How I Avoided the Big Chop In Order To Restore My Hair’s Natural Texture

Transition no big chopThe “Big Chop”; it’s a main topic in the natural hair community, but it shouldn’t have to be. For as long as we’ve been getting relaxers and texturizers, we have been plagued with the notion that they are “permanent” (hence why relaxers are called perms).

We are also taught that one of the only ways to get back our natural locks was to cut off the processed portions. But through my own natural hair journey, I came to the realization that the big chop isn’t something that’s required at all.

I started out wanting to do the long-term transition, where I allowed my hair to grow out before cutting off the unnatural ends.

My hair was already at bra strap length, so I had a long ways to go before I would be comfortable with cutting my hair.

My goal was to wait until it reached far down my back, close to my bottom, before I did the big chop. But after three years of growing it out, I noticed an extreme difference in my hair.

My curls were more defined, bouncy and shiny. No more curly at the top with stringy relaxed ends. In fact, they looked exactly as they did when I was a little girl! But how could this be?

My lifestyle changed drastically and it showed in my hair and skin


When I decided to call it quits on relaxers (for the third and final time), I went all out with what we call “being natural.”

I didn’t want anything to do with chemicals and unnatural substances, including shampoos, conditioners and the food I consumed. I became a vegan, replaced white sugar with coconut and maple sugar and only used natural ingredients for my skin and hair.

I learned that what you put onto your scalp and skin seeps into your blood and I didn’t want those chemicals in my body! In fact, I went by the motto: “If I can’t eat it, I won’t put it on my body.” Looking back, I can see that my lifestyle changes and decisions played a major role in the transition (or restoration) of my curly hair. Here’s the advice that I have for others who want to do the same.

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About Safiya Elle


Since 2008, I have been embarking on a journey to all things natural. I'm completely chemical-free (body and hair) and because of this, I was able to avoid the big chop, restore my natural curl patterns, grow my hair to tail bone length and clear my chronic acne. Today, I'm an organic vegan, natural health expert, DIY herbalist, DIY beauty, blogger and shop owner. I enjoy helping others with starting and continuing their journeys to natural hair and skin care, and hopefully an overall healthy lifestyle. On my blog, I share health and natural beauty tips, as well as delicious smoothie and meal recipes (I'm all about flava!) that help to promote healthy skin, hair and body from within. Why not maintain our beauty, as well as our youth? Health is the answer!

About Safiya Elle


Since 2008, I have been embarking on a journey to all things natural. I'm completely chemical-free (body and hair) and because of this, I was able to avoid the big chop, restore my natural curl patterns, grow my hair to tail bone length and clear my chronic acne. Today, I'm an organic vegan, natural health expert, DIY herbalist, DIY beauty, blogger and shop owner. I enjoy helping others with starting and continuing their journeys to natural hair and skin care, and hopefully an overall healthy lifestyle. On my blog, I share health and natural beauty tips, as well as delicious smoothie and meal recipes (I'm all about flava!) that help to promote healthy skin, hair and body from within. Why not maintain our beauty, as well as our youth? Health is the answer!

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MishaSafiya ElleK.H.Shaniqua L.MarKeisha Reis Recent comment authors
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Sandra Haynie

I let my perm grow out I didn’t cut mind and it’s been four and a half years now love it

Blaque Diamondz

I just went about 15 years with out a perm. Just grew it out that’s all

Deborah Wilson

I’m just trimming.

Lori Tompkins-Walton

Thanks for the tips in what oils to try. Some I have never heard of.

Kenya Greene

Trim your ends and dont use chemicals get braids

Ashley Carter

Patience will be the key for me

K.h.
K.h.

….or your relaxed ends broke off and the rest of the relaxed hair shredded over time. It’s already been scientifically proven that you CANNOT reverse a relaxer or severe heat damage. I don’t want you giving women and girls false hope. And I’m not saying you must big chop to transition, I didn’t.

K.h.
K.h.

….or your relaxed ends broke off and the rest of the relaxed hair shredded over time. It’s already been scientifically proven that you CANNOT reverse a relaxer or severe heat damage. I don’t want you giving women and girls false hope. And I’m not saying you must big chop to transition, I didn’t.

Misha
Misha

I was thinking the same thing, either her hair naturally shedded over time or her hair was barely relaxed to begin with.

MarKeisha Reis

I was too impatient to transition. I just went ahead and chopped

K.h.
K.h.

http://blackhair.about.com/od/permsrelaxers/f/canistriprelaxerfaq.htm <<<<proof what you are claiming is impossible. Just type in reverse relaxer and you will see there is NO WAY to do this.

Margaret Graham

Transitioning. I lack patience. ..I just cut my hair but still left some. ..I was trying to do a slow big chop. Wish I seen this before! I have a cute Bob now. Detangling is hard with the relaxed part for me…

Misha
Misha

I was thinking the same thing, either her hair naturally shedded over time or her hair was barely relaxed to begin with.