Summer is popular for many, many reasons but in the Natural Hair World summer is the time for Big Chops! Who knows why exactly this is the best time to put the scissors to those relaxed ends, but I found it was easiest for me to big chop in the summer because the weather was better and I had more free time to learn just what-the-heck to do with my new natural curls. For whatever reason YOU may big chop in the summer, there will be a lot of surprises in store and new things to embrace about being natural. Here are five easy tips and tricks if you’ve already big chopped and find yourself facing serious #naturalgirlproblems or if you are considering “big chopping” but don’t know what to expect.
- Don’t Compare Your Fro
Before I big chopped I was constantly on Youtube and Instagram looking through pictures of other girl’s big chop results or TWA’s (teeny weeny afro). I was so excited, thinking that I would get these cute little ringlets of curls similar to the many pictures I was seeing. After cutting my hair, however, I simply didn’t look like those other girls because…well because obviously I wasn’t them! When you first big chop, don’t compare your hair to someone else’s. Natural hair comes in a million different curl patterns, and colors and grows in different shapes or to different lengths and so on and so forth. Enjoy your own fro, learn how to love it and embrace it for what it is from day one.
- Nourish Your Fro
When you first chop and are left with little to no hair, it is easy to think that you won’t have to do anything to it for days on end. This is not true. Imagine your hair is a flower in need of being watered and nourished daily in order to help it to flourish. By “watering” I don’t mean shampooing daily (see tip 3), just spritzing it with a water and oil or water and conditioner mix in the morning should be enough. Also, remember that beautiful hair comes from the inside out so nourish your body by eating right and drinking PLENTY of water. Your hair will thank you for it.
- Leave Your Fro Alone
A new fro is normally as tempting to play with as a brand new toy but trust me when I say: leave, it, alone! By this I mean that you should try to resist the temptation to shampoo, re-twist, re-bantu knot or re-braid your hair daily. Find a style that will last you at least 3-5 days, which will help you avoid stressing and breaking your new coils. Also, if your goal is to achieve long (or big) natural hair, then avoid drastic experimentations. If you can, try to stay away from dabbling in keratin treatments, hair dye or texturizers. You’ll end up having to big chop again to get rid of damaged hair or you’ll set yourself further back in the journey then where you started. (Disclaimer: of course you can do WHATEVER you want with your hair and hair will always grow back. So if you’re not worried about anything then by all means do what you want.)
- Budget for Your Fro
The natural hair journey is NOT cheap! Ethnic hair care products are crazy expensive and as a new naturalista it’s almost certain that you will be tempted to buy everything on the shelves that the online hair care forums promise will bring you cute curls to your TWA. The trial and error stage with products will go so much more smoothly and you will feel better about going natural if you are realistic with how much money you are going to spend. So set aside a hefty budget (maybe of about $100-$300) as your natural hair fund to spend on products in your first year. This money can cover products such as co-wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks and oils (that you will probably end up never using more than once), new brushes, combs, rollers, dryers and diffusers. The budget will also help you fund protective styles (such as weaves, braids or twists) that can be cute, fun and will give your hair a break. Your hair and wallet will definitely thank you.
- Fall in Love with Your Fro
Warning: big chopping your hair is going to change the way you look. You now no longer have hair in your face distracting from your features, and your style may even change now that you can pull off eccentric pieces you never thought you could have before. It may disorient you to see how different you look, but I promise, from the bottom of my heart, that you look beautiful. If you love your fro, I can promise that it will love you back and reward you by flourishing. Tell your fro how pretty it looks today. Take the time to appreciate how unique your hair is and how mature and sexy you look with such a daring haircut. Don’t be discouraged, don’t let comments get to you and don’t stop falling in love with your fro.
And with that good luck on your natural hair journey! By the way, I would LOVE to see pictures of new TWA’s and if you would like, share your Big Chop story with us.
Love, Aliah W.