My Natural Hair Journey: 3 Lessons that I Learned while Trying to Avoid THE BIG CHOPRonnie Tyler
When I decided to go natural, I was not 100% sure of my decision. I wasn’t sure what my natural hair even looked like. I’d been getting relaxers since elementary school. And I wasn’t sure if I had the skills to maintain my natural hair.
The reason I decided to go natural was because my hair was thinning. I even resorted to wearing a few tracks in some of the thinner areas and I cut it really short.
So when I finally made the decision to go natural, the one thing I knew for sure was that I was not getting the BIG CHOP. (This is when a person cuts off their hair to return to its natural state, cutting out perms, relaxers, and hair dye.) I have seen the BIG CHOP look absolutely gorgeous on some people. And then again, I have not liked it on others. And for me personally, I could not imagine myself with a little Afro. Plus, I did not know what my hair texture was really like… there were too many unknowns.
So I decided to just grow my hair out. And while I was doing it, I avoided the hairdresser for a few months. I did this because I found a few hairdressers to be very discouraging. I had contemplated going natural several times before… only to have my hairdressers discourage me from doing it. I went in to the beauty shop to talk to them about going natural and left with a relaxer in my hair. So, while I was in my delicate – not so confident- transitioning state, I decided to avoid the hairdressers. Which, I found out later, was not such a great idea.
After a few months, I finally went to the hairdresser to get my hair trimmed and I was informed that my hair was badly damaged. The permed hair was breaking off from the significant amount of new growth that I had. The hairdresser was like, “I can’t do anything with this.”
Then she tried to discourage me from going natural. She told me that going natural was not for everyone and she was frowning up (giving me the stank face) as she was talking. But I remained strong in my decision to continue on this natural path that I started.
So she washed, deep conditioned, cut, flat-ironed and styled my hair into a really cute and really short spiked style. I walked out of there feeling cute and confident that I was now on the right path with my hair.
About 3 days later… when that humidity from the summer’s heat and the steam from my showers got over to my head… I realized that I had just gotten… THE BIG CHOP! That new growth burst through that flat-ironed hair with the quickness.
So here are a few lessons that I learned while trying to avoid the big chop:
1. Avoiding the hairdresser may not be such a good idea…. especially when you are transitioning as you need to make sure you are still trimming your ends and conditioning your hair properly. If you know how to do that yourself… then cool. But if you don’t, then get help from the professionals.
2. Find a hairdresser that works with natural hair. If your hairdresser does not think highly of natural hair, then you need to find someone that does….someone that will give you great advice and will help to keep your hair healthy.
3. Don’t be afraid of the Big Chop. Or at least don’t be afraid of a trim every now and then. I have heard people say that clipping your ends is not necessary. But for me, it keeps my hair healthy. And it grew super fast after my big chop… a lot faster than it was growing when I was just trying to grow it out without cutting it. But again… that is my experience.
Now you tell me… how did you transition into your natural hair?