Does Hair Grow Faster After The Big Chop?

Photo Source: Style Weekly

by Mary Wolff

For any curly girl embracing her natural hair, it is a journey. Some curlies choose the big chop method to jumpstart their hair journey. While the big chop can be intimidating for a lot of women who have never had short hair, it is also an easy way to take that first step and embrace the commitment of natural hair. This is a big step and lots of questions come up. Is it better to big chop or transition? Does hair grow faster after the big chop? Here are the answers to these two big questions that come up all the time.

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Why You Should Big Chop Again This Summer!

IG @shadesofkinky 

by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

The term big chop has been coined by the natural hair community as the triumphant return to your ‘natural’ self after cutting off all traces of chemically-treated hair. Emotions run high as you say goodbye to everything you once knew, and embrace this new lifestyle as what you’ve always wanted to be.

Confident. Beautiful. Strong.

These feelings resonate well with those who have enjoyed the freedom of daily wash & gos without much else to worry about. Now your hair has grown in, you made it through the awkward stage, you’re loving your length until you realize just how much work long natural hair requires.

There are so many cute short styles that we have access to now that we may not have realized back in ’06 when the natural hair community was still on the come-up. With sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, even Facebook there is a plethora of natural hair inspo that leaves us itching to do the chop again, so why are we still on the fence? Here are a few reasons why you should consider a second big chop this summer.

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The Reluctant Natural- Jascmeen's Journey to Natural Hair


by Jascmeen of Jascmeen.com

I’m what you’d call a “reluctant natural.” After years of relaxers, something just changed and my hair started to behave differently. It was dry, breaking off, and it just wasn’t the hair I was used to. In honor of my 1 year Natural-iversary, here’s a timeline of my journey and a Big Chop video. If you’re just starting out, here are the great and not so great moments you can look forward to. (A lot of these pics aren’t so great, sorry they’re old and some of them were never meant to leave the sanctity of my Camera Roll. Oh well. We’re all friends here.)

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Did You Do Your Own Big Chop?

Photo by Pamela Moore -- Getty Images


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.

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Tanaja- "This hair style is VERY low maintenance!"




Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Tanaja Spiller, everyone calls me MJ. I currently live in Huntsville, Alabama. I am a graduate from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. My family lived in Anniston, Alabama for a couple of years and then Germany until I was 6. For the remainder of my childhood, I lived in Montgomery, Alabama.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural all of my life. My mom never allowed me to get a perm after seeing what it did to my older sister’s hair. My mother easily managed my hair by keeping it braided. She was very creative with the different braided hairstyles she would give me! As I got older, my mom felt that I was outgrowing braids and she started to hot comb my hair. The first time I experienced the process, I was so upset and I just wanted my braids back. I went to school that morning with straight hair and by the time I came back home, a combination of the Alabama heat and my sweat had ravished my hair. I heard so many jokes and laughs, at my expense, that I went home and washed my hair (without my mom’s permission). I begged her to braid my hair. So at 14 years old, I wasn’t embracing my curls in the slightest bit.


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OWN Your TWA This Summer- Short Natural Hair Styles



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When I first went natural, I thought my TWA was the worst thing in the world. I only rocked protective hairstyles in hopes of growing out my hair. Instead, using protective hair styles turned out to be the easiest way to neglect my hair. After realizing the damage, I finally gained some courage to rock my TWA.

Own your teenie weenie afro (TWA) this summer. The summer is the perfect time to stray away from the protective hairstyles and give your hair a break. If some of you are still afraid of flaunting your TWA and continue using protective hairstyles to hide it, I urge you to be brave this summer! After all, your TWA is beautiful no matter how short it is. In time, the length will come. I also urge you to strive for healthy hair more than you do for lengthy hair. Instead of finding styles that will stretch your hair, focus more on length retention by deep conditioning and moisturizing.
We can already tell this summer is going to be a hot one, so give your TWA some fresh air and sun this summer!

Check out some naturalistas rocking their fabulous TWA’s in a few YouTube tutorials below:

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Nafisat is Naturally Glam!



Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Nafisat. I’m a Nigerian Architecture student schooling in Lagos. I love blogging, having fun with friends and meeting new people.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural for two years now.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I initially wanted healthy, long, relaxed hair, but after doing the chop and 4 months of transitioning I fell in love with my curls. I have not looked back since. I wanted to transition for 8 months then chop it, but I was too anxious to see what my texture looked like.


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The Terrible Twos- Surviving an Awkward Hair Stage



The terrible twos are not just for toddlers. It is not just for those weary parents to battle and rear. The terrible twos can be something as odd as your natural hair coming into its own and you trying to adapt. As your hair grows it changes and as you adapt to one length and temperament, you can wake up one morning to a sea of confusion and doubt on just how to take care of the halo on your head. I know what that can be like. For an entire year my hair did not curl the way it curls now, and once I finally understood and became familiar with what was growing out of my scalp, my hair changed. Then, it changed again and then again, and I was left bewildered and unsure because I was dealing with something I had not encountered before…I was dealing with natural hair’s toddler years and it was not fun.

Natural hair is fun so please do not let me scare you. It is fun, exhilarating, and liberating all at the same time. Now, there are moments when your hair is working through something and has not made you aware. That would be year two as you begin to feel you have a take on what is actually going on. It is different for everyone but with naturals taking two clear and distinct paths there is a division. You have the BCs and the transitioners.



Tell us a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Lauren McCray. I’m 26 year and from North Carolina. I’m a proud new mommy of a bouncing 4 month old baby boy named Grayson Gabriel. He’s truly my pride and joy. I work with special needs children. I love to sing and read when I have the time.

How long have you been natural?
I’ve been relaxer free since 2008 and fully natural since June 2009, when I did my big chop.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I decided to go natural while I was in college. I began to notice more and more people embracing the natural hair journey and decided that I wanted to experience it for myself. I’ve always had really healthy hair, even when relaxed, so the decision was solely based on my desire to do so and not because of damaged hair. I was a transitioner turned big chopper. I transitioned for 8 months before finally big chopping in June 2009.


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Real Hair Talk: "I Regretted The Big Chop"


 by Kanisha Parks of BlackNaps.org

To be honest with you, I had no idea what “natural hair” was. It was foreign, but eye-opening, the idea of not getting relaxers anymore- something I had been doing since I was eight years old. To my understanding, a relaxer was just something every young black girl did. The best thing about getting a relaxer was not having to endure stomach-turning braiding sessions or ear-singeing pressing comb experiences with my mother anymore. Relaxed hair was easier, more convenient, and just all-around better: or so I thought.

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Brittany Myers- I Big Chopped (and bleached)!




Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Brittany Myers. I am 22 years old. I was born in Jamaica, but I currently live in the US.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I became natural on August 4, 2014.  No, I did not embrace my curls. Before becoming natural, if I could relax my hair every week I would have.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
I did a big chop, I don’t have the patience for a transition. What made me consider going natural was sweating out my relaxer after exercising, and seeing all those pictures of naturals and seeing how beautiful and flexible it was.

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The Faux Big Chop- A Crochet TWA Tutorial!



“My face is too fat” and “My head is too big” are all things we hear from women who are hesitant to big chop or get a haircut. CurlyNikki is all about equipping women with educational tools that allow them to make educated choices and exercise their options, so when I saw Pure Estrogen’s DIY big chop crochet tutorial I was more than excited to share. Women have been faking length, texture, and locs for years so why not fake a big chop? Most of the DIY short-haired wigs on YouTube are with curly and wavy textures and now here’s one with afro-textured hair. Not quite sure or ready to big chop? Make your own wig!

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7 Things Every Big Chopper Needs



Cutting off all your hair can be the stuff nightmares are made of for most women. Despite that fact, more and more women are big chopping to join team natural.

As they should be! Going natural can be the most exhilarating, and according to many women, the best decision one can make. A little preparation will help to make the journey to natural as smooth as possible. Read on for a few must-haves you'll need in your big chopper arsenal.

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A New Hair Social Order


by Dori Phelps

So, first of all I want to state some givens. I’ve been black all my life. I don’t know what it is like to be anything else. My life experience consists of the fact that I have never been skinny: never very large but svelte is not a category I would fit in. Nor have I ever been reserved or without opinion; my personality bubbles into every situation. And I’ve never met a stranger.

However, I am in American culture, the other; too dark, too big and too loud. Basically, I am taking up too much room, heard too much and seen as well. That thought experiment can be parked for now. I mention that only to say I am not stranger to otherness. For to add to that, I have short hair and wear it naturally.

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Christina Is Naturally Glam!


Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like? 
I tried to be a transitioner. I really wanted to transition because my hair was long, but I was far too impatient. I wanted to see my curls far too badly. So I big chopped twice!

Had you always embraced your texture?
I hadn’t always embraced it. I have bigger curls in the top of my head, but the smaller curls in the back were much harder to tame.


Celeste- 'Never let anyone tell you that you have “bad hair”...'



 
Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Celeste Young. I am 22 years old and I am from Jackson, MS.

How long have you been natural?
I have been fully natural for 7 1/2 months.

What motivated you to go back to natural?
I decided to go natural when I found out that I was going to be a mother to a baby girl! I knew that I didn’t want to relax her hair, so in order for me to do that I had to have experience in taking care of natural hair. I transitioned for a while while wearing twists and weaves and finally big chopped 12/29/12, a few days after my daughter's first birthday. I big chopped because the two textures became overwhelming. I actually did my own big chop, having to do it again a few days later to get it all even. I guess you could call that a Christmas present to myself.

How would you describe your hair?
I would describe my hair as thick, coarse, and tightly curled and coiled. Making my hair type 4 a, b, and c.


On the Couch with LeKyndra- "Love it, rock it, respect it!'


My name is LeKyndra and I’m from Missouri. I am a recent college grad, Mass Communications major. I work in a studio at a TV Station and at a Radio Station.

How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural since March 2013, I would get perms every month (once I think about it that was way too much) then I went to even 3, to every 4, to every 6 months.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?
I dyed my hair and because I was a basketball player and in college, I really didn’t properly take care of my hair, so it broke off. My mom cut my hair and I never looked back. I had about a inch and a half of hair due to me only getting perms every 6 months.


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Gael- "I am done over-complicating my hair situation."


Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)

Honestly, I don’t know. I tried doing all kinds of research prior to the chop and got overwhelmed with all this scientific information. I mean, I’m pretty sure Angela Davis & Diana Ross didn’t have to know any of this to grow big fros. I know my hair is big & loves moisturizers. I think it’s fine, because I have a lot, but if I put it into twists, it doesn’t look like much. It’s at least 3 different textures on a good day. Most mornings I wake up and I say, okay Q (that’s what I call my hair) we’re gonna rock this style today. And Q says “mmmmnah. I’m gonna do this thing instead", and I just have to go with that. She knows better most of the time.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?

I’m such a punk. I haven’t done anything crazy. I mean if you ask people that know me, some might describe my hair as crazy already. I’ve been thinking about dying it for a while, so I guess that’s coming up sometime soon.


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On the Couch with Rhonda


Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Rhonda Ray and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I have a B.A. in Radio, TV and film. I’m a frotographer and I created one of the first Afrocentric web series that starred 4 Natural Hair Actresses called “Afro City”

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your coils?
I’ve been natural for 13 years. I haven’t always embraced my coils and I was so excited to get my first perm for my 6th grade graduation.

What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why? I went to the barber and told them to chop off all the perm to the new growth, because the perm was starting to break my hair off and irritate my scalp. I had friends perming my hair to save money and they over processed my hair. I left the barber shop with a TWA. Never knew it would grow out so much to where I could have so much fun with up do’s, Twist outs, Braid outs, Afro Puffs and Fros.


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Iphie on her Natural Hair- 'I enjoy the sense of... royalty'.



Tell us a little about yourself and your hair journey.
My name is Iphie and some call me Tai, the short version of my middle name. I currently reside in Boston. My free spirit and love of experimenting brought me back to my natural hair. I enjoy the sense of individuality, pride, and royalty that the people I’ve encountered associate it with.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your curls?
I have been natural for 4 years, now. I have always embraced my curls, but my mother was not able to style my hair. I permed it when I was in 8th grade because I could not do hair either.


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