You’ve decided to take the plunge and do the big chop to return your hair to its natural state. Before you start cutting away, check out these 10 tips:
Do your research!
The big chop can be a liberating experience, if you’re prepared. Talk to other naturals, read books and magazines about natural hair. Before I big chopped I read Better Than Good Hair, The Science of Black Hair and Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide for Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair. Remember, everyone’s experiences are different and that’s okay. What worked for one person, may not work for you. There are also a number of websites, YouTube channels and other social media resources dedicated to natural hair.
Prepare your friends and family
Although this is YOUR decision, informing your family and friends is important. This is a great time to answer their questions or concerns. Some of them may not support your decision, and that’s okay. You can thank them for their opinion, and explain that you have to do what’s right for you and your hair.
Build a support system
Having a support system will come in handy when you’re having a bad hair day, lacking motivation, have questions, etc. In addition to your natural friends or family members, join a natural hair care forum, subscribe to a few YouTube channels and follow your favorite blogger(s).
Start a blog or a journal
This is a great way to keep track of your progress and is a great outlet for your thoughts or frustrations. You can also use your blog or journal to document and remember products and styles that worked well for you, or that didn’t work so well.
Shop for accessories
If you’re worried about not looking feminine after the big chop, take the money you’re saving by not relaxing and stock up on cute earrings, headbands, flowers and other accessories. You may feel like you need to wear dangly earrings and flowers the first few days or weeks. But don’t be afraid to rock your TWA with or without the accessories. Remember, the key is to be confident and comfortable with how you look.
Find hairstyle inspiration for your TWA
In the weeks leading up to the big chop, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and YouTube. I had no idea how much hair I would have but I wanted to be prepared. Depending on your length, some hairstyles may or may not work. Be sure to have at least an idea or two of how to style your hair after the big chop.
Decide who will cut your hair
Find someone you trust to cut your hair. This can be a stylist, a family member or even yourself. If you don’t have someone to cut your hair, ask your natural friends or post on a natural care forum for suggestions or recommendations. Don’t forget to take pictures/ record the big chop!
Don’t compare yourself
It’s easy to start comparing yourself to some of the well-known bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers) out there. Don’t compare yourself or try to predict what your hair will look like. I know it’s easier said than done but it will keep you from being disappointed, if your hair is different from what you expected. Embrace the journey and love YOUR hair!
Plan a big chop celebration
As I got closer to the big chop, I decided to make the day special. I invited friends and family to dinner and drinks for a chance to celebrate the “new” me before sharing pictures on social media. For me, the big chop was part of a bigger goal to live a healthier life.
A year ago, I was amazed at women that big chopped but I never thought I would do it. Now, I realize it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I’m excited to learn more about my hair and to see where this journey will take me. Whether you decide to transition for two months or a year before you big chop, only you know when you’re ready. Don’t feel pressured to follow a specific timeline.
Jackie is an Ohio native who dreams of living in California. She began her transition to natural hair in December 2013 and big chopped in April. When she’s not blogging, she loves to workout, travel with her husband, and spend time with their three dogs.