If you’re considering going back to natural hair, one option to think about is doing the big chop. Years of chemical relaxers can take its toll resulting in damaged, dry, and brittle hair.
Perhaps you’ve been transitioning your hair and may no longer want to dedicate the time needed to care for two different textures. Opting for the big chop can be both liberating and relatively easy to maintain.
Sometimes a fresh start is a way to go. Going natural with the big chop consists of cutting off all of the chemically treated hair so only natural hair remains. This usually results in short hair depending on if you’ve been transitioning your hair, and for how long.
At first, this can seem drastic, however, going natural doesn’t need to be feared at all. In fact, it can be a step to finally having completely natural hair.
Your hair and scalp will have a chance to recover from the effects of harsh chemicals, manipulation, and the results will be much healthier hair.
A lot of people ask, “Does hair grow faster after the big chop?” The answer is simple. Your hair will grow at the same rate is usually grows. The reason your hair may not appear to grow fast is that chemically treated hair tends to be damaged and breaks more easily.
Especially near the ends. When that happens, it can seem like the hair is not growing quickly. In fact, it may look like it isn’t increasing at all. But rest assured it is.
This is why it’s important to remove all of the chemically treated parts. If you’re looking to increase the rate of your hair growth, some techniques can be used.
Massaging the scalp is one way that can help. There are also supplements that contribute to strengthening the hair which can lessen the chance of breakage.
For those not wanting very short hair, transitioning hair for several months or longer may be an option. This is done by discontinuing the use of chemical treatments so the natural hair can grow.
The new hair growth, when properly maintained, offers more of a variety of haircuts for when you’re ready to do the big chop. Some people have transitioned their hair for a year or longer.
Others who don’t mind shorter hair cuts have transitioned for only a few months while others choose not to transition at all. The decision is up to you and your level of comfort.
Whether or not you decide to transition, it’s important to plan a hair regimen before and after the transformation. Keeping the new hair growth properly moisturized and conditioned protects and keeps it as healthy as possible.
It also prepares you for any hair texture change that can occur. If you’ve had chemically treated hair for several years, you may not be familiar with your natural texture. Caring for new hair growth while transitioning familiarizes you with your natural hair.
You may find out that your hair is arid. It may just soak up every drop of moisture you apply. This is why it’s so important to plan a hair care regimen.
There is a myriad of excellent moisturizing, conditioning and styling products that may work better than the products you’re used to using.
Doing it is a huge decision, and you may have looked into different types of short hairstyles. Depending on how long your natural hair is will determine what kinds of hairstyles are available to you.
The point is that several hairstyles can be fun to try.
How To Do The Big Chop
You may be wondering how to do it yourself. It’s actually very easy to do.
- First, divide the hair into sections and clip each one.
- Next, take a section and thoroughly apply moisturizer.
- Remove any tangles with a Denman brush. Because the hair will be wet with moisturizer, individual curls will be easier to see.
- Next, select a curl or two, then cut the chemically treated part of the hair at the line where the natural hair begins. Continue doing this until all of the damaged hair has been removed.
- If you’re unsure where the line of natural hair meets the chemically treated hair, cut approximately half an inch longer. This way you can go back and cut a little more if you need to.
- This process can take some time, but taking the time to cut small sections ensures that only the damaged hair is removed.
- You can also do the big chop with color. Leaving about a half an inch of color can add pizzazz to your new style. The results resemble highlighted tips. It also keeps a little length.
- As your hair grows, the colored parts can be trimmed until only your natural hair remains.
So you’ve done it. Now you may want to know what to do after the big chop.
The first thing to keep in mind is that it will take a little bit of time to adjust. It will take the time to get reacquainted with your natural hair, and as it grows, its texture may change more as the follicles recover from the chemicals.
Your natural hair will need to be cared for differently than you may be used to and finding new hair products may seem to be a challenge. Yet, it isn’t any more challenging than finding other kinds of new products.
Videos, articles, and recommendations from friends are great resources to help you find the best hair products for you. From deep conditioners to styling balms, finding the right products is a matter of trial and error.
Once they are found, it’s like striking gold.
Big chop hair extensions are another option. If you decide that you still want longer hair, extensions give you the option of having longer hair while your natural hair grows out.
Several kinds of hair extensions use clips and won’t damage your natural hair. They’re a breeze to put on and look very natural. Weaves or other long-term hair extensions are not recommended because they can cause damage over long periods of time.
Big chop maintenance can be easy and quick. Several hairstyles can be kept for days and may only need touching up with products such as leave-in conditioners and moisturizers.
Many people say they feel liberated from the daunting task of maintaining chemically treated hair. Tools such as picks, Denman brushes and sponges are just a few of the items that make keeping your hairstyle easier.
Big Chop Hairstyles
When it comes to hairstyles, the fun and sassy options available are limited only by your imagination. From TWAs to fades and everything in between, big chop hairstyles are liberating and bring fuss-free style to your beauty regimen.
Super short styles can be cut to compliment the shape of your face and bring out your best features. Slightly longer cuts give you the option to rock defined curls, teeny Bantu knots or braids. As your hair grows, switching up your hairstyle freshens up your look and delivers versatility.
With so many gorgeous looks available, the big chop won’t seem like a big deal after all.
Big Chop Hair Extensions
If super short hair just isn’t working for you, then extensions may be a solution. Hair extensions are a great way to add length to your hair while your natural hair grows. Hair extensions are available in synthetic or human hair. The type you choose depends on your personal preference and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to commit to.
Some synthetic extensions are inexpensive and look very natural. Human hair extensions require more care but can be cut, styled and colored. They also tend to last longer than synthetic extensions. Some extensions easily clip to your natural hair. Other types have little combs that slip right into the hair making them ideal for a night out or special occasions.
There are also extensions that can be woven in or sewn into the hair. These types of extensions can be worn for longer periods of time but can cause damage to the hair if not installed properly. When they are installed properly, you can rock some gorgeous hairstyles for several weeks or longer.
When it comes to going back to natural, there are a lot of benefits to consider. The first benefit is that the cost of chemical relaxers or perms will be eliminated. And who doesn’t want to save money? What about your time? You won’t have to spend an entire day at the salon or deal with the inconvenience of touch up sessions.
For the lady currently in transition, doing the big chop means you’ll finally be caring for one hair texture. You’ll save a lot of money from having to buy products for two different hair types. Another benefit is the ease of styling. If you’re currently devoting an entire day to caring for your hair as many of us do, you might fall in love with the drastic cut (pun intended) in the time it takes caring for big chopped hair.
Another benefit is the relief that comes from knowing that you’ve taken the steps to becoming all natural. However, the biggest benefit is the confidence that comes from doing it. There’s just something liberating and freeing knowing that you took a huge step to becoming all natural.
Dos and Don’ts
When you’re ready, there are some dos and don’ts that may help you through this exciting transition. Do understand that there is very good chance your hair will be dry. Very dry. It’s okay, though. Just be prepared to moisturize your hair regularly. You will be rewarded with healthy hair.
Don’t be shocked if, at first, the hair growing is not your true curl pattern or texture. Years of chemical treatments may have damaged the hair follicle and the hair initially growing might be from those damaged follicles. So, if your hair changes in a few months, don’t let it surprise you. It’s only your follicles recovering and becoming healthy again.
Don’t expect your hair to grow faster. Your hair will grow at the same rate as it always has. It just may not look like it. This is the perfect opportunity to rock defined curls or practice stretching techniques as your hair grows. Do take advantage of your short hair and be free to experiment with products, techniques, and styles.
Do feel confident about your decision. Knowing you took a step toward being all natural should make you feel liberated and at peace with yourself.
It’s common for a lot of women to go running for the ruler to check their growth progress. After all, a lot of ladies claim their hair grows at an accelerated rate for the first year. Other ladies report that they didn’t see much of a change if at all. But growing healthy hair really depends on a combination of genetics, diet and how well you take care. And let’s not forget about the damage to the follicles that may have been done while using chemicals.
However, keeping the hair adequately moisturized and massaging the scalp helps stimulate the follicles which helps them heal so they can produce healthy hair. Also, during the first few months, avoiding heated styling tools will prevent fragile ends from becoming heat damaged. When the ends of the hair are damaged, it may appear your hair growth isn’t progressing. However, with proper care, you might be able to expect four to six inches of healthy and natural hair in a year.
Taking steps to avoid common mistakes can make adjusting to your newly natural hair a smoother process. It can also help your natural hair recover from chemical treatment more easily. Because the big chop is a huge decision, taking precautions against potential mistakes can help prevent setbacks while growing your hair out.
One common mistake is thinking you can treat your hair the same way as you did when it was relaxed. This can include detangling methods, types of brushes and combs, and excessive manipulation.
Remember your natural hair is completely different than your relaxed hair and needs different care. Another common mistake is using heated styling tools. Newly big chopped hair can sometimes be fragile and nothing will set back the progress of growing your hair out faster than using heated styling tools.
Blow dryers and flat irons can cause damage even if a heat protectant is used. Applying intense heat can easily damage the ends. As the damaged ends break or split, it may seem like your hair isn’t growing at all.
Still another mistake many people do is to use the same products in their hair. It’s important to understand that the products that worked wonders for your relaxed hair will not work on your natural hair. In many cases, they can cause damage. Because big chop hair is so short, this is the best time to experiment with new products.
Taking the time to get to know your newly natural hair and finding the best products for it is part of the wonderful journey towards healthy and gorgeous natural hair.
One of the best aspects of big chop maintenance is that there is very little of it. Gone are the days of dedicating an entire day to maintaining your hair, at least temporarily. Brushing takes almost no time at all, washing takes just a couple of minutes and styling is just as easy. This isn’t to say that post big chop hair doesn’t require maintenance, it simply means that less time will be needed.
This explains why so many women express how liberated they feel after doing it. Of course, as your hair grows, it will require more care, but enjoying the simplicity of caring for post big chop hair can be a huge relief. It’s still important to deep condition and it’s just as important to keep adequately moisturized, but the time spent doing these is so minimal, you may just want to keep your hair short for a little while longer.
How to Do the Big Chop at Home
If you want to know how to do the big chop at home, the technique is very easy. It’s best to do the big chop on clean, tangle-free and moist hair. Doing this allows you to easily see the point where the relaxed hair meets the natural hair. The first step at home is to divide your hair into manageable sections and secure each section with a clip. This makes the process much easier.
Starting at the bottom of a section, use a comb to create a subsection about 1/4 inch wide. Snip the straight or chemically treated hair off at the point where it meets the natural hair. If you’re unsure where that point is, snip about a half inch longer than where you think that point is. Continue doing this and work your way upward through the section until the section is finished.
Repeat these steps throughout the remaining sections until all of the hair is done. If you still see relaxed hair and you’re comfortable with going shorter, snip off those parts. There you have it. Your lovely, all natural hair.
Best Products for the Big Chop
The best products can make the process go smoothly. Most of the products are simple tools that are inexpensive and easy to come by. Sharp scissors, of course, are the most important. Cutting hair with dull scissors damages the ends and gives your long journey a rough start.
Using a Denman brush will help detangle the hair, making it a cinch to work with. A wide tooth comb and clips will help divide the hair into manageable sections.
Working with smaller sections helps to keep better track of what’s being snipped. Keeping a spray bottle filled with water will keep the hair moist. The hair really doesn’t need to be wet, however, moist hair causes the natural hair to shrink, making the line of demarcation easier to see. This line is the point where the chemically treated hair and the natural hair meet. By clearly seeing this line, knowing where to snip will be much easier.
Using the proper tools gives your natural hair the best start toward becoming healthy.
Best Products After the Big Chop
The best products after the big chop will depend on your hair texture and condition. It’s very common for newly big chopped hair to be dry so replenishing moisture to the hair will be very important.
Daily moisturizing may be necessary at the beginning and weekly deep conditioning is recommended. Oils such as coconut and jojoba not only seal in moisture but when massaged into the scalp, can encourage healing of follicles damaged from chemical treatments.
For the first few months, more intensive and restorative products may be necessary. However, once your scalp recovers and your healthy hair grows, it may be necessary to find different products. Getting to know your natural hair and its needs is part of the beauty of going natural.
Once your find what works best for you, it will reward you with healthy, soft and touchable hair.
Now that your new do is done, it’s time to complete your look with a few accessories. Earrings and necklaces draw the eye towards your face and hair and create an overall balance.
Because your newly cut and natural hair is considerably shorter, it can be fun to wear oversized accessories. Chunky necklaces or scarves frame your face, and large disc or hoop earrings add movement.
These are perfect for hairstyles that are stationary. They add a touch of elegance to your style and add the perfect finishing touch.
With so many options available, doing the big chop for natural hair doesn’t need to be scary. Your hair and scalp will be healthier and will be easier to maintain.
You’ll be rewarded with beautiful and soft hair just as nature intended. With a little planning and proper maintenance, you’ll be rid of dull and damaged hair.
But most of all, you’ll enjoy the freedom of wearing your natural hair!
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.