Doing the big chop means that you don’t have to deal with styling two textures on your head and you can see what your hair’s true natural curl pattern is like without it being weighed down by the relaxed ends. Once your hair is all one texture, it’s much easier to style your hair and choose products because you’re not battling with the relaxed and curly ends.
One of the major downsides that people have with doing the big chop is that they don’t want to rock short curly hair, or they’re scared that their natural curl pattern isn’t going to be as “curly” as they thought. Often times, I see women who are really discouraged because their curl pattern didn’t come out like their friends or other people they’ve been comparing themselves to and learning from before they BC’d.
In either of the two above cases, you can always wear your hair in a protective style that literally brings down your hair management levels to almost nothing. You can wear your short curly hair in braids, twists, a weave, or a wig until you’re comfortable with the length your hair has grown to and you’ve found someone with the same or similar hair texture to yours to learn styling and hair care tips.
Transitioning with this process involves maintaining your natural hair texture along with your relaxed ends at the same time until your natural hair reaches the length that you desire before you cut it. This process can be done for as little as a few months to a year or longer depending on the person. Long Transitioning affords you the luxury of being able to wear your hair at a length that you’re
comfortable with so you don’t have to worry about shocking yourself and others with a super low curly cut if you choose to BC. Also, you can still wear your hair straight when you long transition by heat straightening the curly new growth or by using rollers and silk wraps. Either way, you don’t have to cut your hair to a length that you’re uncomfortable with. You can also go with the protective styling route using braids, twists, and weaves if you long transition as well.
What you need to look out for when you long transition is making sure that you’re keeping your new growth healthy. If you’re struggling to maintain the two textures and you’re constantly heat straightening your roots, your curly new growth can get heat damaged. Also, the section of your new growth that is directly connected to your relaxed ends is the weakest part of your hair and as your hair grows and the relaxed ends continue to strain on that part of your hair, you could experience some serious breakage and end up with uneven hair. A lot of times when your hair breaks off during this phase, you end up losing more length than you want and end up having to BC anyways.
A good way of preventing this from happening is to make sure that you’re constantly keeping your new growth as healthy as possible and using the least amount of heat that you can. Another thing that you might find if you choose to long transition is that it’s easier to get tempted to relax again because once your hair grows to a point where it becomes more difficult to manage the two textures; it’s easy to get frustrated and give up.
You’ll also want to gauge the health of your hair before you choose the long transition route because if your relaxed ends are REALLY damaged and unhealthy, why would you want to hold on it anyways? And, when your hair is really chemically and heat damaged, you have a much higher chance of losing the hair to breakage and having to big chop.
The one last thing that I wanted to point out about long transitioning is that when you long transition, you won’t be able to tell what you’re real curl pattern and natural hair texture is like.The relaxed ends of your hair weigh down on the new growth so you won’t get a real sense of what your hair texture is like until you rid yourself of the relaxed parts.
Altogether, there are pros and cons to each of the two transitioning methods and it’s best to weigh them out and decide which one works best for you. There are many naturals out there who have successfully transitioned using each of the methods above and I have used a combination of both methods during my natural hair journey. Whatever method you’re looking into, make sure you do your research and analyze your own hair to make sure that you’re making the best choice for yourself.
Hopefully this post has helped you make a more informed decision about which way is best for you to transition on your natural hair journey. But, if you’re really in doubt like Nike says, JUST DO IT!
To your transitioning success,
This awesome post was brought to you by, guest blogger Ajoke:
I’d love to see your guest post here, have an article you want to share that talks about natural hair, beauty tips, fashion or lifestyle? Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org subject “guest blogger”. Thanks all, stay blessed and afroniquely you!