You’ve finally made the decision you’ve been thinking about for months. You’re going to cut off your hair and join the natural hair community. Amongst your fellow natural sisters, we call this change “the big chop” and it’s kind of a big deal. While you may be excited to grab the closest shears near you and liberate yourself to kinky haired freedom, there a few things you should know to make this the easiest–and best–change of your life.
5 Things to Do Before You Big Chop
- Develop a deep condition routine. When it comes to prepping and protecting your natural hair, few things are as beneficial as a good deep condition. Whether your hair is in its best shape or needs a little extra TLC, the restorative benefits of deep conditioning are priceless. Regular deep conditioning sessions help to restore moisture, combat dryness, and restore life to dull, brittle hair. For new naturals, establishing a good routine using anourishing deep conditioner in the months or weeks leading up to your big chop can help define your curls as well as establish good habits as you move forward on your natural hair journey.
- Get inspired. Making the decision to get a big chop is something many of take lightly. Chances are you’ve spent hours debating whether this is something for you. Having great examples of women rocking their short natural hair and loving it is a great way to get excited about your big chop and the possibilities in store. Before you take the plunge, spend some time admiring women with short natural hair that have similar features and style as you do. Make a pinterest board or physical inspiration board to get comfortable and excited. A word of caution as your pinning: it’s common for many short naturals to jump to color immediately after the big chop. If your hair isn’t properly prepped and moisturized, this could cause more harm than good. Good deep conditioning practices can help you ease into color quicker as well as more than one cut to get the most well conditioned hair.
- Prepare for feedback from family and friends. In the name of keeping it real, one of the things that inevitably comes along with the big chop is (unsolicited) feedback from family and friends. Although natural hair has come a long way and is becoming more the rule than the exception, there are still many people and communities that don’t understand or are not comfortable with the idea of natural hair. It’s not uncommon to face criticism from family and friends who don’t understand why you would cut all your “pretty hair” off. And it’s even more common to feel discomfort in professional environments or at work where natural hair is still very new. Take some time to talk it through with those closest to you, find women in the natural hair community that you can connect with, and educate yourself (and loved ones) as much as possible as the questions and comments come your way.
- Make a budget for natural hair care. If you’ve been doing your research, chances are you’ve heard that going natural is expensive. While this isn’t exactly true, the reality is that your natural hair routine and maintenance will be a bit different from your past experiences. From salon visits to get your big chop cut and styled to a product regimen full of high quality products, it can get pricey. Understand that, your hair needs quality products and nourishing ingredients to perform its best. Cheap products and trying to DIY every aspect of your journey is bound to lead to frustration and even digressing back to relaxed hair. Get comfortable with the idea that you need to invest in your natural hair for easier maintenance and for your hair to look its best.
- Be confident. We understand that the big chop is a big deal. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unprepared in the beginning which can affect your confidence and how you feel about yourself. As you’re stumbling through products, finding the best stylist, and learning how to maintain your hair, remember that your natural hair is part of who you are. You were born with this hair. Look to women in your social circle, your local community and even in your professional environment to get inspired. When you open your eyes to the world of natural hair around you, you’ll soon begin to understand that there are many women from all walks of life that are natural and loving it.