The “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.