Cut It Out: My Big Chop Experience
Here's my Big Chop Journey:
I had been natural (no relaxers) from 2007 up until 2015 when my hairdresser recommended giving me a relaxer when I decided (yet again) to cut my hair and rock a short cut. Why I let her talk me into that, I don't know. Anyway, I got the relaxer, hated the style, subsequently hated that I got a relaxer. About a month after the cut and relaxer, I began wearing weaves (sew-in) again. So from July 2015 to January 2016, I wore a weave consistently, going maybe a week tops to let my hair "breathe". For me, the weaves were a good protective style and my hair did grow between installs. But the feeling of and the texture of my hair and the sliminess of the fragile, relaxed portion of my hair is what ultimately led me to my Big Chop.
I did my Big Chop on my own, during a blizzard.. Obviously, I was bored. I watched a few YouTube videos prior to going in so that I could have the technique perfected. For mine, I used Eco styler gel to differentiate the natural, unprocessed hair and the relaxed portion. With that first snip, I almost fainted. There was so much bad hair and I knew right away I'd be starting my hair growth process all over. What got me to keep going was that I knew doing this would ultimately be better for my hair. By the time I finished getting all of the relaxed hair off my head, I wanted to cry! I was so bald! My hair was maybe an inch and a half long. There was no going back. So I swept up all the chopped hair, threw it in the trash, and made an appointment with my hair stylist the very next week.
Fast forward to now, I am 1 year post Big Chop. My hair has already returned to its length prior to the first cut (when I got the relaxer) and is healthier than ever. I didn't get a weave again until September, and I had box braids and feed-in braids for about 5 months (summer 2016). I also shuffled between twist outs and high & low buns on my natural hair between that time. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of the beginning of journey, however, I will say I am much more happier with my current hair texture. Doing a Big Chop was really beneficial to me, not only externally but internally as well.
I am still figuring out what works for my hair, but to all those girls who are thinking of doing a Big Chop, I highly recommend it. And if you've done your Big Chop, and aren't seeing the growth you'd hope for, hair growth supplements may be something to look into. Currently, I use Mielle Organics Healthy Hair Formula ($18/30 day supply) vitamins daily, and once a month do a hot oil treatment with Wild Growth Hair Oil ($8). I'd definitely say the combination of the two has really helped my hair grow in, what I think, is a short amount of time.
Feel free to leave comments, questions and suggestions regarding your natural hair care journey, Big Chop thoughts and experiences, and any advice you can offer to me and fellow naturalistas.