When people ask me how long I’ve been natural, I usually give them the short answer- that I did my big chop in October of 2009. What I leave out is that that was actually my SECOND big chop! Yep. I went natural once before… but I hated it!
Last Saturday at the Healthy Hair & Beauty Affair, attendees watched like proud mamas as college student Amber Fraser got her relaxed hair chopped off to reveal a beautiful, young naturalista! I felt it only right that I chat with her a bit about how she got to this point… At what age did you get a relaxer and why? Describe the state of your hair during this time. My hair wasn’t damaged when I got my relaxer at age eight. I have a picture of my mom and I, around age four, where she did what many other mothers did: braid my hair and tie the braids with those cute bubble hair accessories. However, my mom worked a lot and as a result, felt that relaxed hair would be more manageable because she wouldn’t have to put in much time or effort to style it. How long have you been contemplating the decision to return to your natural texture? To be honest, I’ve only thought about going natural for a month. It was almost impulsive, but I don’t regret it. Are other women in your family natural? My aunt went natural two years ago. My grandmother’s been natural for about five years. My mom hasn’t been natural since I was about four. What made you decide to finally take the plunge? I’ve wanted to cut my hair for about two years. However, I’ve been contemplating returning to my natural hair state for about a month, now. I go to a really liberal, arts-y farts-y college. I was so glad to find conscious, down-to-earth black people my age and immediately befriended a few of them, most of whom coincidentally are natural. After getting to know them, swapping personal stories and discussing issues of all kinds, but some especially in the…
I just wanted to pop in and give a little love to the ladies who are #teamtwa, #shorthairdontcare, or any other witty hashtag you can come up with. Whether you’ve just done your big chop (WELCOME!) or you’re a natural hair vet who simply loves the convenience of a cropped ‘do, we see you! ♥ I hope this serves as a bit of inspiration to those who are contemplating the big chop as well as those of you who are still in this state aching for the day to be able to pull your hair up in a pony. Patience my darlings. Rock that mini fro with confidence! You’re beautiful. 😉 xoxo Toia B.
There’s the misconception, among both women and men, that “going natural” means that a woman must chop off all her hair to a super short length. The fear that they will look “ugly” with short hair or won’t attract the fellas deters many women from going natural to begin with. Of course, all that couldn’t be farther from the truth. But you really don’t have to Big Chop (or BC) if you don’t want to! You can transition: gradually grow out your relaxed hair, cutting off a bit every couple months until you’re left with your natural kinks, coils or curls. Big Chop Just to clarify: while the BC is often associated with the result being a really short crop of hair or a TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro), the Big Chop is simply cutting off all your relaxed ends to reveal the natural texture at ANY point, whether you have a centimeter of new growth or twelve inches! For all intents and purposes, though, I’ll be referring to the common connotation. 😉 Some “pros” to doing the Big Chop? You’ll feel FREEEE now that have this fresh “palette” on which to work and watching your curls come in is like a little adventure! As your hair grows, YOU grow in knowledge & skill, mastering new techniques to use at each stage of your growth and getting a feel for what products & ingredients your natural hair likes or what it doesn’t respond well to. Dealing with the one texture, your routine will be pretty straight forward rather than adjusting to meet the needs of both your relaxed ends and the new growth. You can keep things very low-maintenance by opting to KEEP your hair at a TWA or even a low Caesar. A “con”? Your hair will be short. 0_0 For some, especially those who are used to having long, “Rapunzel, let…