Tag Archives: big chop

Tips for the New Natural

8 Feb

Here are a few tips I would give to the new natural:

  1. Don’t compare your hair to anyone else’s. If you are doing that, you aren’t taking the time to appreciate what’s great about your own hair.
  2.  Stop saying “I can’t wait until my hair is longer”. Just enjoy this stage for what it is and appreciate it.Focus on health instead of length. If you take care of your hair, growth will come. Keep it healthy!
  3. Find a simple regimen that works for you. You don’t have to try EVERY product.
  4. Do your own research and find out what is best for your hair.
  5. Moisturize your hair. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take care of it.

I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends “What Tips Would You Give to Someone Who Just Did the Big Chop?”. Here are the responses:

  • nappturalguru-dye the hair and keep rocking it,and put braids for months to keep it growing undisturbed!!
  • sweeternadiah-enjoy getting to know your curls and coils
  • EssBreezyBaby– Scarves used as headbands can be gorgeous
  • newnaturally – don’t panic at the first sign of a bad hair day. They pass. Natural bhds are not as bad as straight bhds imho
  • GodsNaturalDiva– Learn ur hair!!!! DON’T hide under a wig!
  • deLISHtv- To Embrace Themselves.
  • Cali_B -patience & learn THEIR hair, avoid PJism LOL!
  • QueenDari- moisture is key! And co-washing helped a lot.
  • onyxxrose– Research! Experiment, be confident & own it.
  • jayjona82 – Dont believe the hype use whhat works for you
  • C.D.- be patient…
  • S.G.- Just know that every product/style may not work as well for u as it does for someone else, but u will discover what’s best for u.
  • A.W.- Yes, be patient, and don’t compare your hair type/length to anyone else’s 🙂
  • T.P.- No petroleum and do not comb unless wet.
  • C.G.- Moisture and patience 🙂
  • C.H.- Don’t let other people tell you what is best for your hair. Research and experimenting will let you know what’s best.
  • T.S.G.-Don’t hide (wig, weave, braids etc.) your hair for at least 3 months. Wear it out and LEARN it. If you keep hiding it, you will never learn how to manage it and what products/tools work best for your texture. The earlier you learn, the better the experience as you progress. :~)

Check back for the next TWA post that will include tips on keeping it healthy and style ideas.


Getting The Urge to Chop

27 Jan


No matter how much we love our hair, it’s possible to get the urge to change something about it. Some people switch it up with color, some love playing with different styles, others cut. There are many different ways to handle it. I usually choose cutting. Even back to my relaxer days, I cut my hair pretty regularly. When I had locs, I cut them all the time. I never worried about getting it cut because I knew it would grow back. With my loose hair, I haven’t cut it as much as I did with other styles.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about cutting my hair or doing something different to it. I’m afraid to color it. I know people who have healthy hair that is color-treated, but I am not ready to try that. Then my mind turned to cutting. In August, I got a haircut. I loved the results. My hair had  a great shape. All of my styles looked better. I lost the urge for awhile.

Now my hair has grown back, and I really want to cut it again. This time I am thinking about cutting even more. I have considered the idea of doing another big chop. It seems like everytime I am online I see someone else who just did another big chop because of heat damage, frustration, or just because they wanted to. I posted the story of one of my readers who spontaneously cut several inches off of her sisterlocks simply because she wanted a change. You can read her story HERE

So, I am pretty certain that I am going to cut it. The only question now is how much and when. It may be a big chop. It may be a little chop. I liked the haircut I got before, but that was when I was visiting my family in Philadelphia. I went to the same salon that my sister goes to. I guess I need to find someone here in Atlanta that I like.

Would you do another big chop just for a change of pace? What do you do with your hair when you feel like you need a change?

Photo Credit

Reader Question: Why Can’t I Get Curl Definition?

21 Jan


This is a question that I see pretty often so I thought it would be a good one to post.

Bre asks:

“Ok So I did my BC on tuesday and need some help!!!!!! What can I use to get curl definition? I see my curls but I must be using the wrong products. When I apply activator they will form but once I do my whole head then it seems like I did nothing to it! Should I just leave my hair alone and just let it grow out a lot more to see definition or what?”

Congratulations on your big chop, Bre!!

If anyone has any helpful tips, please leave them in the comments section. Thank you. (The photo is not of the reader)

If you have a question, please send it to me at naturalbyl@gmail.com.

Big Chop vs. Transitioning

12 Dec

Once we make the decision to go natural, we each have to find the path that works the best for us. I’ve experienced transitioning and the big chop.  Before I did my big chop, I transitioned for 7 months. At that time, I didn’t even know the name for transitioning. I was giving myself a chance to decide what I wanted to do with my hair. I think there are pros and cons to both, and it really depends on what works for the individual. The big chop was the right move for me. If you are considering making the leap, you have to figure out which strategy is the best for you.

I posted the question on my Facebook page. 44 people answered. 17 transitioned and 27 did the big chop. Of the group that big chopped, a few initially intended to transition but big chopped due to frustration.

Big Chop


  1. Cutting your hair off is refreshing, and it really sets you in the frame of mind that you are making a change.
  2. Starting from a short haircut gives you time to get to know your hair before there is so much of it. This is a good time to do trial and error to see what works for you and what doesn’t. You may change products as your hair gets longer, but it gives you a place to start.
  3. You get to start fresh with healthy hair.


  1. The shock of having short hair can be challenging for some people, especially those that have not had short hair before.
  2. You may experience more backlash from people in your life because it is a sudden change.

Here are some comments from people who chose to BC:

J.E.- I BC’d…it was summertime and I was bold lol

N.W.- I did the big chop!! Why? 1. Because transitioning would take to long. 2. I didn’t want to try and manage two different textures of hair and, 3. I wanted to have natural hair as soon as I possibly could!!!

Dr. M.M.- I did the big chop. So glad I did!!! Longer, thicker, healthier hair!!

J.E.- Big Chop. I went natural in 03 and I didn’t know there was another way 2 do it. LOL

H.C.- Big Chop! I was anxious and I didnt really have the patience to transition. I wanted to be natural right away. Plus shaving my head would be a completely different look from what I and everyone was use to…and I liked that.

T.M.- BC it was freein at the time and enough was enough

C.E.W.- I just did the big chop on the 15th of october it was a spirtual thing for me the most high gave us beautiful black women hair like this for a reason mainly because nobody else has hair like us for me it’s embracing a part of myself a spirtual self I know that may sound weird to some but it means everything to me I so Love my hair I can’t stop touching it and looking at and thinking to myself THAT’S MINE THAT’S MY HAIR..REAL HAIR 🙂

J.A.- Tomorrow will make it one month since I did the BIG CHOP! 70% was a spiritual thing and the other 30%, I just always wanted to go back to my natural state. And finally I grew a pair and did the unthinkable by many black women! Boom pow! 🙂 It’s a BEAUTIFUL and LIBERATING thang! :))



  1. Transitioning gives you an opportunity to ease into being natural.
  2. You can wear many of the same styles that naturals wear.
  3. You can maintain the length of your hair by cutting it slowly and deciding when you want to get rid of the relaxed ends.


  1. It can be a lot of work to maintain two drastically different hair textures. The products that work for the relaxed hair may not work for the natural hair.
  2. There is a lot of potential for damage at the line where the two textures meet.

Comments from people who chose to transtion:

N.A.L.- Transitioned. I have always had long hair and wanted to retain my length.

S.C.- I transitioned because I didn’t want to go to having extremely short hair all of a sudden.

S.W-O- Transition with mini chops over a year or so…..I did it because 1 I’m vain and like my length and 2 I love short hair on other people, just not my head.

J.W.D.- Transitioned. Was too scared to chop.

What do you think the pros and cons are for both?

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Elaine’s Big Chop

15 Aug

Elaine Before

Elaine writes:

I had decided about two months ago to go natural. I had my hairdresser cut it down to a short haircut then I had to go back to get the rest of the permed hair cut off completely. It took me a while to get use to it but I did and I love how good it looks on me. Now that I am 100% natural I feel so much better and I don’t have to worry about  thinning hair, scalp irritation after the relaxer, the burning sensation during the relaxer process, and getting a touch every six weeks and if I don’t it will split and eventually break off. I love the way my hair feels too. I don’t worry about getting caught in rain, using a shower cap or going to the hairdresser to get my hair done. Being natural is definitely economical and to me is the way to go. The natural styles are more beautiful than I ever imagined. When I asked my natural stylist how often should I see her and she told me only when I want to get a style to my hair, for example coils. I’m loving it!

Elaine After

 Thanks, Elaine ! If you would like to share your story, send an email to naturalbyl@gmail.com

Christie’s Big Chop

19 Jul

Take a look at these pictures of a recent big chop. Congratulations!! It looks like she is already quite comfortable with her new look.

The Ultimate Big Chop

5 Jul

I remember the first time I watched this video.  It shows Angel doing her big chop.  She decided to start fresh and went totally bald.  It made me curious to know what it would feel like to have a bald head.   Who knows? Maybe I’ll do that later in life.  Could you do this?

Tiffiney’s Big Chop

27 Jun

Tiffiney Now


Meet Tiffiney.  She just did her big chop on Tuesday.  (Congratulations Tiffiney!) Now, she is looking for some guidance from other natural women about maintaining her hair.  Please read her story below and give her as much feedback as you can.  We all know that it can be frustrating and a little scary in the beginning.  Tell her some things you wish you’d known at that point. Thanks.  

 “I’m a 30 year old mommy of 2 boys. Since I was in the 7th grade, I played with my hair in different styles. I preferred short curls & braids for years. In 2007,  I cut my hair to about an inch and grew it out to my shoulders. Lately, with so much mess in my life; I needed to find my confidence that I lost along the way. So I began confronting my demons and realizing and accepting who I am. I called my stylist and asked her to go with me to a barber and you see the finished product. It’s amazing how much confidence I exude when I walk out the door and when I look in the mirror, I’m reminded of that.  

My questions:  

Since I don’t plan on growing length over an inch or two, which products should I use for my short hair?  

What products for my hair type 4c will give my short hair the best curl?”