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.

Prev Page1 of 3

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!

ENJOYED THIS POST? JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER!

Sign Up Now




Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. Misha

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

  4. 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…

  5. Safiya Elle

    I watched my hair closely and that definitely didn’t happen. If my relaxed portions fell off, I would have hair up to my shoulders. But my hair is to my tailbone and my curl patterns are the same all over, ends to roots. Science and natural science are separate — scientists still believe you can’t cure cancer with food and herbs! Also, I’m only sharing my experience, if others want to try, they can and if not, no problem! 🙂

    1. Shaniqua L.

      Unless you’re very tall, have a slower than average growth rate, or some combination of the two, there’s no way your hair would only be shoulder length after three years of retained growth. Also, hair fibers are dead keratin protein, so how would improving your diet replace the bonds broken by relaxers to part of your body that receives no blood flow whatsoever? And there is no distinction between “natural science” and science. Anything scientific constitutes observing some aspect of the world around you in an unbiased and empirical manner. I’ve seen no empirical studies that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that cancer has ever been cured solely through herbs and diet. IMHO the most likely scenario is your hair was always able to retain more texture closer to your roots when relaxing and your ends became straighter and straighter with each successive chemical process. So while you may have uniform curls now, that in no way indicates that you somehow reversed or removed the chemical process from your strands. I’m not trying to be mean or rude, but you are definitely spreading scientifically invalid information. And on a site called Black Hair Information, misinforming the base audience is unacceptable.

      1. Safiya Elle

        No, I’m not tall — KHs’s claim is that my relaxed portions probably fell off, so if that had happened my hair would indeed be to my shoulders right now. I stopped getting relaxers when I was at bra strap length, which means all of that had to fall off.. nearly 16 inches of hair. My hair is tailbone length, minus those 16 inches would bring me up to above my shoulders or at shoulders. This is all within a 2 year period, so it would be impossible to regrow my hair to tailbone from pretty much being bald — I would’ve had to shave my head to get all of the relaxer off. My claim isn’t that I removed the relaxer, but that I restored my curl patterns — which in fact happened. Why? I’m not sure. I only state what I did, so that others can know and put two and two together themselves. Today, it appears I never had relaxed hair. Before my curls were very loose and wavy all over my head, besides my roots and now they are very coily all over m head including the ends, like before I got a relaxer. I have pics to show this. So again, I’m not stating that relaxers can be reversed but that your curl patterns can be restored. If my hair is tested, likely it will still show it was chemically processed. So anyone who has an explanation, I’d be glad to hear it! It took science decades to finally state that herbs do heal and that GMOs are bad for you, they are biased and only want unnatural methods to work, so they can stay in business. I don’t trust their data.

      2. Safiya Elle

        No, I’m not tall — KHs’s claim is that my relaxed portions probably
        fell off, so if that had happened my hair would be around my arm pit. I
        stopped getting relaxers when I was at bra strap length, which means all
        of that had to fall off.. nearly 16 inches of hair. My hair is tailbone
        length, so imagine minus those 16 inches… This is all within a 2 year period, so it would be impossible to
        regrow my hair to tailbone from pretty much being bald — I would’ve had
        to shave my head to get all of the relaxer off. My claim isn’t that I
        removed the relaxer, but that I restored my curl patterns — which in
        fact happened. Why? I’m not sure. I only state what I did, so that
        others can know and put two and two together themselves. Today, it
        appears I never had relaxed hair. Before, my curls were very loose and
        wavy all over my head, besides my roots which were coily when they grew in… and now they are very coily
        all over my head including the ends, like before I got a relaxer. I always had three texture hair when I had relaxers — curlier at the new growth and then wavy where relaxed and then straight ends.. I have
        pics to show my wavy-like hair after wash and go’s.. So again, I’m not stating that relaxers can be
        reversed but that your curl patterns can be restored. If my hair is
        tested, likely it will still show it was chemically processed. So anyone
        who has an explanation, I’d be glad to hear it! It took science
        decades to finally state that herbs do heal and that GMOs are bad for
        you, they are biased and only want unnatural methods to work, so they
        can stay in business. I don’t trust their data. (It’s God’s science vs.
        Man science).

        1. K.H.

          I said it could be a POSSIBILITY that you experienced BREKAGE OVER TIME. And that resulted in you slowly, over the course of a few years, having no more relaxed/straight ends. I’m sorry if me and Shaniqua are pointing out that your claims are literally impossible. There is no cure for cancer so it’s possible some herb can cure a certain type of cancer. But science has already proven THERE IS NO WAY TO REVERSE A RELAXER. You should do your research then realize your ignorance.

        2. K.H.

          Plus “God’s” science IS “man’s” science. I don’t even know how this site let you publish all these falsehoods you are putting forward. It makes me question the other articles I have read here.

          1. Safiya Elle

            I understood what you were implying KH. But understand that I’m trying to explain that my hair is all the same texture right now. Which means that either my hair reverted or all of the wavy relaxed parts fell off as well, which didn’t happen because my hair would be much much shorter. Over the course of two years, my hair went from curly at the roots and wavy for the rest, to my entire head becoming coily curls. I am not stating you can reverse a relaxer, I’m saying that my curl patterns have returned. I’m sure the relaxer is still in my hair chemically, but it’s no longer having an effect — likely due to me no longer manipulating my hair with any type of chemical or heat — I only wash and go and have only done that for the past three or so years. So from the time of the photo with my wavy hair and straight ends to now, only took two years. I am just now writing about it, although I’ve noticed the return of my curls two years ago. I did research when I first transitioned because I didn’t want to cut my hair, so I was planning to do the big chop after my hair grew to my tailbone. But by that time, I didn’t have to because my hair no longer had mix-matched textures, they are all uniform. So not sure what the explanation is, but facts are facts. “Science” proves new things all the time, but again, I believe in science that revolves around examining, not manipulating — aka western science. I stopped manipulating and something miraculous happened….And you still believe cancer isn’t curable?? Research that again and see people curing all sorts of cancer with herbs and diet. The only kind thats hard to beat is when you already weeks away from death. Cancer is caused by poor diet and lifestyle. Look up Dr. Sebi on Youtube and look here http://www.drsebiscellfood.com/pages/dr-sebis-methodology — he has cured it all and has court records to prove he healed multiple AIDS patients and helped Lisa Left Eye Lopez heal her herpes. He has helped all sorts of big celebs (eddie murphy, mike jackson, stephen segall, etc. so he is legit)…He was in the news as well http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9a1_1343602546… But of course, Big Pharma/government doesn’t ackowledge him because they will lose money. However, a lot of ppl are opening their eyes to the reality that every disease is indeed curable. Another great resource is The Gerson Institute — http://gerson.org/gerpress/the-gerson-therapy. It’s a shame we always lash out at each other and result to name calling — yet you don’t know me enough to call me ignorant. You are misunderstanding my article and my intention — to tell my story and point out what I did, I have no answer and don’t claim to have one. This is only meant to inspire and poke at our minds to see if this is something we should experiment with further. Gods science is naturally occuring while man science manipulates — that’s what i mean. The scientists you refer to are manipulators who dont believe in God or his natural structure…

          2. Safiya Elle

            If you want to chat about this, you can connect with me on Google+ or FB… Don’t want to argue, but I think it would be better if we conversed rather than go back and forth.

      3. Safiya Elle

        No, I’m not tall — KHs’s claim is that my relaxed portions probably fell off, so if that had happened my hair would be around my arm pit. I stopped getting relaxers when I was at bra strap length, which means all of that had to fall off.. nearly 16 inches of hair. My hair is tailbone length, so imagine minus those 16 inches… This is all within a 2 year period, so it would be impossible to regrow my hair to tailbone from pretty much being bald — I would’ve had to shave my head to get all of the relaxer off. My claim isn’t that I removed the relaxer, but that I restored my curl patterns — which in fact happened. Why? I’m not sure. I only state what I did, so that others can know and put two and two together themselves. Today, it appears I never had relaxed hair. Before, my curls were very loose and wavy all over my head, besides my roots which were coily when they grew in… and now they are very coily all over my head including the ends, like before I got a relaxer. I always had three texture hair when I had relaxers — curlier at the new growth and then wavy where relaxed and then straight ends.. I have pics to show my wavy-like hair after wash and go’s.. So again, I’m not stating that relaxers can be reversed but that your curl patterns can be restored. If my hair is tested, likely it will still show it was chemically processed. So anyone who has an explanation, I’d be glad to hear it! It took science decades to finally state that herbs do heal and that GMOs are bad for you, they are biased and only want unnatural methods to work, so they can stay in business. I don’t trust their data. (It’s God’s science vs. Man science).

        1. K.H.

          I said it could be a POSSIBILITY that you experienced BREKAGE OVER TIME. And that resulted in you slowly, over the course of a few years, having no more relaxed/straight ends. I’m sorry if me and Shaniqua are pointing out that your claims are literally impossible. There is no cure for cancer so it’s possible some herb can cure a certain type of cancer. But science has already proven THERE IS NO WAY TO REVERSE A RELAXER. You should do your research then realize your ignorance.

        2. K.H.

          Plus “God’s” science IS “man’s” science. I don’t even know how this site let you publish all these falsehoods you are putting forward. It makes me question the other articles I have read here.

          1. Safiya Elle

            I understood what you were implying KH. But understand that I’m trying to explain that my hair is all the same texture right now. Which means that either my hair reverted or all of the wavy relaxed parts fell off as well, which didn’t happen because my hair would be much much shorter. Over the course of two years, my hair went from curly at the roots and wavy for the rest, to my entire head becoming coily curls. I am not stating you can reverse a relaxer, I’m saying that my curl patterns have returned. I’m sure the relaxer is still in my hair chemically, but it’s no longer having an effect — likely due to me no longer manipulating my hair with any type of chemical or heat — I only wash and go and have only done that for the past three or so years. So from the time of the photo with my wavy hair and straight ends to now, only took two years. I am just now writing about it, although I’ve noticed the return of my curls two years ago. I did research when I first transitioned because I didn’t want to cut my hair, so I was planning to do the big chop after my hair grew to my tailbone. But by that time, I didn’t have to because my hair no longer had mix-matched textures, they are all uniform. So not sure what the explanation is, but facts are facts. “Science” proves new things all the time, but again, I believe in science that revolves around examining, not manipulating — aka western science. I stopped manipulating and something miraculous happened….And you still believe cancer isn’t curable?? Research that again and see people curing all sorts of cancer with herbs and diet. The only kind thats hard to beat is when you already weeks away from death. Cancer is caused by poor diet and lifestyle. Look up Dr. Sebi on Youtube and look here http://www.drsebiscellfood.com/pages/dr-sebis-methodology — he has cured it all and has court records to prove he healed multiple AIDS patients and helped Lisa Left Eye Lopez heal her herpes. He has helped all sorts of big celebs (eddie murphy, mike jackson, stephen segall, etc. so he is legit)…He was in the news as well http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9a1_1343602546… But of course, Big Pharma/government doesn’t ackowledge him because they will lose money. However, a lot of ppl are opening their eyes to the reality that every disease is indeed curable. Another great resource is The Gerson Institute — http://gerson.org/gerpress/the-gerson-therapy. It’s a shame we always lash out at each other and result to name calling — yet you don’t know me enough to call me ignorant. You are misunderstanding my article and my intention — to tell my story and point out what I did, I have no answer and don’t claim to have one. This is only meant to inspire and poke at our minds to see if this is something we should experiment with further. Gods science is naturally occuring while man science manipulates — that’s what i mean. The scientists you refer to are manipulators who dont believe in God or his natural structure…

          2. Safiya Elle

            If you want to chat about this, you can connect with me on Google+ or FB… Don’t want to argue, but I think it would be better if we conversed rather than go back and forth.

    2. Shaniqua L.

      Unless you’re very tall, have a slower than average growth rate, or some combination of the two, there’s no way your hair would only be shoulder length after three years of retained growth. Also, hair fibers are dead keratin protein, so how would improving your diet replace the bonds broken by relaxers to part of your body that receives no blood flow whatsoever? And there is no distinction between “natural science” and science. Anything scientific constitutes observing some aspect of the world around you in an unbiased and empirical manner. I’ve seen no empirical studies that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that cancer has ever been cured solely through herbs and diet. IMHO the most likely scenario is your hair was always able to retain more texture closer to your roots when relaxing and your ends became straighter and straighter with each successive chemical process. So while you may have uniform curls now, that in no way indicates that you somehow reversed or removed the chemical process from your strands. I’m not trying to be mean or rude, but you are definitely spreading scientifically invalid information. And on a site called Black Hair Information, misinforming the base audience is unacceptable.

  6. Misha

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

  7. Chantal J. Athanase
    Chantal J. Athanase

    I didn’t do the big chop either; I listened to my hair texture to see what was needed to repair it. In the end, they start growing stronger and healthier!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *