A breakup or other traumatic experience are common times for us women to cut their hair as we see it is the one thing we can take immediate control of; we all know it is often a struggle to adjust our feelings and move on right away.
"The Big Chop" is a nickname most women in the natural hair community will be familiar with. It is done to cut off all of your relaxed or damaged hair, leaving you with natural hair only, either a buzzed cut or a small afro, ear length curls or a full shaved head of hair. Often a drastic decision driven by emotions, those who have big chopped share that it is a really liberating experience. This fresh start is an option for those who don’t wish to transition.
The Psychology Behind A Woman Chopping Her Hair Off
This is true for a lot of women: we often relate a new look with a new start in life, which can be for many reasons. You can even take it way back to the Holy Bible. A writer for And They Lived Happily Ever After states, “Samson, the biblical figure who lost his power when Delilah cut off his hair, should have been written as a woman.”
Our natural hair represents our self-acceptance. Along with making ourselves happy, our hair can also be a way of attracting a potential partner. The hours we spend getting our hair perfect for date night or girls' night out is a reflection of our confidence. When we decide to chop our hair off, it is us choosing to make a sacrifice and careless attitude to what men think or our partners think.
The emotional shedding process
A breakup or other traumatic experience are common times for us women to cut their hair as we see it is the one thing we can take immediate control of; we all know it is often a struggle to adjust our feelings and move on right away. In a soppy way, our hair is a window to our souls--it carries many memories often related to the bonding process we have with the maternal figures in our lives as well.
Some natural hair bloggers and vloggers have taken part in the Big Chop as part of a public shedding process. For example, Shameless Maya had doing the Big Chop on her bucket list and was going through a divorce when she decided to film it and start over.
The London Curls is another natural hair blogger who recorded her Big Chop and selflessly donated to Age UK, a charity that became close to her heart after the passing of her grandparents.
While my natural hair journey had a lot to do with a frustration of having damaged ends and putting my trust in a good hairdresser, funny enough, I was going through a break up at the time as well. It was a great time for me to start over. When I did it, I felt like a new woman and it made me feel more confident with myself.
The next time someone tells you "It's just hair!"
Tell them yes, they are right. However, there is often an emotional reason behind any hair choice we choose to make and that is the beauty of us being women! No one can take that strength away from us.
What motivated you to Big Chop?