It’s safe to safe that most naturalista’s start off their journey because they are determined to celebrate their beauty and lead a healthier lifestyle. Your kinks and curls are beautiful and deserve to be flaunted for all of the world to see.

However, if it’s one thing we all know, it’s that going natural can be intimidating. Some of us have been perming our hair since preschool. We honestly couldn’t even tell you what our actual hair looks like.

Can you imagine diving in, and not having any clue what you’ll look like. Not to mention, there is a lot of pressure to live up to this European standard of beauty.

Media is only recently getting on board with using more gorgeous black bodies with natural hair. I’m not just talking about the girls with lighter skin and 3b curls. Although, we love those ladies too, and there’s space for them too in our fight for representation.

I’m actually referring to the strong dark skinned women with the 4C kinks and stunning smiles.

Clearly, transitioning alone is enough to make most women nervous; not to mention the Big Chop.

What’s “The Big Chop?”

So we all know that chemical relaxers permanently straighten your hair. Going natural is an amazing decision because it means you are going to stop applying dangerous chemicals to your scalp. However, the hair you’ve previously applied chemical relaxer on remains straight.

Unfortunately, there are no creams, butters, or protein treatments that are going to make your chemically straightened hair bounce back into curls.

Gradually, your hair will begin to grow and you will start to see you actual hair texture. We call that portion of hair that recently grew from your scalp new growth. New growth, is exciting when you are newly natural because you finally get to see you’re curl pattern.

The issue then becomes, the longer you remain natural the longer your hair grows and the more new growth you have. Eventually, your hair strands will have a portion that is really kinky or coily (the part closest to the root), and a portion that is straight.

The big chop is when you decide to chop off all of your straight hair and start fresh. Some naturalista’s will go as far as to shave their heads and start fresh, while others will wait until they have few inches of new growth, and then cut off their straightened ends.

Pros of doing the Big Chop

The Same Texture

If you decide to transition, and gradually trim off your hair, then you have to go through the arduous task of dealing with multi-textured hair. You have to treat your hair very carefully because hair with multiple textures is actually more fragile and prone to breakage.

The portion of your strands where the curly hair and the straight hair meet is called the line of demarcation. It is prone to getting tangled thus resulting in frustration and breakage.

If you decide to do a big chop, you don’t have to battle with funky hair textures mixing and becoming matted. You only have to learn how to manage your own hair.

Time and money saver

Depending on when and how you decide to chop off your straight strands, you may only have a small amount of hair to maintain. If you’re a girl who used to have to spend hours of time at the beauty salon then you will be amazed at how much time you’ve just reclaimed.

Not only will you gain countless hours. Styling short hair is so much simpler than styling longer tresses. This will give you time to really learn and grow with your hair. Along the way you’ll play with products and methods and learn what works for you.

Cons of doing the Big Chop

Shock Factor

Chopping off a majority of your hair can be terrifying. If you are “changephobic”, then you may want to go for a more gradual option, like transitioning.

Remember, you don’t only have to deal with you coping with the change. You are also going to have to deal with the reaction of others. While your friends and family members are the closest people to you, they can be the worst at accepting your new look.

For some women, the big chop causes us to go through tons of emotions. You may feel embarrassment, regret, fear etc. On top of all of that, you are also signing up to deal with other people's reactions. Honestly, that can be a heavy burden to bear.

Length Retention

It’s sad to say but there is definitely a hierarchy within the hair community. We are conditioned to believe that long flowing hair is the only type of hair that is truly beautiful. Chopping off your hair essentially places you at the bottom of the totem pole.

As black women, we put a lot of emphasis on our hair. The big chop used to signify a loss of identity. But it doesn’t have to be that way any more.

If you are looking to cut off all of those straggly ends, but still enjoy having bouncy and curly hair check out our site. We have a wide selection of curly patterns and colors to fit your own style.

You get the best of bost worlds! You can cut off all of your damaged ends and still enjoy long curly hair with our choice of clip ins and wigs.

To Chop or Not to Chop

The decision is really up to you. You can choose to take the bold step of chopping off your straight ends. If so, I would encourage you to get a stylist that is experienced with handling naturally curly hair. If you decide to chop and rock a TWA try some of Sassina Hair's clip ins to mix up your style.