by Jarmelia of the DIY Hair Care Blog

This post is one that has been rattling around my head for months! Well, after reading a comment on College Curlies, I have decided to tackle it. The Big Chop! What is The Big Chop? Do you have to Big Chop in order to have natural hair? Do you have to go bald to become natural?

Here is the comment posted on College Curlies that inspired this post:

“This is a depressing comment sorry but it’s something I don’t really share. I just wanted to give a different perspective that people might have to also overcome. For me, it’s not so much that it’s not straight anymore because the texture and thickness is why I became natural but it’s how short my hair is right now. Maybe I should have transitioned longer but honestly, I think I went as long as I could (5 months)….I wig it up but I do take good care of my hair underneath and I’m still taking the time to learn what works for it and what doesn’t. (……….) I guess I can’t carry a short cut…it scarred me, really did. (……)”

What is The Big Chop?

If you’re transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, when you cut off the relaxed hair and leave only the “new growth” or natural hair this is called your Big Chop. You no longer have any relaxed hair on you head, only curly hair.

Do you have to Big Chop in order to have natural hair?

Yes, if you have relaxed hair. You have to cut off the relaxed hair in order to be considered a “natural” or as having natural hair. If you have relaxed ends (the tips of your hair) but, have let the roots (new growth) grow out, then you are transitioning.

Do you have to go bald to become natural?

Of course not! You can grow out your relaxer for as long as you want or need. This is called transitioning. While transitioning you will be dealing with 2 different textures of hair; the new growth and the relaxed hair all on one strand! It can be a challenge to come up with styles for transitioning hair. It is also very important to detangle properly and keep a great protein moisture balance to keep the hair from breaking at the demarcation line (the point where the “new growth” and relaxed hair meet). This is where the hair is very weak. Pictures of transitioning hair.

So, if you are not a fan of short hair or just don’t want to cut all of your hair off then transitioning is for you! I have seen some women transition for 24 months and some as short as 2-3 months. It’s a personal choice and one that you need to make depending on your hair preferences.

If you do decide to Big Chop early, and don’t like how short your hair is then you can always do protective styles to grow your hair out.

Lots of ladies have their transitioning journeys on YouTube, so check them out as well.

Don’t get discouraged or feel bad if you don’t like the short curly look. Do what makes you comfortable. Not liking a short hair cut doesn’t make you less confident or anything of the sort. Every style isn’t for everybody!