o red carpet
photo: Rob Latour/ Celebrity Monitor/Splash News

Sometimes people can be a bit apprehensive when debuting a new haircut, especially a dramatic cut. It's sad that Nyong'o's mother wasn't immediately accepting and made her apprehension clear.

Although it was difficult at first for Nyong'o's mother to get used to her daughter's new haircut, she did see the beauty in it over time.

"Eventually my mom came around. I remember once when I was dressed up for church, she actually said, with a very quick mouth, 'You look nice,'" she said. 

Today, Nyong'o is growing her hair out, but in the interview she reminisced about her short hair being a "liberating stage." 

lupita nyong'o red carpet
photo: Flynet - Splash News

"I had nothing to hide behind," Nyong'o explained. Nyong'o's hair journey demonstrates you should pick a style you like, regardless of others' opinions. After all, you may inspire others to do the same! 

To see more amazing photos by Patrick Demarchelier and to read the whole interview, visit Allure