Natural Hair and the Big Chop

by Jarmelia of the DIY Hair Care Blog

This post is one that has been rattling around my head for months! Well, after reading a comment on College Curlies, I have decided to tackle it. The Big Chop! What is The Big Chop? Do you have to Big Chop in order to have natural hair? Do you have to go bald to become natural?

Here is the comment posted on College Curlies that inspired this post:
"This is a depressing comment sorry but it's something I don't really share. I just wanted to give a different perspective that people might have to also overcome. For me, it's not so much that it's not straight anymore because the texture and thickness is why I became natural but it's how short my hair is right now. Maybe I should have transitioned longer but honestly, I think I went as long as I could (5 months)....I wig it up but I do take good care of my hair underneath and I'm still taking the time to learn what works for it and what doesn't. (..........) I guess I can't carry a short cut...it scarred me, really did. (......)"

What is The Big Chop?
If you're transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, when you cut off the relaxed hair and leave only the "new growth" or natural hair this is called your Big Chop. You no longer have any relaxed hair on you head, only curly hair.

Do you have to Big Chop in order to have natural hair?
Yes, if you have relaxed hair. You have to cut off the relaxed hair in order to be considered a "natural" or as having natural hair. If you have relaxed ends (the tips of your hair) but, have let the roots (new growth) grow out, then you are transitioning.

Do you have to go bald to become natural?
Of course not! You can grow out your relaxer for as long as you want or need. This is called transitioning. While transitioning you will be dealing with 2 different textures of hair; the new growth and the relaxed hair all on one strand! It can be a challenge to come up with styles for transitioning hair. It is also very important to detangle properly and keep a great protein moisture balance to keep the hair from breaking at the demarcation line (the point where the "new growth" and relaxed hair meet). This is where the hair is very weak. Pictures of transitioning hair.

So, if you are not a fan of short hair or just don't want to cut all of your hair off then transitioning is for you! I have seen some women transition for 24 months and some as short as 2-3 months. It's a personal choice and one that you need to make depending on your hair preferences.

If you do decide to Big Chop early, and don't like how short your hair is then you can always do protective styles to grow your hair out.

Lots of ladies have their transitioning journeys on YouTube, so check them out as well.

Don't get discouraged or feel bad if you don't like the short curly look. Do what makes you comfortable. Not liking a short hair cut doesn't make you less confident or anything of the sort. Every style isn't for everybody!

9 Weigh in!:
Anonymous said...

@Do you have to go bald to become natural?
I had a natural hair stylist tell me repeatedly that I was CHEATING by transitioning. She actually tried to shame me, lol. I didn't feel the need to BC and I definitely wasn't going to do it to gain her approval. Good article!

DIY Hair Care Blog said...

Cheating? How can you cheat going natural? I think the "Do I have to go bald" fear is what keeps some women from going natural. Some people just simply don't want to chop all their hair off. I don't blame them...I didn't either.

Jarmelia

TaiC said...

I just had this 'debate' with my friend. She feels like i lost out on some of the 'journey' becasue i transitioned. She BCed in Dec 09 while i started transitioning at the same time. I just did my BC last month April 2011.. i just knew short hair wasn't for me so I opted to transition. there's no point in doing the BC too early & not liking your hair..it's not for every one. Anyway i love my hair right now & I'm glad I did it my way..

Anonymous said...

@ DIY Hair Care Blog
At first I thought she was joking, but she made it clear she was not. I guess she was of that school of thought that "If-I-had-to-go-through-it-so-should-you". I could not imagine trusting my hair to someone so closed minded.

Anonymous said...

I've now completed my big chop. It was hard the first few hours but each hour afterwards I was ble to adjust a little more. I am too anxious for it to grow out because I am ready to rock some of the cute natural styles. I did have to cut most of the perm out and each week I just snip my straight ends as it grows. Since nothing is in it, it is growing fast. Dont be scared, try it.

Princess said...

This is a great article and just the information I needed. I've had short hair before and was not pleased at all,so I was hesitant to go natural thinking I HAD to BC early. So excited and eager as I begin my natural journey!

Anonymous said...

I've been natural for 16yrs did the Big Chop bald 4x / 2wks ago I shaved my shoulder length locs off and it felt so freeing. My hair is growing you cant see my scalp..lol. I'm going to rock a caesar for a few months. I may or may not grow it out again for me its too many products and upkeep, I am @ a different point in my life and I want wash and go hair. You have to be sure of who you are and not worry about others think or say. FREE your mind and the rest will follow. Peace & Love

Hair and Laser Clinic Singapore said...

thinking of being bald and hair loss makes me freak out all the time. been working with the right remedies for small bald spots not and found no access. i feel so hopeless!

Aihr.com.au said...

There are men who are willing to shave their hair if hair loss is inevitable and it now affects their self esteem and social life. However, when it comes to women, i doubt if they are willing to shave these hair off and hair loss may rot to hell. LOL

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