Joi writes:

I’m about 5 minutes from ripping out my hair. I’ve been transitioning for 8 months and my hair is breaking off something fierce. It’s a tangled, dry mess and I’m totally clueless about what to do. I want to Big Chop but my mother, boyfriend, and close friends are not for it. I can’t take this anymore and it’s either a hair cut, or another relaxer. How do I know when I’m really ready to chop?

CN Responds:

I never Big Chopped. So I’m going to defer to the expert CN readers for this one. But truly, only you know when you’ve had enough- when you’re tired of dealing with two drastically different textures, and ridiculously long styling sessions trying to detangle and blend the natural and relaxed hair. But I can add, from my perusing the hair forums and lots of web research, that the following should be on your mind:

  • Make sure you’re doing it for yourself and no one else. You’ve gotta live with the cut.
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of hair you’re lopping off. The chop may be more drastic than you think due to shrinkage– your relaxed ends are currently weighing down your new growth, stretching the curl, and helping it to hang longer than it would otherwise.
  • Research, research, research! Know your stuff. Go into it armed with information to make the transition to a natural cropped ‘do easier. Have your tools and products on deck, and lots of favorite blog posts and youtube videos bookmarked!

There is no right or wrong time to Big Chop. It all depends on where YOU are in your journey. A hasty BC could lead to a return to the relaxer, or months of confidence issues related to your hair.

How did you know when it was time to Big Chop?