When I first big chopped, I imagined it to be a pure, natural, and very instant bliss.. I was soooo excited to finally be completely natural. Being able to wear my “Be Calm and Go Natural” tees, and everything else… But Lord, was I wrong and I had no idea how wrong I was until I was bald.
There are a few things that I wish I knew prior to cutting off all of my hair the first go round. I thought I had prepared myself enough. I watched every emotional, “I’m so in love with my hair,” big chop, crying video imaginable.. and what I personally experienced was nothing near it.
Here are the 4 lies you were told about the big chop
Lie Number 1
“You will love your hair the moment you lay eyes on your natural curl pattern.”
Now, who came up with this? When I finished my big chop, I could NOT believe that I went with my busy self, and chopped off all of my hair. I had a mini TWA, which was about 3-4 months of growth.. and I felt that I looked like a little boy.. I can admit that the reason why I cut my hair off was based on anxiousness and impatience. I was anxious to see my hair in its natural state, I was anxious to be a full time natural. Without the permed ends… I was sick and tired of dealing with the mixed curl patterns. But I was not impressed.. I didn’t even know much about scab hair (#3) until I Big chopped… I went through a few months of allowing my scalp to heal (which was painful) to truly to see my coils for what they were. And that took FOREVVAAAA!! lol
I did eventually fall in love with my hair and myself. It took a huge jump in my confidence to be able to walk around freely, without thinking that people were just staring at my hair or looking at me like I was crazy. Eventually, I didn’t care if they were, but I also learned how to dress my TWA up with scarves, headbands and perfecting my twist outs.
“You need to purchase everything your favorite blogger did to prepare for her big chop”
Now this, is a LIE!! No matter how you want to put it. First of all, I purchased every Carol’s Daughter, Shea Moisture, Taliah Waajid, Eco Styler Gel, and some more items. BECAUSE YOUTUBE TOLD ME SO!! I spent so much money. Spending half your rent money on products that won’t work for you right now, at this stage of your transition and probably not ever during the phase of your natural life.
The only items that I should have purchased for my transition are as follows: Shampoo, Conditioner, a Leave in conditioner and an oil to seal in the moisture. For the first two years of my natural hair journey, I barely even skimmed the top of my product junky box. I had to keep my relaxed ends blown out to minimize the amount of tangling/shedding, and I kept my natural roots heat free. Then, I would use the leave in conditioner on the natural portions of my hair and use the oil to seal the whole strand before I styled my hair. I had zero need for a curl enhancer or definer.
There was NO real need for half of the items I bought.. It was total influence, list of “must haves” and the big chop guides out there… Save your money. Do your research.
PLEASE!! Pay attention to the bottom of the videos. If the video states that it was SPONSORED BY THE COMPANY; Be CAREFUL!! It’s paid advertising.
“Your Hair Will Instantly Curl Up Once Wet”
Now this… I thought this would be true. I thought my hair would coil up instantly once my hair was cut. But I found that out to be false for the first 6 months of my journey. I had A LOT of scab hair. My hair poofed.. and it just shrunk and poofed for months.
Scab Hair: is the hair that grows out of a damaged scalp. For the first 4+ inches. It was dry, wiry and it has no definition or curl pattern.
I dealt with this scab hair for MONTHS! It didn’t matter how much I deep conditioned it, protein treated it or tried to get some form of definition on my ends, it just didn’t work. It took me about 6 months with consistent trims, before my hair started to hold and show it’s own definition; and it took about a year for my hair to grow out without the dryness. I was trimming my hair every other week or once a month in order to get rid of some of the severe dry hair. And don’t get me started on my scalp.
“Your Scalp doesn’t need time to heal, the transition period is enough”
My scalp was severely damaged due to getting relaxers for decades, without having any real breaks in between. Well, with the relaxers… (this is also one of my main reasons for stopping my relaxer), I had really bad scalp psoriasis. My scalp scabbed for a year and a half; even after I stopped the relaxer.
My scalp was tender to the touch, all of the time. I had to hold my breath any time I washed my hair. My scalp hurt, and it hurt A LOT!! I was dealing with healing scalp psoriasis from the constant perms and stress. Which means my scalp would scab all of the time, and I had cuts in my scalp; which hurt. A lot of transitioners go through the super tender scalp process, and the only real way to combat the pain is Shea butter scalp massages or using an oil that enhances blood flow in the scalp area. But either way, I was not prepared for this moment. or the pain. Which is common. Very common.
Do your research and most importantly, BE PATIENT. No it’s not easy, and it won’t feel like a walk in the park. You will get frustrated. You may even feel a tinge of regret. But just keep in mind that natural hair grows. You won’t have a TWA forever, and you will be able to one day fall in love with yourself and your hair. Don’t be afraid to vent to and confide in other naturals. Ask questions, practice different hair styles and pay attention to your hair. it will let you know what it likes and what it doesn’t like. Read labels. Do not feel the need to shop outside of your budget. Always work WITHIN your comfort zone.