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.
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 down your hair”- hair, this is a shock to the system! But there are many gorgeous women rocking TWAs like nobody’s business!
I’d say the major pro to transitioning is that you won’t have the short hair you dread when you do finally cut it. While transitioning, though, you must take special care to wash, condition and moisturize your hair properly because you’re dealing with two textures. Your hair is very fragile, especially at the point where the two textures meet. By doing your research and applying the suggestions, you can transition with success. To get you started, check out my tips for transitioning here. Transition for as long as you wish but the sooner you chop, the quicker you can start learning how to deal with your natural texture. One successful long-term transitioner you can take some notes from is Laila-Jean of FusionOfCultures on YouTube who transitioned for 24 months! You can learn about her techniques here!
I hope this was a little help for anyone still playing with the idea of going natural.
Until next time lovelies! Stay beautiful.
Header: Tomiko Fraser Hines courtesy of www.LocFancy.com