Should I big chop or transition is a never ending topic of conversation in the natural hair community. An even bigger discussion is deciding which path you should take. It is a rewarding feeling to make the decision to become natural, but the steps on what to do after can be difficult for some.
SHOULD I BIG CHOP…
A big chop, also known as BC is when one decides to cut the remaining portion of their usually relaxed or permed hair so the remaining hair is in its natural state. I say there are multiple variations of a big chop, some people are bold and shave it bald, while others allow usually 3 to even 6 months of new growth to grow, then take the step to cut the remaining portion of their relaxed hair off. Some people have it cut in a tapered pixie style, while others prefer the same length all over which usually ends up being a teeny weeny afro, also known as a TWA.
A transitioner has made the commitment to no longer relax their hair, but they are not fully natural yet because they have not cut off the remaining relaxed portion of their hair. I’ve found that some people who choose to transition like to have a desired length in mind before they cut their relaxed ends off. Some people still like to wear their hair straight while others are still discovering what they will do after becoming fully natural. At some point the relaxed hair does need to be cut off for the sake of the healthiness of your hair and styling purposes. The great part of all of this is that you decided to become natural and your confidence and courage just got a boost.
So how do you determine which way is best for you?
Research natural hair care in general, natural hair products and the different stages of the growth process with natural hair (you can start with the CU Newly Natural section!). After reviewing articles, tutorials, and hair journeys, ask yourself a few questions. Nobody knows you better than yourself, so ask yourself questions such as: Have you or do you think you would like to rock a short style? Do you enjoy styling your own hair? If a hair style did not quite go your way, do you have an idea for an alternative style? Do you have the time to experiment with styles and products? If you answered yes to most of those you may feel carefree enough to big chop, if not, transitioning may be best and there is nothing wrong with that.
Transitioning offers time to do the things that you may not have time to do on a daily basis when you are completely natural. Transitioners may choose to wear protective styles such as braids, twist, or wigs. Some may even choose to rock their own hair with a flexi rod or roller set to give a natural look. Those that do decide to wear protective styles, make sure you learn how to properly care for your scalp and real hair while it is in a protective style, so when you do take the plunge to become fully natural, your hair is in its best condition.
In any rate, I’m sure you will make the best decision for yourself, but just know that you are not alone and use your resources to obtain knowledge and understanding of your new journey. It will not always be easy, but it does not have to be so difficult either. Learn about your hair’s needs, obtain a hair care regimen, read about products, and most of all just have fun with all the new experiences you will have.