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Big Chop! Making the Cut

big chop natural hair growth

I did it, after one year of transitioning, I did the big chop! I’m newly natural! I know you’ve seen it by now in my last post, so let’s talk about it.

Boy, did this post age like milk!

So, I had my last relaxer on November 23, 2019. It wasn’t my intention to go natural then, I just wanted to stave off the hours spent at the salon. Things were getting hectic and just didn’t want to spend hours in the shop and under a dryer. Before I knew it, five months had rushed by while I made braids my best friend. I’d take them down today, wash and redo them tomorrow and when they couldn’t go on anymore, I’d repeat.

I mean I did say that I might go natural one day, but three years later is certainly not what I had in mind. After all, your girl loves a good creamy crack and dry set result, but, for all my love of that easy ponytail convenience, I really grew tired of the process to get my hair done and maintaining it.

PROTECTIVE STYLE

Then COVID entered the chat, and I have even less of an incentive to visit the shop, so ‘naturally’ I stayed inside and redid my braids when I needed to (sometimes way too long after they were due because, “Hey, who cares? We’re in lockdown!).

Slowly though, I began to see more of my natural hair than I have in a decade and a half, and I fell in love. With my curl patterns, and the feel of it and the freedom of it growing wild out of my scalp. I’ve been diving into the research to find things that work for me and so far and while I’ve not much needed or cared for the information before, I’ve learned I have type 4B hair (Don’t quote me. Some women seem to get offensive about hair typing!)

I was still adamant that I wasn’t transitioning, but as time went on and I braided and trimmed overzealously, I had to face the fact that, a decision was necessary. By summer I decided on going natural. Since I could always just relax in one day if I couldn’t manage (I sensed I wouldn’t) but reversing a relaxer would be as quick. Besides, nowadays, some natural ladies wear their hair straight just as much as ladies with relaxers, so I wanted the opportunity to at least try it.

By the end of summer, I’d watched every Big Chop video on Type 4 hair that YouTube would show me. And with keen interest, my scissors happy fingers itched. By this time, I had so much hair, I couldn’t braid it myself anymore, it was just too thick, causing me too much back pain and parting skills at the back of my head consistently went downhill.

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Wash days became a struggle. The relaxed ends wouldn’t take moisture, so it began to feel like I was wasting products on it because the natural portion would be so nice and slippery but then from the line of demarcation really wasn’t here for it. That made detangling a whole workout. I’d have a headache on top of the tension of the new braids.

I was over it, and when I took down my braids earlier this month I knew there was no point in enduring the headache and the stress for transitioning hair I had no plans to keep. Patience for that, I simply did not have. Additionally, I reasoned it would allow my hair to flourish, since it would grow at the same rate, without all the extra tension to manipulate two textures.

So, I prepared my husband for the impending loss (he loves my hair and is not a fan of cutting it, ever.) and just did it. It was a novel sight, and I’ll admit to panicking just a bit when I got out of the shower at 1 am and it was blow-dried and stumpy, in need of serious detangling and I had no clue what to do. I just put my bonnet on and went to bed.

In the morning, whilst I had gone through and detangled, I hadn’t the first clue what to do with the thick fluff on my head and the strange new visual I had of my face.

It’s been two weeks, and so far, I’ve found out it takes about an hour to detangle, moisturize and put some ‘doo-doo twists’ in. And only a few minutes to undo them, a little edge control that’s guaranteed to last only a few minutes and a few hairpins before I am on my way.

I’ve also learned that twists come out better than plaits, my patience is shit and a finger coiling session of my whole head is not about to happen, my natural hair holds moisture well, and that I’m hotter than a bag of spicy Doritos chips and can rock a baby fro just as well as I do a bob.

For now, that’s enough, so as for how it’s going? Ask me again at the end of the month! 😩

Check out my Big Chop Video on my YouTube Channel

Have you even done the big chop? How did you find your natural hair growth journey? Let me know in the comments

Xo, Shandean

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Shandean Reid

I’m Shan, a heavily caffeinated millennial content creator and communications professional in Canada. This blog is my transparent navigation of life as a physician’s wife, mom, communications professional, author and anything else I need to be on a given day. I hope you like my sharing space and subscribe!

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13 COMMENTS

  • Shelly DS

    Wow congratulation! I went natural then 4 years later I relaxed my hair. Then covid hit and I went 5 months without relaxer and considered going natural but then I relaxed and the stylist over processed my hair. Now I’m transitioning for sure 😅

  • Toma Ruh

    Looking gorgeous! It really fits you.

    Toma ❄️ https://www.tomaruh.com

  • Wendy

    Your hair is really beautiful. I also transitioned for a year before the big chop.
    It was very frustrating to handle 2 textures of hair and once I got enough new growth my hands started itching for a scissors

    • Thanks Wendy and same here! How are you managing so far?

      • Wendy

        You’re welcome.
        Leaving my hair alone helps a lot. I struggled with keeping it moisturized at first, but my hair has started holding moisture for much longer.
        Then detangling became harder as my hair got longer and just a wide tooth comb wasn’t doing the job anymore.
        But overall, I’ve been enjoying having my natural hair. The versatility is amazing. I always have a different look with each style.

      • Awesome. Love to see it!

  • So proud of you Shan and your hair is beautiful. 😍 I still remember that article from 3 years ago so I had no idea I’d see you back in the natural hair club so soon. Welcome back! 🙂

  • Ornella Rodney

    Welcome back to the natural hair community, sis! I did my big chop maybe 5 or 6 years ago and I don’t regret it. Here’s to an awesome journey! Enjoy!

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