Time and time again, I’ve heard the big chop horror stories. Uneven. Cut off too much (not just relaxed ends). Tears. And more tears.
Not to mention the criticism one may receive. There are usually 5 typical responses to your big chop that you can read here.
Fortunately, I was not subject to a negative big chop experience. About a month ago, my sister –who has been transitioning for 14 months — finally took the plunge. To ensure that she had a positive experience, she took heed to my big chop advice. Here are my tips for a successful big chop:
Big Chop When You Are Ready
Too often, transitioners place a time frame on when they will big chop. But in all honesty, you’ll KNOW when you are ready. It’s important to plan, but it’s also important to know that plans change. (That’s advice that doesn’t just apply to hair.) My sister originally planned on big chopping for her birthday in January 2015. It’s August. It’s clearly not snowing outside and the temperature is 80 degrees. As time passed, she was realized that it would be much easier to manage one texture as opposed to two. With two textures, her twist outs didn’t last as long. Besides, summer is perfect wash and go weather and she didn’t want to miss out.
Do a Mini-Chop (or More)
If you have always had long hair, a big chop may be too extreme for you. Instead, try gradually cutting every few months. My sister regularly cut an inch off as her natural hair grew in. That way, she had a reasonable length (for her), when she made the full transition. For some, seeing long hairs fall to the floor is too “traumatizing”, but an inch or two every few months is more manageable.
Seek A Stylist You Trust
Whether your “stylist” is a professional, a friend, or you… you should trust the stylist with your hair. Make sure that you consult with your stylist so that he/she is aware of your big chop goals. Do you want it shaped or do you simply want to clip the relaxed ends? Also, make sure your stylist is aware of your different curl patterns. For example, my sister and I both have wavy hair in the front. Because the rest of our hair is tightly coiled, it could easily be mistaken for relaxed or heat-damaged hair. A simple conversation with a trusted stylist can make a world of a difference.
The big chop is a BIG deal! Make sure you exercise due diligence in the big chop process. Follow these steps and you will be on the right path for happy natural hair journey.
What are your tips for a successful big chop?