Photography provided by Giphy
My natural hair journey began in December of 2012. The decision to do a Big Chop was not the easiest but it was the most necessary. I can admit I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to start over with my hair completely. For me, I loved my hair as straight as possible while relaxed, but this came with many negative side effects and consequences only because I did not know how to properly care for my hair. My encouragement for going through with chopping all my hair off at one time came mainly from sitting down and really thinking one day….”man you really have never worked with your own natural hair before, and really don’t know what it truly looks like”. Since that day five years ago, I have always been on a hunt to care for my own hair better and the right way.
Photography provided by @K_DougDE
Now, cutting all my hair off was not a smooth ride at all. More of an up and down hill battle. I ran into a lot of problems along the way, but it was exciting watching my hair grow from this tiny little curly fro. Greatest benefit from doing the Big Chop was the convenience of not having to really do my hair like that daily. It was very easy to style as I was limited to only a couple styles with no weave used. I did not have to use a ton of my products as well, so they not only lasted longer but I saved a lot of money when it came to buying hair care products monthly. My hair tools were a lot more cleaner weekly as I never really had to use them too much with my hair being shorter.
Photography provided by @K_DougDE
One major setback I made from the very, very beginning though was deciding to keep my hair straight even while not relaxing. I figured this would be easier and better for me but it wasn’t. I still was not seeing what my natural hair type was. Plus I was not keeping my hair straight the proper and correct way. This led to major breakage, along with heat damage to my freshly cut natural hair. Even though the Big Chop was a great convenience for time’s sake daily, the limited amount of styles I could do was also a big bummer for me as well. Not being able to have any length to work with as I was used to with relaxed hair kept me from really embracing my natural hair texture. I didn’t know what to do with it half the time, but to use heat constantly to keep it straight.
This led me to transitioning even after I done the Big Chop. I had so much heat damage, it was identical to me transitioning from relaxed hair over time. I basically had to start all the way over completely with my natural hair journey during the years of 2014 through 2015. An photo of what my hair looked like during my transitioning phase is shown above, and a photo of my hair right now since being fully natural is shown below.
Advice If You Are Transitioning:
- Limit Heat Usage
- Deep Condition Weekly
- Opt for Protective Styles
- Use Wide Tooth Combs Only
- Be Gentle When Styling
If you are transitioning I would highly recommend opting for the No Heat Challenge for at least six months to one year of your natural hair journey. Check out my result and progress from the challenge by clicking the image below!
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