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Curly Nikki

Help a Fellow Reader BC

By January 27th, 202130 Comments

Help a Fellow Reader BCMaricopa writes:

Hello Everyone,

I have been transitioning since June 2009 and plan on doing my BC on my 1 year anniversary June 2010, yay!! My question(s): how should the BC be done; wet or dry hair, conditioned before the cut or after, scissors or clippers? I’m not sure what hair type I have but if I were to guess I would say 4a or 4b not really sure. I am puzzled on which is the correct and best way to do the big chop.


So ladies, help her out! Share your experiences (good or bad), and what worked best for you and your curls on that glorious day.


  • Anonymous says:

    Can someone recommend a stylist in the Southern California area (Los Angeles or South Bay area), that is professional and experienced with women of color and natural hair). I've been transistioning for over a year and my Big Chop won't be that big, but the end of the lingering permed tresses…..HELP….I'm ready a few stories on here have helped me say good rittens to the lingering inches of processed hair …. I'm ready to have someone teach me about the new texture that I love sooo much….

  • Maricopa says:

    Yes, I am really hesitant in going to a barber who would use clippers on my hair for my BC in June 2010. I watched horrific "Youtube" video where a sistah was getting her BC done by barber. He used clippers and literally hacked away at her hair. Needless to say he did a terrible job:-( which has led me to do some research on the proper way to do a BC. I can appreciate all the suggestions and support that I have received from CN members who have already taken the plunge to naturalness. I do know using an lot of moisturizer before and after is going to be key for good results. Hopefully I can find a salon who is knowlegeable to that fact.

  • Anonymous says:

    From what I learned from NappyChronicles and other youtubers is that it is best to BC on wet hair with new or sharp sissors, I also heard that its best to chop while the hair is soping with conditioner…it would also be best to use a comb and make even sections while your cutting tro ensure that the cut will be even. I did my BC at a barbershop with clippers on dry hair and it resulted in uneven hard hair that didnt clump well :/ So my best advice is to do a wet cut and if you can find an awesome stylist then get her to do it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maricopa! Like you, I transitioned for one year. I was planning on going to a stylist for my BC but I've always done my own hair (applied my own relaxers, clipped my own ends, etc) so after watching youtuber SheSingsLovely "You Can Big Chop Yourself" video that had links to several other videos (like 20) of ladies who've done their own BCs I decided to do it myself. I BCed using newly bought shears on wet hair drowned in cheapie conditioner. Since I transitioned for a year, I had no problem seeing the decremation line except in the middle of the back of my head but I worked it out using mirrors. lol
    Afterwards I co-washed with Oyin Honey Hemp and twisted with whipped pudding. If I had to do it all over again the only thing I would change is I would have done a deep conditioning (with avocado & EVOO) right after BCing because my hair was extremely dry the following day (it's well moisturized now). Other than that, I LOVE my newly BCed hair (it's only been two months since the BC)!! Given that I transitioned for a year I have so many styling options: I've rocked wash n go's, twist-outs, braid-outs, flat twist outs, and updos!
    Whatever you decide to do – go to a stylist or do it yourself, congrats on your journey, best of luck to you, and remember to moisturize!! πŸ™‚


  • Anonymous says:

    wow we started transitioning at the same time put im thinking now to go past on year maybe 15 months since that's my favorite number =]

  • Relaxed2Natural says:

    I did my own BC on wet hair w/o conditioner..didnt feel the need to waste product..worked out fine for me =) it was lke cutting along the dotted line!! Good Luck and congrats!

    check me out on youtube!!

  • CocoEuro says:

    Wet with conditioner the relaxed ends will be clump together.

  • sweetface1118 says:

    Congrats on your decision!! I went to a stylist to get it cut. I transitioned from July 2009 and bc'd the end of December. I had a couple different textures going on, so I did not want to risk cutting it too low in some spots and not enough in another. (plus I probably would have chickened out!) My hair was wet and I deep conditioned after. This is the best place to be because the natural sistah's on here are so helpful and supportive! Good Luck!

  • Maricopa says:

    @Miss Malorie; thank you, I truly do feel the love and have embraced all the support from the CN family. By going to a professional I will avoid any possible uneveness or mishaps with my hair, especially b/c I don't really know what I am doing πŸ™

    Thanks again,
    GOD Bless you.

  • M says:

    There have been plenty of comments already, but I figured another one wouldn't hurt! I BC-ed myself, though that decision did leave my hair a tiny bit uneven… though my hair was so short when I was done that it was hard to tell πŸ™‚

    I wet my hair (so I could see where the perm stopped and the natural began) and used Conair shears… I stood in the mirror, gave my strands a little tug and cut where I saw the hair go from curved to straight. Lol. It was a liberating experience to do it myself, but seeing as how you have been transitioning for a while, I would consider looking for someone professional (as you have already said you would πŸ™‚

    I wish you much success, and welcome to the natural club!! You'll find a lot of love here πŸ™‚

  • Maricopa says:

    Wow! Thank you all for responding/sharing all of your Big Chop experiences. You have know ideas how much that means to me. You have supplied me with a tremendous amount of information for my BC on June 4, 2010. I am so excited that I can hardly wait until then (where's those scissors) just joking! I am not partial to having a twa at this time, that is why I chose to wait until my 1 yr transitional anniversary. From most of the responses that I have read, I agree that going to a natural hair stylist to uncover my naturalness would be paramount, as I have painstakingly endured (7 months)transitioning thus far and would be very saddened if I tried to bc myself and cut too much hair off my head πŸ™
    So now the search is on to find a good, qualified, experienced, as well as compassionate natural hair stylist. I know the good LORD will direct my path as he has already lead me onto my transitional journey both body and soul.

    Thanks again my beautiful Nubian Sisters for all positive support.


  • Kea::Curls says:

    i just wanted to add on that there is no "wrong" or "right" way to do the BC (whether on your own or with a stylist, go with whatever feels the best for you!) i BC'ed at home in my bathroom with wet-damp hair. I used scissors, but if make sure that if ANYONE is going to touch your hair…that they use sharp hair shears (to reduce split ends), as many before me have already said. i hope u enjoy the BC!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    P.S. She cut my hair when it was damp. HTH

  • Anonymous says:

    HI Best of luck with yuor BC. This is a very exciting time. I transitioned slowly for about a year, then got sick of it and spontaneously went to a salon one day with my sis and decided right then to have it chopped! I would suggest going to a stylist who works with naturally curly hair, especially if you have multiple textures. You will actually be able to come out with a nice (fly and unique to you) hairstyle that you may not be able to achieve if you do it yourself. Mine was done by a woman with a mixed racial background (including Vietnamese) who was working in a salon/spa which catered to women of color. At first, I was skeptical but was told that she was one of the most popular stylists for what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, that spa is now closed, but she did a great job on my hair and was totally supportive and very encouraging. Afterwards, she told my sister that I had sooo many different textures on my head (she had not seen something quite like it before), but that it was a joy to help me with my hair. The owner of the salon was a man who saw me after my cut and was excited but sad that he did not get the chance to cut my hair. He said, "Your hair looks great, but I wish I had had the chance to give you a style which would have really brought it all out." I was happy, but wonder to this day what he meant. Maybe he was just spouting off, but maybe not. Anyway, do the research with the type of cut you want and how you want it to grow out (if you don't want to keep it short for a long time). A stylist is probably your best bet to achieve this, as not all BCs are the same! Best of luck!!!

  • Chaka_Millz says:

    The day I BC'd was so random like most of my piscean life. I had taken out my micros and decided that I wanted to see what my hair looked like without the relaxed hair. So I selected a piece of hair in my crown wet it a little so the line of demarcation would be visisble, then SNIP. I instantly fell in love next thing ya know I was marching to my mom's bathroom scissors in hand, fully prepared to do my own BC. My mom insisted that she helped me, and God bless her lol she tried, but she couldnt bear to cut my hair that short so she just cut half the relaxed length off. This led me to make an emergency call to my cousin/hairstylist and race over to JcPenny's salon to finish the process. There my cousin cut some more of the relaxed ends off, then she proceeded to wash my hair and while it was damp she cut any stray hairs that she missed the first time. I loved it inspite of every staring and asking what I was gonna do with it. Hope this inspires you πŸ™‚

  • SHADOW says:

    I am thoroughly convinced that the best way to chop the hair is with it soaking wet and loaded with conditioner. That's how I did mines.

  • robinlouise says:

    @angie, that is hilarious! you were kind – i would have been tempted to through my hubby's shoes out to him!

  • Angie says:

    Thank you! I guess that's why I don't watch tv that much. My life is funny enough!

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Angie that was a funny story you just told. LOL
    I'm sitting at work contemplating about transitioning myself. I've done it before but put a relaxer back in my hair. But now I'm reconsidering going natural again.


  • Angie says:

    Hello soon to be natural! Here is my BC story. I BC'd in the summer, July 24, 2009, so that I could learn how to care for my natural hair before the winter season came. I wanted to know the my texture, curl pattern, what products worked and didn't work for me in the summer season which would entail help me prepare for the winter. I had just washed my hair with Oyin Handmade's Honey Wash and decided that the time had come for ME to take the first initiative in caring for my natural hair. Since firing my beautician there was no way I would ask her to do anything else to my hair. I felt I was educated enough about the journey that I was embarking upon so why not? I sectioned my hair into four and positioned the scissors in the bend of the first curl and slowly snipped. That was all she wrote. Soon after the first section of hair was cut, my husband knocked on the door to come in and get his shoes out of our closet which is located in the bathroom. I knew he was being nosy and wanted to see if I was actually cutting my hair (we had already had THAT discussion). So I asked who is it cause I was already nervous, frustrated with all of the shredding, and ready to end it. He said, "it's me." So I said OK, what do you want. He goes, "Brother cain't come in his own bathroom," so I unlocked the door. Then he goes into the closet to get his basketball shoes and comes up to me and says, "You cutting it off huh?" and I looked at him and said are you done in here? He looked at me and said, "Brother can't put his shoes on in his own bathroom?" I just wanted him out yesterday, but after he left I laughed about it. That was the ice breaker. I felt great about what I had accomplished that day. After all I had been so busy grocery shopping, getting the kids school uniforms for school, fixing up my home and preparing it to become a rental and trying to make sure all of that was done before my facial. With all of the money that I spent that day something had to go. After that day my hair were the least of my worries.

  • Anonymous says:

    I went to a stylist and she washed and then cut my hair. It's not something I would try to do myself.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kudos to all of you who did it yourselves. my stylist did mine, but she was also helping me transition so it seemed fitting. she cut it damp with a little leave-in. i second JamilaImani. i found the advantage to getting it done in the salon is that you can get it styled out RIGHT after you BC.

  • puff says:

    dang, i wish i'd had a site like curly nikki when i did my BC! i definitely just hacked off my hair dry in front of my bathroom window… smh. if you do cut it yourself, i recommend using very sharp hair shears and having a friend look over your whole head in case you miss some spots at the back. good luck and see you on the other side!!! – i'm sure you're going to look absolutely fabulous πŸ˜€

  • Jamila Reddy says:

    I went to a salon and had the stylist wash it and cut it. (I'd do it wet(so you can see the difference in textures). I would recommend this because you want to make sure they get all of the ends off, AND you can get a cute style (twists, whatever) so you can feel super fierce on your first day fully natural! πŸ™‚

  • bambiix2 says:

    Congrats hun ! When I did mine , I soaked my entire head and then used a cheapie conditioner left it for about 10 minutes while I got all of my equipment .. such as a napkin for tears , water bottle and scissors . I bought a brand new set of scissors specifically for my hair ( I heard horror stories about clippers leaving the ends of the hair very rough ). You have been transitioning for over 6 months so you should have a good amount of newgrowth , so doing the back should not be a problem for you. Take you time and do small sections, big sections risk leaving alot of straight ends. just feel it out …When you are done … you can ask someone to check it over for you , especially at the back. I didn't have any mirrors or anything to see the back of my head , i just felt my way through it …

  • jada07 says:

    Congrats on your process! I was not going to risk cutting any unnecessary hair so I searched on and found a stylist in my area. She washed my hair, blotted it dry and loaded it with conditioner. She then picked it out a little and cut while the hair was still damp/wet. I did not do a complete big chop because I wasn't ready to let go of that much hair but my mini chop got rid of about 5 inches of hair. If you do it yourself PLEASE make sure you buy some real hair shears, you can find them at any drug store or beauty supply.
    Good luck!!

  • Milan says:

    Congratz on transitioning! I did my own BC. I did mine on damp hair and then added conditioner so that I could see the curls more visibly and know where to cut. It got a lil hard in the back so I had to really on my sense of touch mainly. If you have someone around ask them to do the back from you. If not, my method worked just found. As my hair grew out I would still find some short, straight pieces and just clip them. No biggie. You're almost "home". πŸ˜€

  • Alice says:

    Congrats on your BC! I did mine on DAMP HAIR (makes the line of demarcation more visible) and whenever my hair started to get dry I just used a spray bottle to rewet. I used scissors, but it would probably be better to use shears because they tend to be sharper so you wont run the risk of split ends.Depending on how long you've been transitioning, you might want to enlist the help of a friend to do the back.

    Good luck!

  • Lynnieluve says:

    Check out BlackOnyx77 on YouTube. She has a How to do your own Big Chop video.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello I'm also a fellow transitioner. And from videos that I have watched I have seen girls keep a spray bottle of conditioner water mix. when you hair is a little damp it is easier to see the line of demarcation. Have fun! I hope this is a wonderful experience.

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