So I recently big chopped… like today recently… after transitioning for 11 months. I really wanted to fall in love right away but I’m having mixed feeling. I hate it and love it at the same time. My question for the CN community is how did you feel right after your BC? If you did not love it when/why did your view change or are you still not in love with your hair?
I’ve never big chopped but I’ve read what feels like a million transition stories and while there are many women who experience love at first sight, there are others who really struggle.
Karyn Parsons, aka Hilary Banks, said it best;
“I have to say, I advocate sticking with it for at least like 6 months (once you chop or transition). After 5 months, even with the negative feelings I’d been battling with, I knew that I wasn’t going back. I was like, ‘are you kidding me, this is me. I’m never going back.’ The first few months I was like, ‘oh God, I made a mistake!’ So it’s a process like you said, and I’d really like to reinforce that with people. I had heard people say that before, but I didn’t believe them. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. So when I started having my doubts and negative feelings, I told myself, ‘my hair is different… my situation is different’, feeling like I was the first to go through this. But I was wrong.”
So yes, give it some time, keep an open mind, surround yourself with positive people, hang out and participate in the natural hair online community, and let go of the expectations of what your hair is supposed to be like, or what it should do. Work with it, not against it… I think that’s enough cliches for one day :0)
Weigh in ladies! Share your experiences!
Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. fame trend paljett
My BC was also done on 8/4/11 and I love it.. I was suprised that I was so comfortable with this look because I've had a TWA right before I started my locs and I had a love hate realtionship with the look. This time around I am more confident and I embarace the natural me…my advice to you is give yourself time, to embrace the natural you because it's beauty.
This has got to be the feeling of almost everyone who big chops! I just big chopped cold turky like girlgriot did. I had known I would doit but had to wait until the right time. I too had a love hate with my hair and the way I looked. I was very much in to my hair when it was relaxed. I never had the same style and went from long to short several times without any problem. In my mind I thought this would be easy. NOT!!!! I too felt like I looked like a man and thought I was ugly. I was insecure for the first time in my life. But…like everyone else…I began to love it and I felt more empowered. so you do have to hang in there. Experiment with different styles and do your research. My hair is now longer and I do find that is is much more work than when it was relaxed and this same length. I have been considering going back to a TWA because it was quick and easy but I love the flexibility I have now. So rock it girl!!!
I never transitioned, just big chopped, cold turkey. I was so sure about wanting to cut … and then I was so unhappy when I saw myself. I thought I looked like a man, thought I had cut all my beauty off, thought I'd made the biggest mistake of my life, etc. I spent three days being so sorry for myself. Then I woke up the next day and fell. in. love. I really, really loved my short-short hair. Loved how easily I could be ready to walk out the door in the morning, loved playing with my tiny curls, loved seeing the way people reacted (it was a long time ago and reactions were very interesting), and I was interested in some of the often-crazy things people would say and think about me because of my hair. Mostly, I just thought it was cute.
Right now, I'm thinking of big chopping again. It's more than 20 years later, and I'm feeling nostalgic for my TWA. Now that I know so much more about how to take care of my hair and have made the decision to stop using chemical dye, I kind of want to shave my head and let it grow out "fresh," with me doing all these new things I know and taking care of it so that it will be healthier than it's been in my adult life.
I hesitate to take that plunge, however. I'm getting closer and closer to it, but I worry that I'll be immediately regretful as I was back in 1988. I think I'll miss my twists and afros a little too much. We'll see.
Good luck, Rosalita!
I did my big chop a few days after I got back from my spring break in Panama City. I bought the shears from the PCB walmart and I cut all the relaxed ends off my hair. Afters I felt, relieved, happy that I finally did it, and then I went straight on youtube to find something to do to my hair. I was a little frustrated because I had to start over from scratch with short hair but that was 6 months ago and I'm learning the best thing I can add to my regimen is patience because my hair is not going to grow over night.
I'm planning on getting yarn braids soon to give myself a break from doing my hair.
Hey CurlyNikki and eveyone in the CN community, thanks for the words of encouragement:D! I actually decided to get braids for a couple months so that I wouldn't go back to the creamy crack. Ive decided to definitely give it time after my braids come out to adjust; after all, I don't want almost a year of hard work being in vain.
Reading through the comments made,I have to say I'm breathing in a sigh of relief. I chopped last month, also at 11 months. Before my chop, I watched all of the big chop videos on Youtube and spent an inordinate amount of time taking in their reactions. Everyone seemed so elated. When I chopped, I merely looked in the mirror at my combed out fro, sighed, nodded, and ran to put some Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding into my hair. It doesn't help that I've always had long relaxed hair so I am constantly getting flack from my family about "getting my hair done." I always have to hold in the response, "This is a twist out/braid out…my hair is done." Instead, I lie and say that I haven't had time to do it. I don't think they'll every appreciate the "curly" look.
I'm hoping that with length I can get back into wearing buns, my go-to style. It really does help to hear that it will get better with time…I wish it weren't so much time.
I transitioned for about 6 months before big chopping by accident when I decided I wanted to trim my ends a little bit. I felt good, or I guess relieved at first, then the next morning I was kinda horrified. I had no idea what to do with it and wearing it out was out of the question so I wigged it up and weaved it up for about 6 months then I started experimenting with the techniques and products that I discovered through Youtube and blogs which really made a huge difference. I gradually fell in love with my hair and I appreciate the difficult times because it taught me so much more about my self than just my hair. For me it was more of self image issue of how I thought I should look and this process taught me that I can be beautiful with kinky hair and I love it….wouldnt trade it for the world. So hold on and give your hair a chance 🙂
It will grow on you (pardon the pun)…I transitioned for about 5 months and big chopped and I was uneasy for a day or so but I LOVED it and I was nervous about short hair on my huge head…but its been all hearts and rainbows ever since…I hope these same things for you!!!
Keep your head up and hang in there. Like many have said before me, it is truly a process of falling in love with your natural hair. You have been used to seeing yourself differently for so long that it may truly take some time to get used to the change.
When I bc'd, over six years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. First of all, I had NEVER had short hair. My hair was always shoulder length or longer and when I bc'd I cut my hair to about 4 in. stretched, so in the shrunkened state it appeared even shorter. I felt like a boy. I didn't feel pretty. And to top it off, I wasn't familiar with my hair texture. I had been relaxed from 13 yrs old. I bc'd at 25 yrs old. So my hair was foreign to me. A part of me that I didn't know anything about. But now 6 years later, I am SO IN LOVE WITH MY HAIR! I can barely stand it! LOL I mean, I really, really love my hair. And you know what? Part of the love I have for my hair is due to blogs like Curly Nikki. It's great to have support.
So, in closing, my best advice to you sis, is take it one day at a time. You can always decide it's not for you, but you have already done the hard part. Just take your time and experiment with what you've got. And always remember, we were made in God's image and God made you and your hair! Isn't that beautiful?!?!
When I BC'd it was love at first sight. I think this is because I just shaved it all off and I hated my hair before. Afterwards there was this beautiful fresh face staring back at me. Once it started growing in more… that was a different story. I took some time. To be honest some years. But eventually I got used to it, and then fell in love with it, and now I wouldn't have it any other way.
@Anonymous 8:42pm applause and standing ovation…thank you
The first thing I thought when I looked at myself in the mirror after my Big Chop was 'omg, I look like my brother! Not cute!' Haha! I think it was really just the shock of really seeing my face for the first time without any hair to cover up what I didn't like. I'd always had bangs, they were like a security blanket. While I love love love my hair, there are still days when I wished I had something to cover up that blemish or breakout on my forehead. But hey, not everything can be perfect, and I'm enjoying my time as a natural and would never want to go back to relaxed again 🙂
I didn't have this problem when I first BC'd because my relaxed hair was so sad and scraggly I didn't take much pride in what my hair looked like anyway! Now that it's grown out some, though, I'm beginning to really like it instead of feeling ambivalent. No matter how much I have wrangled my natural hair trying to figure it out, I know it was a good choice because it's what I was given and I don't need to change it. I think you can determine how much time you put into your hair based on how you style it, and I agree that as it grows out it will keep changing and surprising you!
How many more of this do we have to go through? We get it, being natural is so haaaaaaard. It is just hair and it is just a hairstyle. Get over it. These stories and the need to cast oneself as a victim in EVERY SINGLE circumstance is just so tiring. Use that time and energy to better yourself or if you are perfect, volunteer to help black kids that NEED help. Spending my time with people that are going through hard times makes this whole pity party so unbelievably disgusting.
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I WENT natural 2x. The first time I BC'd and wore wigs until my hair grew to a length I was comfortable with. I stayed natural for 1 1/2 years until I finally permed again for the last time.I BC'd again and then I went back to braids and weaves which caused so much damage, I had to BC a 3rd time and finally just let it be. I tried all the products, didn't do too much in the way of styling my natural hair initially. Now I'm much more intimate with my hair, more so than with a perm, I understand what it needs to be healthy. I have bad days and I've given up before but I won't go back.
Stay with it. At the very least, it's a path full of surprises!
I transitioned for a year working with the two textures. At first it was crazy like all transitioners go through and then I went to go get the relaxed ends cut off! After it was cut off and the lady did my hair and I went home I was like what did I just do! I mean I went home and wet it and woke up the next day and was like wtf?? I quickly learned that I couldn't wet 3 inches of hair and go to bed thinking it was gonna be all good in the morning! Absolutely NOT! I didn't know what to do with it but I had to embrace it because going back wasn't even a possibility. I learned how to do wash and go and did them up until i found curlynikki. It is definitely a learning process and don't give up so quickly. If you're not totally in love with it now GIVE IT SOME TIME! It will happen. To be honest, I'm quite sure some of us that have been natural for a while feel the same b/c we feel our hair isn't cooperating or behaving the way we want it to. So..you're not alone. At least I know I have those days sometimes. Just give it some time and you'll fall in love before you know it!
I mentally prepared myself for my BC after two failed attempts in two years. I transitioned for only 3 months and chopped my hair off and it was super super short. I was self-conscious the first day, but I had my two besties with me and they practically threw out in the streets to show off my new cut! I was not exactly thrilled about it, but I knew I had to show it off eventually! By the end of the day, I was totally cool with my hair. The next day, I was much more comfortable, within a week, you couldn't tell me nothing! The rest is history…
It gets easier. Just take it one day at time and get to know your hair and enjoy the ride!
Don't be hard on yourself. We all struggle sometimes with these feelings. To me, falling in love with anything is hit or miss. Sometimes it takes longer for something new or different to grow on you, other times it's instantaneously. Everyone's journey is different.
I transitioned for eight months after thinking I'd go twelve. I was more stressed while transitioning so I decided to BC sooner. I was happier after I did it and actually did love my hair texture right away (4a or 4b, if you're curious). I felt free from dealing with the two textures and was able to start learning what my natural hair liked. After I BC'd, I actually cut my hair two more times. First to get rid of relaxed pieces and damaged ends from heat styling (during the earlier days of transitioning). The second time to even up the length. I'm not happy about losing inches of hair through that process but I know it will grow back. I can't wait to grow past the stage of feeling like I just BC'd!
I do love my natural hair and am amazed at its texture and fullness, compared to my hair during the relaxed days. My hair is tightly curled so if I want more length, I just have to stretch it with 2-strand twist-outs.
Every day is a learning experience, but I accept it because I know it won't always be this way. Embrace your own personal journey for what it is at every stage and the love, courage and wisdom will follow.
Hang in there Lady!
Good for you: for being honest with your feelings.
I have to say, I big chopped on a whim. But then again, I didn't purposefully transition either, it just sort of happened. I just felt as though I couldn't trust anyone with my hair: hairdressers were rude and overbearing while they damaged my hair. And I was kind of tired of paying so much money.
When I cut off 6 or so inches and saw my natural chin length full wild hair: it was free, without product, without styling, and it was just hacked off by an artist. Not exactly the BEST look in the world 😉 But I felt good. I'm not saying I looked hot, but I felt good, deep in my bones for being confident enough to seek and find the real me.
It WAS hard at first, letting go of the fact that I wasn't going to have my "easy swishy hair" anymore and the fact that I looked different. And it was really hard because I had no idea how to style my hair! So for awhile I had a crunchy bush (my hair is very similar to terri laflesh's-small coils/curls-but I didn't know how to bring them out.)
So it took 5 or so months of trial and error: really trying different products and hairstyles and styling methods, in order to find out what worked for my hair.
What helped was finding girls/women online who had the same texture as me. Then I basically tried what they tried. I learned that twistouts make me look like a hot mess! But finger coils make me look really adorable. So it wasn't "love at first site" when I chopped off my hair, but it wasn't hate either.
I was proud of myself, for being willing to see ME as I am: no products, no styling, just me. I was proud that I felt good/secure enough with myself to get past needing swishy hair. I was just really happy. Maybe not happy with my ability to style, but that changes. Stick with it and you'll begin to love your hair.
Well, I must say that it is an experience. It really depends on the state of mind that one is in when the the first Big Chop happens. The very first time I went natural, I big chopped, no, I shaved my hair off and I loved it. The worst part for me was the growing out phase because it forced me to embrace my hair totally. It takes time and patience and it is a process for a black woman because it seems that we are the only human beings that are made to feel ashamed and have to "apologize" for being naturally who we are and wearing our natural texture.You have to counter negative images and thoughts with the truth of who you are, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made". I congratulate you and encourage you on this journey.
I big chopped in June (down to 3inches in length on the top w/back and sides tapered). The first day I was excited; couldn't stop touching my hair/looking at myself. But the subsequent day or weeks, really, I felt divided. I missed my hair and the ease of styling it (prior to big chop I rocked a chin length bob). I had to relearn how to do my hair completely devoid of heat. O yeah, AND it was DRY to boot!!! LOL! Truly a challenge when all you're used to do is flat-ironing, wrapping/unwrapping. BUT in spite of this new look/new hair I had to redine what I considered beautiful and sexy. I was completely exposed/no hair to hide behind. ALL FACE TIME!!! lol! After about two weeks of getting into my routine of cowashing/moisturizing yadda yadda and noticing my once dry mane starting to get its shine on and curl time I started to love my 3C TWA. I'm almost 2 mos post chop and my only regret is not having the guts to big chop sooner. I've even started using Henna which I'm loving!!! My advice to you is to get out of your head and give it some time. It truly does get better. :O)
Soooo….Three weeks ago I BIG CHOPPED. I transitioned for 3 months. My hair was already in a short and cute style. I had already told myself I couldn't do the creamy crack any longer, and had to do it. I locked myself in the bathroom, took the scissors out, wet my hair to see where the curls were and were not, and let the scissors do the work! I HATED it at first, and was like…"WTF!", but I just told myself I was beautiful, and it would grow back. I got some weird stares when I got to work on that Monday (I work in coporate america), so you can only imagine. I am working on finding my regimine to keep my little twa looking nice, but stick with it. I DEFINITELY know how you feel. Do you sometimes wonder…How long will it take for me to get some length? I think it's worth it. My hair is thanking me everyday as I am sure yours will too!
I transitioned for 9 months before I cut the relaxer off and my fro was shaped.. and like many, I looked in the mirror in amazement. All kinds of emotions surfaced–happy, sad, nervous, liberated. And then, I went in public and a Soror said, 'Why would you cut your hair?' And I cried everyday for about a month after that.. I wore make-up, big earrings, anything because I felt ugly. Then, I started playing with styles, colored it and once it started growing I felt better. I feel ashamed that I let her question dictate how I saw myself and learned to love me, regardless. Everyone is different–I didn't like that stage and I won't BC again.. I think it's important to appreciate the newness and love you regardless of big or small hair 🙂
I transitioned for 18 months because I did not want to BC and lose my length. When I began the process I was BSL. I did my BC last month and had my hair cut into layers, my longest layer is in between sl & apl. I knew what my natural texture looked like and was excited, however, when I did the BC I almost cried…my long locks were gone and then the lovely Tameeka of Christo Fifth Avenue in NYC showed me how to style my hair and I fell in LOVE!!
I BC'd over 11 yrs ago and I remember feeling like I was having an out of body experience immediately after it was over. A rush of feelings and thoughts ocurred. I felt happy, relieved, brave and scared all at the same time.
Happy that it was finally done and I didn't have to think about doing it any more
Relieved that I was no longer dealing with two textures (even I didn't realize that my natural hair has MULTIPLE tectures, LOL).
Brave that I had the courage to do it and prove to myself that I am not so psychologically caught up in length that I couldn't experience having short hair.
Scared that I wouldn't be attractive to myself and men. LOL!
Well, these feelings happened simultaneouslty and I admit, I havae never experienced anything quite like it- even to this day. (And I have been through A LOT in life).
It was awesome and terrifying at the same time. It required an adjustment period- to understand my hair, get to know it and myself in the framework of this new look which often (and unfairly) has such major social and even political implications.
It was cool . I will be doing it again, but realize that experience will be totally different this time due to the personal growth I had from the first BC.
I BC'd after four months of transitioning with braids and twists. My hairstylist thought I was crazy. She spent a good ten minutes rubbing foams and crap into my hair. She gave me a dang noogie trying to encourage curls LOL. At first I felt a little weird, and especially since my DH didn't want me to cut my hair off. When I got home, I was nervous at first, but I was met by my 4 year-old daughter who said "MOMMY! You look so beautiful!!!" I fell in love with it and felt so pretty 🙂
I still have moments (like right now actually) when I get tired of my hair and wish for a different look. But then I'll do mini twists and braids so I can take a break. I definitely don't regret going natural. Next month (Sept 26) I will celebrate 1 year since my big chop 🙂
Just take one day at a time 🙂 And focus on other goals to take your mind off of growth. That can be like watching grass grow. 🙂
I can definitely relate to this. In fact, I didn't even make it through my first attempt at a big chop. I panicked and got a "mild" relaxer after 6 months of transitioning. Talk about feelings of failure. The chemical treatment resulted in me having to get ALL of my hair cut off when I finally did my big chop 2 months later, which was July 2010.
I felt so cowardly for essentially hiding for the first week after my cut. I had read all of the stories about women feeling liberated, empowered and sexy after their big chop, and I wondered just what the heck was wrong with me. Although my husband was extremely supportive, I couldn't help but wonder what I had done each time I walked by a mirror. My friends thought I was fierce for chopping off all of my hair, but inside I had plenty of doubts. The bottom-line is that I just didn't think I was cute enough to pull off short hair, and I was deeply disappointed in myself for feeling so insecure. However, I eventually learned how to fake it 'til you make it. It will take time, but you will develop confidence and you will learn to love your hair. The best part is that one year from now, you'll share your story, and you will inspire someone else who is facing a crisis of confidence. We are all on this journey together.
Peace and blessings,
Just because you're not in love with your hair right now doesn't mean you won't love it later!
If you're not loving the way your hair looks post-BC, my suggestion would be to put it in a protective style to try to gain some length. Try getting braids or twists (with extensions). Done correctly (eg, using human hair which I think minimizes damage and not to small or too tightly), I think braids can be a curly girl's best friend. Then take out the braids in two months- an inch or so of growth might change your view! Good luck!
I had no mixed feelings or I would not have done it to begin with. I knew my hair would be thick and course so I prepared with the necessary tools to take care of MY hair. I felt liberated beyond words and so excited to TRANSITION which should also describe the aftermath of Big Chopping, because you're changing a part of your body in a big way. For me, it was like breaking up with a guy that I was completely out of love and fed up with (relaxing). It was time to move on (natural).
When I first big chopped I definitely had mixes feelings! At first I was super excited because I was finally completely natural but I also was super nervous to go out. I'm a girly girl andi felt self conscious and thought I looked like a boy. I also had expected my hair to curl up with gel and stylers but no matter what I tried I did not have those adorable ringlets it seemed everyone else had. I even bought a wig and wore it for a week before one of my white guy friends (who woulda guessed! was like why are you wearing a wig?! Your hair is awesome! And you know what he was totally right! So what if I didn't have the curls I thought I would. This is how I was made to be and it was time I started embracing it! After that conversation I threw out my wig and haven't looked back. My big chop anniversary is now something I celebrate and I wish I had done it sooner! Good luck with your journey.
I transitioned for 6 weeks. I decided one Saturday morning that I would NOT be able to maintain the necessary braiding, rolling, and heatless curling and styling with my active work-out lifestyle. I called my beautician who referred me to a barber who chopped if off that same day. I was in shock right after…I kept thinking…what the hell am I going to do with this fuzzy wuzzy hair…Luckily, I called my friend who had gone through the same thing a few months before and she helped me product shop and try out the different products at home. Although I did not have 100% confidence when I went to work that Monday morning (I'm a teacher) and had yet to tell my boyfriend of the "new" me…it was go time. The support I received was overwhelming. Needless to say, it was a one day at a time approach that helped me to embrace my hair. I didn't LOVE my hair right off, but I made the decision to stick with it. Simply put, I had cut all of my hair off for a reason and I didn't want to quit!
Stick with it and give yourself permission to have your like/love/hate days. It is a process and eventually (hopefully) the like/love days will take over.
Gosh!!! This is so true! Some dazs I'm in love with my hair and some dazs… not so much! When I first big chopped…it seemed as though other people were more happy for me than I was for myself.
As I'm sure most of us feel or have experinced that nervousness of doing the BC…and wondering if you are doing the right thing? Will you like it? What would other people say? etc., etc. all those things that ALMOST stop you from doing it! lol
initially I was AMAZED as I saw my self in all my NATURAL GLORY for the first time in like foreva! Then I started to get those "Creamy Crack Urges" u know just like a real crack head would! Relaxers are like smoking (i.e. crack, cigarettes, weed, etc.) lol for reals yal…that stuff is addictive!
But as my hair grew out more and I was able to do more styles, things got better. I must admit it was quite a journey for me…While I'm 5 years natural now… it's actully only now that I really love my hair. So keep in mind this is a labor of love!!! But you can do it! 🙂
I transitioned for a year and was anticipating my big chop with a huge, open heart, just waiting for fall in love with my hair. But things didn't go according to plan. Just before I big chopped, I had second thoughts because my hair had been the longest its been in all my life (chin level) and even though half way relaxed and half was natural, I was in love with my new length and didn't want to give that out.
But everyone says hair grows back so, I chopped. I didn't immediately fall in love with it. As a matter of fact, I stood in front of the mirror for about 10 minutes thinking, "what have I done? I can't go outside like this!" Gradually, as I started to play with it more, I started feeling more confident with it but still not in love with it. 3 months later, I still have a love/hate relationship with my hair.
I love when its stretched from a 2 strand flat twist-out and I'm rocking this fluffy 4 inch fro. But I hate that sometimes because of it's length (I'm at that awkward 4-7 inches where styling feels impossible), its hard to style or sometimes I just get frustrated trying to balance the moisture to dryness in my hair. For now, I usually just leave my hair in twists. But I know that my hair is a work in progress and that things will get better, it just takes time and patience and since most of us have never dealt with this type of texture before, patience is not on our side. Take this time to learn more about your hair and about yourself.
Going from relaxed to natural can be quite devastating. When I was relaxed life seemed so simple…just wrap and go! Now that I'm natural, I have to twist, braid, moisturize, clarify, seal, spritz and whatever other things I do to my hair on a daily basis. HOWEVER, now that I am almost a year post BC, I have found a regimen that doesn't require nearly as many of those steps on a daily basis. Once I got past the dryness and the daily (yes daily) 2-3 hour styling sessions, my hair and I are now BFFs! When you are in that "getting to know you" stage with your hair, you will have ups and downs. Those downs will always seem to happen on the worst days. But anything worth having is worth fighting for. Honestly, when I was relaxed, my wrap didn't always "lay" like I wanted to…it took some training. This is the same concept. Once you thorugh this stage, it will be well worth it! Hang in there sis, things will get better! 😛
I know how you feel, I have big chopped twice. I'm never in love with my hair being short and small. Usually when my hair gets longer and I can see more of a defined curl is when I fall in love. I didn't do much to my hair in it TWA days, Just wash Pick and go. Now that I'm 9 months in from my big chop there are most style that I can do, or I can just rock a Big azz fro, Which is my favorite style.