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Curly Nikki

Transitioning: Holding Onto Those Ends

By January 27th, 202136 Comments
Transitioning: Holding Onto Those Ends

by Bonnie of The Culture Pine

After watching countless ‘big chop’ video’s this weekend on YouTube,
I couldn’t help but feel the itch to finally be all natural, as I got
caught up in the excitement of each big chopper I witnessed freeing
themselves from their relaxed ends. Although I want to get in on the
action at the time, it soon fades as I get real with myself; ‘Who are
you trying to kid? You know your not reaching for those scissors yet!’  You know the feeling?

Now, I originally planned to hold on for around two years before I end
my transition, but today I had a thought:  ‘am I becoming to attached to
my relaxed ends?’ You see, at the moment I actually have an equal
amount of natural hair as the remaining relaxed ends, and in some areas,
my new growth has in fact more length than my straight ends, which is
what I wanted before I snip away. My concern is that; I will keep
putting off cutting my relaxed ends to maintain as much length as
possible!

Unlike a lot of others who simply can not stand dealing with the two
textures, I actually do not mind so much. Seeing as this is often one of
the main reasons that encourages transitioners to let go of their ends,
it doesn’t seem to be looking to good for little old me. With this in
mind, I have decided to take the wheel and reduce my transitioning time
before it get’s to 6 years down the line and I’m STILL transitioning.


I love the texture of my new growth, and how much fuller and healthier
it is to my thin, straight ends. So, I guess that it is not so much the
relaxed ends I want to keep, but the added length they provide that I
don’t want to give up. For the majority of transitioners, we choose this
route to achieve natural hair because length matters to us, so it can
be hard to let go…

Have you experienced this during your journey?

36 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    You will never grow to appreciate how beautiful your natural hair can be with two textures. I had shoulder length relaxed hair in 2008 and tried to go without a perm for 6 months. It was torture. All of the knots and the heat (trying to make the two textures match). Once I cut off the relaxed ends, I realized I had beautifully soft and curly spirals that grew way past my shoulders and had volume and texture most women dream go. My advice is to let go of the past and embrace the future.

  • marianela says:

    I think everyone goes through this. I sure did lol! I had most of my relaxed hair all the way down a bit past my shoulders with only two inches of natural and I BC'd which was really hard but my hair grew back to shoulder length in a year and I bet it would have grown a lot more but
    I didn't care of it that well. Its hair and it will grow back so don't worry and take your time and cut your ends when your ready. Good luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a long term transitioner at 21 months. It's what has worked best for me. Each person has to do what works for them. No need to justify your hair choices to anyone.

  • curleehairbobo says:

    This article is right on time. I have been transitioning for 8.5 months and everytime I wash it I want to cut. I regularly trim every other month and in some places on my head, my hair is exactly half natural and half relaxed. Other places like the front, its more relaxed than natural. I am afraid of the shrinkage and length if I cut today. I have always had long hair and I am petrified of having short hair. My hubby is still in shock that Im not relaxing anymore already, so I definitely dont have his support to cut anymore than I do already. I will see how I feel in August when i reach 12 months. I just want more length before I cut because I hear that it will shrink once the relaxed ends are cut off. Sigh. I cant wait to have one texture of hair!

  • curleehairbobo says:

    This article is right on time. I have been transitioning for 8.5 months and everytime I wash it I want to cut. I regularly trim every other month and in some places on my head, my hair is exactly half natural and half relaxed. Other places like the front, its more relaxed than natural. I am afraid of the shrinkage and length if I cut today. I have always had long hair and I am petrified of having short hair. My hubby is still in shock that Im not relaxing anymore already, so I definitely dont have his support to cut anymore than I do already. I will see how I feel in August when i reach 12 months. I just want more length before I cut because I hear that it will shrink once the relaxed ends are cut off. Sigh. I cant wait to have one texture of hair!

  • Melanie says:

    I've been transitioning for 7 months. I have four inches of new growth and about 5 inches of relaxed hair. I have such major shrinkage that I'm not ready to let it go. I said I would chop off what the relaxed ends once I hit a year, but I'm not sure yet….

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Unknown says:

    I am 17mths post with the goal of at least 24months before I "chop". I am not holding on to ends for length although it is an added bonus.LOL!I just want my natural hair to be APL or as close to APL as possible when I cut.I need to have a decent amount of hair to pull back for those bad hair days. I don't have an issue w/ maintaining or blending the 2 textures. Also,I look at the relaxed ends as protection for my natural hair to grow w/o damage.

  • Stacee says:

    I am 5 months into my transition & I can't wait to BC! I think. At least that's how I feel now because I know it's at least 7 months away. I chopped the hair along the nape of my neck & in front of my ears. It has helped me to avoid the problems most transitioners experience with their edges. My all natural, curly edges look cute with any style. They also give me an idea of the shrinkage I'll have when I finally do BC.

  • Anonymous says:

    I saw a lady with a curly fro and about 3/4 of an inch of relaxed ends. It looked crazy to me, but to each her own.

  • Anonymous says:

    I definitely identify. My goal was to transition for one year, and that year is up May 25th, but as the weekend gets closer and closer, I feel less and less like chopping. I've had short to mid-back length hair and everything in between in my relaxed years, but for some reason short natural hair is making me a little apprehensive. I have 6 inches of healthy natural hair, but I know as soon as I chop, that 6 inches will look like 2 or 3.

  • Glamourous says:

    I did not BC, I got every 4-6 week trims and after about 18 months I was completely natural. I started from hair above my ears and shaved in the back. I did the bulk of transitioning while pregnant so the vitamins helped with growth (as well as sew-ins). I am completely natural now. Blow dried and pressed my hair is SL. My stylist refused to BC my hair so I just went along with it. good luck

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never cut off my ends and I'm 7 years natural.

  • Unknown says:

    I'm a NEWBIE I have been transitioning for 6 months now. I currently have 2 inches of new growth; and i considered doing my big chop on my 1 year hair-versary. But i think I'm going to wait a little longer to obtain more length

  • Anonymous says:

    I just passed my two year transition mark. I've been meaning to chop off the relaxed ends, but I too am slightly afraid of losing length. But because my goal is to have a crazy out of control fro for the summer, I'm going to deal with it and cut it.
    If anything I can do a light blow out and have that length.

  • J.Magic says:

    13 months seems like a trend on this post. I'm 13 months now and planning to cut sometime this week! My original plan was to transition for as long as it worked for me, the two textures wasn't really a problem. At least until recently, where I started noticing all the knots and tangles I was experiencing came from my relaxed ends. I've had long hair my whole life so i'm a bit nervous about having short hair for the first time, but more excited than anything else.

  • Anonymous says:

    My goal was to transition for 2 years. Yesterday marked 17 months. Yesterday was also the day I finally chopped the relaxed ends off! I couldn't be happier with my trip to the salon. My hair looks and feels so much better without the relaxed ends. And I realized that my hair is only 2 inches shorter than it was when I started my transition. I have more than enough hair to pull back for "those" days. I'm speaking only for myself and not passing judgment on anyone else – I was using my relaxed ends as a security blanket. I felt "safer" with more hair, but my hair didn't look that great after day 1 of any style. With the full support of my hubs (who lovingly told me that my relaxed ends looked cra-cra), I'm fully natural and LOVING IT! It is VERY important, however, not to cut until you are ready. It is a personal decision. We all reach that point at different times.

  • Nashira says:

    I definitely experienced this. My intention was to transition for 2 years, but I only lasted 17 months. Two things strongly influenced my decision to cut earlier: I wanted to be newly natural in the warmer months (had I waited two years it would've been Thanksgiving when I cut my hair) and the relaxed ends didn't look good in dry twist outs. Doing a dry twist out was much less time consuming than re-braiding midweek, but my relaxed ends would look hard and point off in crazy directions. Hair no longer cute enough for me = snip snip snip

  • Anonymous says:

    I transitioned for 13 months; my goal was 2 years but was forced to chop due to matting after washing. Didn’t consult my husband, I just chopped. I wore a sew in from April to August (didn’t like wearing it) because I didn’t know what to do with my hair. When the sew-in was removed in August, my husband saw my natural hair in a twistout, he complimented my hair. No regrets chopping, I like wearing natural hair (much easier to deal with one texture instead of two) 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    No I did not experience this. I wanted to end the two textured syndrome as soon as possible so I big chopped and was much more happier with my hair.
    Sugarberri

  • DawnieMarie says:

    OMG i sooo relate to this!!!!! I am still transitioning I make it to a year on the 28th of may. so pretty soon. I wanted to keep my ends through graduation so i could have the length under my hat. but now that graduation is over i dnt think I am ready to cut. Not to mention tons of my friends keep telling me to cut it…. ugh now i just want to make the year mark and decide after that!

  • watkinsabob says:

    fear is something we must overcome. Try something different this time is my motto!

  • TTsGurlBB says:

    Unfortunately, I don't have experience with the Big Chop. However, I am one of those who hyperventilate just getting my ends trimmed (necessary evil) so I can def relate to holding on to straggly ends. 🙂

  • Bobby says:

    For me its all about length and being able to style my hair but he biggest hurdle dealing with a few inches of hair..I cant do it!!!
    I have read too many stories of big choppers whose hair didnt grow back…I cant and wont do it!
    Im almost 9 months post relaxer and I have do set time to cut my relax ends, Im just letting it grow!

  • Anonymous says:

    I intended on chopping after 2yrs but ended up doing it at 13mos. While I absolutely love my hair, I sort of wished I had waited. I have the most awesome twist-outs and get tons of compliments, but I'm not 100% comfortable with the length, which is about 5-6 inches. I've worn short hair for yrs before, but I'm realizing that short straight hair is not the same as short textured hair. Or maybe it's just that I'm not fully comfortable with my natural hair yet, hmmm….

  • Anonymous says:

    I am 8 1/2 months into transition. I am near doing the big chop. I wanted to transition for 1 year, but my hair got seriously matted one night and my hair dresser ended up cutting 3 inches of my hair, after she unmatted it. She was trying to encourage me to do the big chop, but I told her she could cut some of relaxed ends instead. I got the shortest cut I ever had in my life. I am okay with it because I have more natural hair than relaxed. I love my curls and kind of despise the relaxed ends. I miss my ponytail and the length, that's one of the reasons I wanted to transition for at least a year, but I have been pondering the big chop since my hair is short anyway.

  • Ayisha S. says:

    I am a long term transitioner. I don't keep an exact count, but I think it's been about 15-18 months. I kept my ends for length, but now that I am more comfortable with my texture, I want to see what it would really look like. I want to BC, because when I do have a nice twist out, the ends usually come loose in the shower and when I sweat which is very frustrating. My husband wants me to keep the ends for more length, but I have been in his ear, so I hope to BC before we go on vacation to Florida in July! Wish me luck!

  • Unknown says:

    No I'm wishing I transitioned as opposed to just chopping it offspecialy not having a clue what to do with it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I transitioned for 14 months. I didn't mind the two textures initially, but when I got to my nineth month I had way more new growth than permed hair and it started looking ugly. I held on for another 5 months until I just couldn't take the two textures another day. When I big chopped (or remaining chop), I too felt the liberation as often expressed, but panic set in when I had no idea how I would style my hair. I bunned throughout my entire transition (I'm was 54 years old at the time, so I could get away with bunning daily at my age). Watching youtube gave me lots of variety for styling; however, I remained faithful to my pony or bun after I cut the remaing permed ends off. By the way, when my curls started popping, like a previous commenter said, I fell in love, and was a thing of the past. I would say, if you don't feel comfortable letting go of the permed ends and want to retain as much length as possible throughout your transition, then keep the length…it's all about choice. No harm no foul. Evenutally, the permed ends will be history, and you will truly enjoy and rediscover the beauty of your God given coils. Take care ladies!

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    I am a long-term transitioner (2 years, 1 week). There are days when I say "What the Hell!" and reach for my hair scissors. But, I don't. I figure to myself I've made it this far; so, continuing isn't too bad.

    However, I do mini trims every other month to relieve the "itch". My deadline is 3 years. So, I'm okay. I don't really mind the two textures as much. I've managed.

  • DiJah says:

    I was a long term transitioner. When I say long term, I mean YEARS. And part of that was because I didn't want to let go of my length. I love to keep my hair in a bun and when I realized that I wouldn't be able to do so if I got rid of my ends, I kept them. But last winter, I said to hell with it, i'm gonna do it, and what better time to do so? It's winter and I could mask my hair with a beanie/ hat whenever I stepped out; and so I did, and honestly, it was the best decision for me and my hair. Yes, I miss the length but: 1) I immediately saw the difference, and that made up for the length, believe me, and 2) Being that I transitioned out, I didn't have much to cut, but it was still significant.

  • CurlyRara says:

    Im also 11 months into my transitioning. I have 6in of natural hair. I had orginal planed to BC at 18 months….A couple of months ago i decided i was ready to BC…however my boyfriend doesnt want to cut until i get a lil more length…so i agreed if he agreed to support my latest Piercing!!! since im debating waiting 2yrs to do my bc now!! I really NEED the length

  • Anonymous says:

    I transitioned for 10 months, not by choice. lol! I originally had planned it for at least a year. In my case, I transitioned with kinky twist on and off for 10 months. I would get them redone every 3 months. This past September I took the twists down and I had A LOT of new growth. When I washed my hair, the relaxed portion actually became matted! It was a nightmare. I remember that day so clearly. I ended up pulling my hair into a messy bun for church and when I came home I knew I had to do something. I ended up big chopping that night–I tell you there is nothing like cutting off your own hair. I had about 8-9 inches of relaxed ends that I cut off.

    I wasn't comfortable with the length so I installed kinky twists for 3 more months and that December I took them out and it's really been great ever since. Better that I could have ever expected! I love my God give hair and am having so much fun with it–definitely one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

    ~caramelcurls

  • Anonymous says:

    I am 15 months into my transition and I do not plan on cutting until I hit the two year mark – at least. My goal is to have enough hair to pull into a low pony on the days when I haven't had time to style my hair. I've had short hair before and the in between phase was the worst for me. While I do feel the itch to chop at times, when I think on what I would do when I can't get a cute twist out etc, that alone deters me from cutting.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm in my 11 month of transitioning and I feel the itch to cut it to so I feel the writer here. As she wrote I don't have problem with handeling two textures and also in some parts of my hair, my new growth hair is much longer than my straight ends. I don't believe in staying to the exakt month your trying to reach before you cut it because the most of ous cut their hear before they reach there 1 year or 2 year goal. I'm not saying that everybody is like this but for the most of ous the itch always win. I want to hang out for one more year but what do I know maybe I will cut my here tomorow or in the winter time but I'm ok with that because I know I've done my best and got through a good/bad jorney with my hair :)/ European reader

  • Annabel says:

    Pretty picture! I had a horrible experience dealing with the two textures when I reached 9 months. I originally planned on transitioning 12 – 15 months. I was happy with my decision, but can offer this one piece of advice– try to avoid chopping in the winter! I didn't missed the relaxed hair, but did miss the protection it gave me from the cold. =)

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