BEGINNING MY NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY

My hair before the big chop
My hair before the big chop

For someone trying to grow natural hair there is always one big question; to transition or do a big chop. Transitioning is where one lets the relaxed hair or heat damaged hair grow out and then cuts the chemically treated hair when the growth reaches at a length they are comfortable to wear it. For the big chop one decides to cut off all the hair and start growing hair afresh. Like many natural heads out there I faced this decision.

I loved my long straight hair or sometimes wavy after a visit to the salon. What I loved more is the compliments that came with the hair. But I had never experienced my natural hair texture and I really yearned for that. How could I have with the hot combing and blow drying which I started doing at ten years and later at thirteen graduated to relaxing? So I decided to grow out my relaxed hair. Excited at the new prospect, I shared the news with a couple of friends. They all were negative about it. How would I look? What will people think of you? Is everything alright? On top of that I was struggling with the new growth. Dealing with two textures is not a child’s play and sometimes, I felt, I looked horrid. So I gave in and went to my hairdresser and relaxed the growth. I was back again! Still there was that disappointed nagging voice. I had caved in. With each passing day my curiosity for natural hair grew. To quench it I watched millions you tube videos and imagined how it would be. I at last made a decision that I would always treasure. On December 6th 2014, I remember it because it was my 25th birthday; I visited my hairdresser and told her to cut it all. None of her words would bend me. She tried but I would not be moved. I was a woman with a resolution. She at last gave up and had one of her colleagues cut it. She gave me a birthday present, freedom.

I have never regretted doing the big chop. I actually regret that it took me such a long time to make the decision. I loved my new look. Of course one of my friends pulled me aside and asked me if everything was fine and if I needed to talk. She would not understand the joy I felt for cutting my hair. Apart from that I got so many more compliments. I loved it.

After the big chop (my 25th birthday)
After the big chop (my 25th birthday)

I am not an advocate for doing the big chop but I would highly encourage it for someone who wants to grow their natural hair. Watching your hair grow is an amazing experience. Also it gives you the chance to understand your hair, experiment with products and know what works for you. You will not have to deal with two textures and you will enjoy styling your hair in hairstyles that you would not have with long hair.

Whichever decision you make between the big chop and transitioning, enjoy the experience, love your hair and it will love you back. Glory in the compliments and ignore the naysayers.

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