I big chopped almost five years ago (time flies right?), but I constantly get questions about what the process will be like and what to expect afterward. Here are some tips to keep in mind before and after you’ve done the big chop.
Here’s the lowdown based on my experience:
Before the big chop
- Decide who is going to do the job. Will you cut your own hair, will a friend or family member or will a stylist do it?
- Have a hairstyle in mind. When I big chopped I wore my hair out for maybe a week before I got kinky twists because I was somewhat uncomfortable. As soon as the job is done, will you wear a twistout, braid out, etc.?
- Prepare for a variety of emotions. You know yourself more than anyone else. You may cry, laugh, feel sad or experience a sense of freedom during your chop. Whatever happens, embrace the moment.
After the big chop
- Clear your mind. At this stage it may be best to erase all prior knowledge of Black hair care. Many of those rules won’t apply when caring for your new curly hair. Yes, ditch the oil sheen, grease (some beg to differ), hot combs and petroleum jelly. Check out my “Natural Hair 101” page on the main menu for more.
- Develop a simple regimen and stick to it. Some people really overthink caring for their natural hair and therefore get frustrated. Test out a few products (shampoos, conditioners, oils, styling creams) to see which your hair reacts to best. From there, develop your regimen. Decide how often you are going to wash and condition your hair and then find 2-3 easy protective styles.
- Be strong. This may sound silly but there will be times people will try to put you down because of how you choose to wear your hair. Even five years after my big chop I still have people, some family, who have an opinion about how I wear my hair. This is why developing a strong support system and reading blogs such as this one are important.
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