As more curlies are taking the DIY approach, many are also forgoing the salons for even the most tedious of tasks. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. With the right knowledge, resources, and determination a curly girl can do just about anything. Professionals are always a viable option, do not DIY if you do not feel comfortable. This is exactly what Klloydmajestic wanted to know when she inquired about doing her own big chop (BC) at in our Curly Q&A section.
"Has anyone done their own BC? I'm planning on doing a big chop in the near future. I've been using henna to cover my gray hair and want to stop. I already know I'll be impatient with having two colors in my hair, so once it's grown out about an inch, I plan on using clippers and a guide comb to do the big chop myself. However, it seems like the "normal" thing most people do is get their big chop done at a salon. My mom is freaking out about me doing it myself also.
The only major risk I can think of when doing it myself at home is if I use crappy clippers, which would of course risk creating split and gnarly ends. Are there any other risks that I'm missing? Anyone else out there do their own big chop? Thanks in advance!"
Seven years ago I did my own big chop without knowing it was called a big chop. I just looked in the mirror, picked up kitchen scissors (I do not recommend this), and started cutting. Cutting my own hair was liberating, self-affirming, and allowed me to work on only one texture. I loved that I did it and would not change a thing, because my experience, albeit improper tools, was a necessary component in my journey to going natural. Most curly girls have horror stories about hairstylists who are unskilled and inexperienced with natural hair. If this is truly something you want to do, then by all means do it. But before you get started, here is a list of things to consider when taking the DIY route for your big chop.
Use proper tools
Proper tools does not account for only appropriate shears. It also includes a wide-tooth comb, spray bottle, hair clips, and a room with great lighting. Proper tools allow you to do the job right and just as you suspected, the wrong cutting tools can leave snags or split ends. Shears are recommended, as you have more control over what you are cutting; they also allow people to take their time to cut their hair by each clump based on the visible line of demarcation.
Wet your hair
When doing the BC you want to work on very damp hair. Wetting the hair allows your natural hair to retract and curl, making it easier to distinguish between the relaxed ends and your natural hair. Some even use daily conditioner with lots of slip to help their curls to clump and reveal a more pronounced line of demarcation.
Enlist the help of someone you trust
If you are not sure about going to a salon, then ask a friend or family member to at least help with the back of your hair. It is easier to see the front and sides but the back (even with several mirrors) can be challenging and cause you to cut too much or too little.
Take your time
There is no need to rush, as you want to make sure you are only cutting off your relaxed ends and not healthy natural strands.