I Big Chopped- Elle
Meet Elle… a Big Chopper, who like many other BC’ers uses Aloe Vera based products to keep her curls popping!

I Big Chopped- Elle
CN: When you first chopped, what were your thoughts and feelings?
I was a little upset about having short hair, but I was excited to wear my hair in its natural state. The main thing I was worried about was finding the right products and techniques to not dry my hair out, because when it’s dry it’s SO frizzy! But there were some days when I would get upset because I felt like I looked like a boy. Also, I was concerned that people would automatically think I was militant because I have a TWA. At the same time, I was loving my natural texture! It felt so good to look at my hair and not see frizzy, frayed, split ends. I looked in the mirror and declared, “OH! So that’s what healthy hair looks like!”

CN: Have your feels changed at all since the chop?
Not really; my hair is a bit longer now so I feel a little better, but I still want my hair back! I love how it’s growing out though, curly mullet and all!

CN: How did you cope with the responses from your family and friends?
I received some positive and some negative responses to my TWA, but I learned that I had to brush off the negativity. After all, it’s my hair, not theirs! If they don’t like it, it’s not my problem. My parents were fairly supportive, except my mother still claims that she can never go natural because she “doesn’t like afros.” I will say that the positive comments were so sweet that they overpowered ignorant comments like, “Why are you bald?” I even had some guy friends that love to jab me compliment my hair; it was really nice.

CN: How do you keep it moisturized?
I keep my TWA moisturized by conditioning like crazy! I DC usually 2-3x a week with olive oil and honey or oil added to my cowash, and cowash daily. Also, I either do a scalp massage at night or use a pomade to seal in moisture before I go to bed. I’ve learned that my medium/coarse hair is not a fan of heavy protein treatments, so I keep protein use to a minimum in some stylers and conditioners. I don’t do protein DTs though.

CN:What products and techniques do you use to style?
I love moisturizers and stylers that aren’t too oily, like Qhemet Burdock Root Butter Cream, Ohm Sweet Hair Pudding, AfroVeda PUR Whipped Gelly, Komaza Care Califia Styling Pudding, Pure Aloe Vera Gel, and Beija Flor Naturals Creme Brulee. Depending on what products I am using that day, I use some combination of a leave-in and styler and/or moisturizer. Sometimes, I apply an oil like HairVeda Cocasta Oil over my leave-in as well. To apply products, I rake them through my hair, and press my fingers together to distribute the product to my ends. Then, I shake out my fro and go!

CN: How often do you style?
Daily, I love re-wetting my hair. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll achieve 2nd day hair with a spritz of water, aloe vera juice, and lemon juice (to go out in the sun and help lighten my hair).

CN: How do you get your waves or curls popping?
Water and aloe vera based stylers. AV gel gives me great definition without making my hair crunchy. Also, my curls seem to pop more after cleansing or a Cherry Lola treatment.

I Big Chopped- Elle
CN: How do you preserve your curls at night?
I wear a satin bonnet nightly, and sleep on a satin pillowcase.

CN: What are your plans for your hair?
I definitely want to grow it out. I can’t wait to be able to put my hair in a ponytail or bun, just to take a break. Oh, and I miss being able to braid my hair! But, I’m trying to be patient and enjoy my hair while it’s short, because it’s so easy to style. My ultimate goal is BSL, so I can have big hair that blocks people out of pictures!

I Big Chopped- ElleI Big Chopped- Elle