Preparing for the big chop comes down to who you are.
Curlies with perms and those who use relaxers often find that committing to the big chop is a worthwhile solution to going natural. The big chop can be done in two different ways. One being an immediate ridding of all chemically treated strands, and the other being a process of growth. Both options have their pros and cons, but either way, the big chop is all about cutting off all your hair that has been treated with chemicals and allowing your natural hair to grow out.
While there are a couple of different methods for getting a big chop, you should know that this is a real commitment. The grow out period may take some getting used to, but in the end, the natural, thick, and full head of hair that you will wind up with will turn heads and expose your natural beauty.
Cutting It All Off
Literally, THE Big Chop
Curlies who wish to go all natural immediately choose to big chop by cutting all the chemically treated hair off at once. This is done by cutting the hair within a couple inches of the scalp, leaving only the natural hair behind. Depending upon how much natural hair you have, you can either cut it or shave it. This is a very drastic change, and and you should think it out carefully before making this leap.
You can either cut your hair yourself, or have a stylist do it for you. Either way, the results will be immediate and will last a while, giving you ample opportunity to play around with short, curly hairstyles as the grow-out process begins.
Find the courage to big chop, today, tonight, whenever! »
Transitioning to Natural Hair
Slow & Steady
For those curlies with perms or relaxers who don't want to make such a drastic or immediate change, there is the transition method. Growing your hair out without adding more chemicals will allow you to perform the big chop without losing as much hair all at once.
This method will allow for longer hair, but you may have hair that has a very different texture on the top than it does on the bottom. However, as with anything else we curlies decide to do, there are ways to solve this problem. Headbands, braids and ponytails can be used to mask the differing styles of our hair.
Some people who choose transitioning to natural hair will then do the big chop when their hair is long enough for comfort. Some will go for a shorter style in order to rid themselves of the chemically treated hair sooner, while others will wait until their hair is longer before deciding to cut the chemically treated strands off. All in all, it completely depends on your comfort level with shorter strands.
Read all about Tauri's Transitioning story through her wedding. »
Are You Ready?
- The thing to remember about the big chop is that it's all about your personal style.
- Give careful thought to this while weighing the pros of saving money at the salon, time in front of the mirror, and an overall sense of freedom with the cons of having shorter hair for a time or having to cover up a two-tiered style.
- Have you already transitioned or done the big chop? Tell us about your experience, and why you chose the method you did!
Check out our Curl Stories From the Street and hear how women just like you have learned how to embrace their waves, curls and kinks!