The Big Chop and Natural Hair

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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40 is the new 20!!! 
Although I have never had a relaxer, 30+ years of the press n curl resulted in irreparable heat damage. When I recently decided to start doing my hair …

I am ready for the journey this time 
Well this isn't my first big chop. I have cut my hair very short many times throughout my life in attempts of keeping my hair in its natural state. Oftentimes …

The ugly person in the mirror 
I did a big chop in 2005 and have been 2 strand twisting my hair at least once a week. at the beginning I loved my hair , I loved the way it looked. Then …

Today out of nowhere, I just said, you know what, and picked up the scissors then the clippers and cut all of my hair off. At first I was like what were …

I was scared but I feel free! Not rated yet
I did my big chop this year (Sept/2013). I was very scared to do this because I always felt that my hair would not grow back and that it would always …

16 with damaged hair......Scared but i cant wait!! Not rated yet
so freaked out. i havent done it yet, looking forward to HEALTHY hair with plenty of moisture..thx for the comments you ladies have eased my nerves!

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Here are some more big chop thoughts:

Big Chops are...

LIBERATING! Many who know me well know that I am very particular about my hair. Over the past two weeks I have spent countless hours on styling my hair...I do mean countless! Yesterday (October 30, 2010) I decided that enough was enough! I have been a slave to my hair for quite some time and thought hmm...if I have no hair to stress over then I would no longer feel I chopped it off!

I began cutting the front of my hair and immediately the corners of my lips turned into a great BIG SMILE! I am free! While cutting my hair I realized that I would gain more than what I was losing. What I lost was 4-6 inches of relaxed hair that cost me a lot of time, money and stress. What I will gain is a head full of strong, natural, beautiful hair that is healthy and chemical-free. My hair is only about 1/2-1 inch long but I feel beautiful. I must say that I have no idea what to do from here but the BC was definitely the right choice for me. I look forward to this natural hair journey. ---Dee (10/31/10)

LIBERATING!!! I just did the BC two months ago and I love it. I have been wanting to do it for years but was scared of what everyone else would think. Then one day I said to myself, I don't care what no one thinks. Its what I want. When I first cut it, I wasn't sure how I really felt about it. Then after several days of looking at myself in the mirror, and learning different things I can do with it and getting lots of compliments, I'm loving it. Makes me feel like a BOSS. ---Tomeica (10/22/10)

Scary! This is my second time on the BC wagon. The first time was 100% voluntary. I had always had very healthy medium length hair which I attribute to being a knowledgeable cosmetologist. I got to a point when listening to young girls in my community go on and on regarding how beautiful straight long hair is and how ugly "nappy hair is" that I felt a moral obligation to prove a point. That being said, I picked up the clippers and trimmed all my relaxed tresses off leaving 1/2 inch of natural curls. Initially I felt sooooo empowered, so beautiful, so dignified. However after the reactions of my friends and loved ones I began feeling like an outcast. (If you don't have a supportive group of people surrounding you, this may not be the right time for the BC).

I had good days and bad. However after about 6 months and a mediocre hair growth of only 4.5 inches I started to become impatient. I loved my natural tresses, however the comb twist and tiny afros were growing old, cumbersome and boring. After much inner conflict and turmoil, I relaxed my hair.

My hair was very upset with me. It was limp, lifeless and seemed to have lost its glory immediately and I have regretted going back ever since. My second BC occurred yesterday. After having micro braids for the past three months, I took them down. (Keep in mind I wear them on a regular basis and have kept them in as much as 4 months before without issue.) To my complete astonishment, my hair locked up while wearing the braids. I did everything under the sun to untangle the jungle that had become my natural hair to no avail. My last resort became my clippers.

Once again, I am back to having 1/2 inch of natural curls and I don't know how I feel about it. Being that my first reaction was to hide under a wig should be answer enough. It's very scary! However if you're patient...and you really WANT this, you will be able to withstand the bad days and surrender to natural bliss. As for me... no more relaxer. I am now focusing on patience. ---Brandi (10/11/10)

Not for everyone. My last relaxer was in October 2008. My hair was badly damaged, thin, and breaking from so many years of chemical abuse. I admired the look of locs and decided this was the hairstyle for me. I had loc extensions installed in November 2008 and gradually cut out all the extensions as my own hair locked and grew beautifully. I now have a head full of natural healthy locs that are almost 2 years old. I'm glad to say that I was able to avoid the big chop. ---Sheri(10/2/10)

Fabulous....I've been natural since Feb 2010; that is when I got my 1st big chop. I began to get familiar with my hair, taking care of it and watching it grow. Even my stylist was happy with the results BUT I wanted to add color so I decided to get another big chop which happened two weeks ago and I am loving it EVEN MORE. I will never get a relaxer again. My kinky curly hair with this Ginger color is beautiful. --Helen(9/29/10)

amazing. I am mixed and I have relaxed my hair a few times, but I now really regret that. On August 6th 2010, I had gotten my hair relaxed the week before and I realized that I had just ruined my hair so that night I just shaved it all off. I felt so nice and weightless. As I was cutting I noticed how damaged my hair had become and I am so happy with my hair now. I have about an 1.37 inches right now. I have been using Wen cleansing conditioners since I started and I have noticed a radical difference in my natural hair. Going thru with the BC was the best experience of my life by far. --Elizabeth(9/24/10)

Okay by me! I did it back in 97 when I was in college. I foolishly relaxed my hair when pressured by my then new boss in '99. It's been 11 years and I finally decided to go back home to my natural hair! I am going to transition slowly this time and let my hair grow out. --Kinshasha(9/20/10)

The best thing for the hair. I do big chops every year. My hair grows extremely fast. I have always been natural and wouldn't have it any other way. The freedom of being natural is a great blessing. You are being who God created you to be. People always tell me that my hair grows fast. I believe it is because of keeping the ends trimmed at least every eight weeks and chopping it off and starting over from time to time. I chopped mine off a few weeks ago to the point that it layed down on my head. Now I have a curly top. I love it. --Augusta(9/10/10)

What I want. I just decided that I wanted to go back to natural. Unfortunately I just had a retouch two days ago!I was having some breakage in the crown and I went to my dermatologist. She said it was from the relaxer and gave me an ointment to use and said I could continue to relax, but to wait 8 weeks instead of 6. I saw the hair begin to fill in during those 8 weeks so I had the retouch. Immediately I wished I had continued to let my hair grow out because I could see my scalp through my newly straightened hair.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE my relaxed look. I wear it super short and it fits my face, but I am more interested in the health of my hair and I've never been afraid of wearing natural hair. I am 53 years old and I sported a 'fro back in the day. I wore locks(hate the term "dread" locks) for 15 years. I did the big chop in order to relax my hair.

Right now my dilemma is hearing how long people have waited. I'm reading about sisters with 3 and 4 inches of hair. I WISH I had that much new growth...I would chop it in a heartbeat! My other issue is that I have no hair at my temples. This is not from the relaxer because it's been that way since I was a child. I think this makes me require a little more hair to start out because I need to cover the temples. I don't want locks again because I don't want my hair to hang. I like "big" hair lol. Thanks for opening up this dialogue. This site is great and I will be back here frequently. --Prudence(9/2/10)

not always necessary. My stylist who helped me go natural told me there was no need for it; my hair was healthy, and it was at the length I liked. I went natural because it wasn't financially accommodating and because at the time I was more into color, and my stylist said it was one or the other. But then again I had already chopped off half of my length (I went from mid back to a chin-length bob). But it's been a year, and all of my relaxed hair is gone; I'm a few inches longer than I was before I went natural and I've always been good about getting my ends clipped.

Personally, I don't ever see myself going shorter than shoulder length because when I'm feeling lazy or I'm in-between washes I can just throw my hair in a loose ponytail. But then again, I don't see a point of wearing my hair curly unless absolutely necessary (a.k.a I don't feel like blow drying and flat-ironing it). But to each their own. I know that I do not want to go shorter than shoulder length. I've had my long hair, my short hair, now I'm enjoying my medium length hair. --Jessica(9/1/10)

truly amazing and empowering. Really, they are. My last relaxer was March, 2010. I transitioned for approximately 5 months before doing the BC. My BC was yesterday, 8/28/10. I must admit that although I've cut my hair several times in the past, I was very nervous. I've always had thick long hair and I am a chocolate sista. I can surely attest to some people questioning whether or not one's hair is real. I would often just smile to myself. Some of us are still so mentally enslaved. The first piece of hair chopped off made me feel giggly inside. I could not stop smiling. It was truly empowering. It looks chic, cute and sassy with a spritz of class. I truly love it and can't wait to use all of my natural hair products. --Cleopatra(8/29/10)

scary for me. But I do applaud the women who have done it. I actually transitioned for quite some time. Since I have a graduated bob, it wasn't hard to have all natural hair after a year. I had about 2 inches of relaxed hair and I HATED MY NATURAL TEXTURE! I didn't know how to take care of it; it was damaged and felt gross. So I relaxed it again, I would love to learn how to properly take care of my natural hair because it's not hard for me to grow out. --Nicole (8/27/10)

kind of scary at first, but I've heard that once you cut off all of that processed hair, the natural hair grows in faster and healthier. Doing the BC is worth it!! Im still in high school and have been transitioning for about 3 months. At first I was skeptical about cutting my hair, but when I researched and saw results that other women were getting, I decided to be strong and chop the bad hair off. When the new year comes in, I plan on getting the bc and start my journey to all natural hair and a happier me!! --Raquel (8/26/10)

EXCITING! I've been transitioning for nearly 6 months now and I am so excited about my big chop! I'm scared too but to be honest I just want to do it now! I'm just scared about how it would look; I have a square jaw so I would look too masculine if I did it now :( I intend on BCing this time next year and I cannot wait! --Sade (8/20/10)

scary, yet I want to do it. I'm 15 and going on natural. There are several girls at my school with natural hair but I'm afraid I dont have that much strength. I havent had a perm in 4 months and my hair has grown alot. Im gradually growing out the perm parts of my hair. I still flat iron, but I'm in love with my curly hair. I wish I knew how to manage it. Going natural itself makes me feel strong and confident --Andrea (8/14/10)

A SCARY THOUGHT! I'm transitioning now and I'm getting frustrated having to deal with the 2 frustrated that I'm REALLY thinking of just doing the BC!!!! However, like many women I'm used to long hair and have a spouse that loves long hair. What to do???? Many of the responses are very inspiring so thank you, ALSO any hair care product suggestions????--Tia (8/13/10)

AWESOME! I did the BC in 1998 and have never looked back! It was more tramautic for the stylist than it was for me! It was the most courageous and liberating thing I've ever done. I had a challenge finding a barber/stylist that could cut it to my satisfaction consistently (in the town where I live) but I did. I recommend all women take charge of their own hair and stop being a slave to others' desires or expectations. Free at last! --Devine (8/12/10)

a little scary. My last relaxer was 8 months ago and I've only just started REALLY focusing on caring for my hair. I wore wigs, or just got cornrows so I wouldn't have to deal. Having discovered the amazing information available on sites like yours and youtube, I am so stoked about my bc!

My hairdresser is back in 2 weeks and I can't wait to get it done and embrace my natural hair. It has been 24 (yes 24) years since I've met my hair :-) I started off, like most, with a Jheri Curl then moved to relaxers, and had all sorts of horror stories of breakage, chemical scalp burns, hair coming out in chunks. Thank you for this awesome site! And thank you, fellow transitioners, for sharing your stories and inspiring/encouraging women like me. God bless, and rock that 'fro!!! --Godsfave (8/12/10)

AMAZING! I did the BC five days ago. I was actually headed to get a relaxer and made a U-turn to a barbershop. Nobody could believe it. I've always been pretty bold so doing it wasnt the issue. My only issue was "OMG I know NOTHING about my natural hair!" That's still my issue. Well, I love it. Im learning my natural curl pattern (which looks to be pretty wavy) Ive gotten all compliments from "you have the perfect head/face" to "OMG you are gorgeous!"

I love being able to wash my hair after my workouts, get caught in the rain without a care, and fall asleep without wrapping my hair without fretting over a mess in the AM. I love love love it and cant believe I waited so long! I feel like a Queen! As for comments, I feel like I'll automatically ween away the "ignorance" but Im finding Im getting far more attention than I did with long hair. --Nikki (8/14/10)

the bomb. I have done it 5 times in my life ~ age 7 (first ever haircut), age 15 (and my hair was down my back!), age 17, age 36 (to start locs) and again last year at 47 to get rid of the locs. Maybe I don't fear the chop because

    1) I know I look cute with the pixie,
    2) I know my hair will grow back and within 5 years it will be shoulder and if really let go will be down my back within 7 and most important,
    3) I am attractive to men regardless of short hair, long hair, locs or what.

If you are confident, it doesn't matter how you wear your hair. If it is groomed, and I mean clean and styled here, it is just another accessory. --cynmac (8/1/10)

WONDERFUl!! I'm a lady that used to be in love with straight bouncy hair. I finally did my BC in June of 2010 and I had all types of compliments; good and bad. Men were the worse. They love long hair. Some loved it and most just hated it! This is pretty new to me and I'm excited about what this hair journey may bring. --Hope (7/28/10)

not for me. While I applaud the strength of those that do achieve big chops, I have decided to transition to the very end (my last relaxer was May 2010). I love my long hair (I've always had long hair) and I do not wish to part with it. Life is a challenge and I understand that long-term transitioning will be one as well. I welcome it. --Honeybrown1976 (7/10/10)

Scary. I've been taking the slow approach to the BC. I started my hair journey in August 2008. I chopped 4 inches off of my hair and I'm still unsure if I actually cut off all of my relaxed hair. But now I've been putting in the two strand twists and I love it. I can go swimming without having to worry about my perm coming out. I keep them in for 2 weeks, take them out, wear my hair curly, and then do them up again. I'm enjoying my hair journey.

I've been going through these websites to find different hair styles that I can use and natural conditioners and oil treatments. I just would like to say... More power to being natural because having relaxed hair is over rated. --indya (7/5/10)

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