Cutting your hair “big chop style” can be scary to imagine – I get it. I thought I would look horrible going from bone straight shoulder length hair to a short haircut. I often asked myself, what would everyone else think of me? Yea, I was concerned with what others may think but here I am now many years later without a care in the world of judgments on my hair.
Many of you already know that I am rocking semi-free form locks and I can assure you, in the beginning stages of my lock journey, many thought I went bonkers. I began my natural hair journey in 2011. I eventually chose to lock my hair. I started my locks from a short tapered cut August of 2015.
One of my customers told me she thought I was going through a state of depression (or something) as it appeared as if I had let myself go. Whoa!
Due to my personal fear of the big chop, I chose to return natural by transitioning to my natural texture. Transitioning is the process of discontinuing to relax (chemical processing) and growing the hair out while leaving the relaxed ends attached. This provides more length and for many, comfort.
After transitioning for one year, I decided to do the chop!
With the below steps, you can transition easily and master some basic techniques that can prepare your for caring for your beautiful natural crown.
1. Completely Let Go of the Relaxer
I must be honest and say that taking the journey to transitioning can have its’ challenges as you must work with two different textures to achieve styles. Many beginner naturals have the tendency to apply relaxer onto their edges to keep a slick look as the kinkier roots grow in. This is very damaging to the hair and can result in breakage. Applying relaxer to any part of your hair can be damaging and toxic.
To return natural, you must make your mind up and decide to hang in there and completely let go of the chemical processing. Natural hair is curly so it is expected that your edges may also be curly. It is a part of the natural process. Embrace it!
2. Take Special Care of Your Hair
Returning natural does not mean that you do not do anything. You must still take care of your hair. During the transitioning phase, you are dealing with a combination of chemically processed hair and your natural hair. If you do not take the time to wash, condition, deep condition, get trims and wide tooth comb, finger detangle or brush your hair, breakage/damage will soon follow. This alone can cause you to become discouraged as your hair may become hard to manage and is dry and brittle.
Starting your natural hair journey with a simple hair care regimen can help reduce the overly exaggerated complications that you may have heard about natural hair. When your mind is made up that you are going to do this, you will not look at your hair journey obstacles as reasons to stop but more so a challenge of how you can perfect your hair care regimen.
Do not neglect your crown because your hair will frown.
3. Wear Protective Styles
Wearing protective styles is a great way to transition if styling your hair on the regular is not convenient for you. Some protective style options are braids, twists and crochet. I would not suggest wearing tight sew in’s and glue in’s. These style options can be very damaging to your hair and stunt your hair growth.
Wearing protective styles allows for you to tuck away the ends of your hair strands therefor protecting your fragile ends from constant manipulation, breakage and any harsh weather conditions.
4. Wear Different Styling Options to Blend the Two Textures
There are hair style options that you can wear that do not include extensions. Some examples are: Bantu knot outs, roller sets, flat twist outs and braid outs. These hairstyle options help to blend the two different textures so that you can rock your natural hair as you desire without the two textured look. You can treat your entire head like it is natural and set your hair before bed in twists or braids, unravel in the morning and whoolah, you have created an over night style!
These styles are popular among the fully natural hair community so this is the perfect time to get in your practice.
5. Let It Go
In order for you to be completely natural, you must eventually let go of your chemically processed ends. Holding on to them will only aggravate you and hinder your natural hair growth. I transitioned for one year and decided that holding on to the relaxer was causing me more frustration than I had anticipated so they had to go.
My husband gave me a good chop with the clippers. I did not start from a low fade more so a teeny weeny afro (TWA). Once I did that, my growth took off! I felt a huge relief. I was now able to rock a fro with a headband without straggly ends of chemical processed hair. I cut off my relaxed ends in 2011. I have not looked back. Let it go. You can do it!