Should I Do The Big Chop?
Let’s be real. You’ve been contemplating going natural for a while now and the “internets” has been giving you all sorts of tips about doing so.
By now, you’ve probably seen the words “Big Chop” and “Transitioning” more times than you can count and now you’re busy trying to figure out if you’re really ready to deal with your difficult (better known as “Steel Wire”) natural hair.
So let’s break this down real quick:
According to Naturally Curly, the big chop (B.C) is the process of cutting off the relaxed or permed ends of one’s hair when he/she is transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair.
Simply put: You wet all the hair on your head with just plain water-no products; not even the natural stuff. Let your hair shrink and then check how the hair at your roots looks. Depending on your hair type (stay posted: story for another day), your hair will generally be curlier or wavier closer to your scalp. Where that curly pattern changes and becomes almost straight is the demarcation line and that’s where you or your stylist’s inner ‘Edward Scissorhands’ will be unleashed.
Therefore, a big chop doesn’t mean you have to cut all your hair off! Unless your hair has been chemically processed all the way until your scalp… then yes, sweetheart, you’ll be going bald.
On the bright side, think Lupita Nyong’o, Amber Rose, Natalie Portman, Ajuma, even our very own First Lady Margaret Kenyatta…and not worrying about a salon for a few months. Can I get an AMEN?
But, should you big chop?
Disclaimer: I’m not a trained hair expert but if you’re going to B.C… Here are a few things you should consider:
- Have you done proper research? What hairstyles could you do? What will your go-to styles be when you want to switch up your fro game a bit? … What products do you need? How might your hair/scalp feel afterwards and what does this mean for your hair regimen? (Tip: if you don’t currently have a hair regimen well… that’s gonna change)*smiles encouragingly here*
- Where are your emotions at? For example, if you find out the back of your head looks a bit like a shape out of a geometry class, are you going to be constantly mad at people around you for no reason A.K A. ‘It’s not even your fault, my self-esteem is just running pretty low right now?’.
- What’s the real reason you want to big chop? Is it cause that’s what you honestly feel is best for you or because you’ve watched a billion naturalistas chop their hair off on YouTube?
- Support system: If your self-esteem is generally a bit low and your hair plays a big role in how you define your femininity, then consider having a support system in place before you go ahead and B.C.
- Do you look at a bald lady (not the high profile ones) and think “Hmm… She must be sick/lesbian/ghetto/a cultural extremist… or just manly?” You need to deal with these perceptions now – before you B.C.
- Lastly, are you ready for people to keep trying to touch your scalp? Or harass you?
Maybe you’re thinking the B.C isn’t for you after all, your other option is Transitioning. In this method, you go back to your hair’s natural state over a period of time usually months and cut a bit off of the damaged hair, a little bit at a time.
Next week, we talk more about transitioning and find out from some women who are currently transitioning or have transitioned before what the 10 things they wish they had known before they transitioned are.
This week, comment below and tell us what stereotypes you have about bald women or what stereotypes have been expressed about you (if you’re bald) or a friend of yours who is bald? Any bald role models you look up to btw?
Whatever you choose, you can trust me on this one thing: It’s just hair and it will grow back. If it doesn’t, well – again, it’s just hair. You’re still beautiful.
P.S: Click here to sign up for our email newsletter. It’ll be pretty awesome!