The Big Chop – Transition Styles For Relaxed To Natural Hair, Part 1

The Big Chop, a hair term defined as cutting off the relaxed or permed ends of one’s hair when transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair. For many, the big chop is one of the most preferable transition styles for relaxed to natural hair because it’s quick, low-maintenance, and allows you to rediscover your hair and scalp in its natural state.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re either considering the big chop, have already gone through it, or maybe you’re still trying to grasp the concept of chopping off all your hair at once. Don’t worry – the big chop doesn’t have to be drastic, it can be done gradually and with confidence. With that said, here’s everything you need to know about the big chop when transitioning from relaxed to natural hair.

How To Big Chop

There’s two simple ways to do the big chop: 

1. Cut off all the relaxed hair with hair clippers and rock a low fade; or 2. Take a more gradual approach by growing your natural hair to a comfortable length, then cutting off the relaxed ends.

What To Expect During The Big Chop

Big Chop with fade results. Photo Credit:

Emotionally speaking…If choosing the clipper option, you may experience a few heavy emotions throughout the big chop process including tears, anxiety, regret, liberation, or even joy.

Honestly, no one can prepare you for seeing your head completely bald for the first time, so be prepared to feel some type of way about it. 

On a positive note, be happy knowing that once you get past the initial shock, you’re officially off to a fresh new start and the natural hair journey begins. 

If choosing the second big chop option, in which you gradually grow a few inches of natural coils before cutting off your relaxed ends, still know that emotions may run high once you begin snipping. However, the overall experience should feel less drastic since you’ve had the opportunity to familiarize yourself with your natural curl pattern before the big chop. 

Big Chop after gradual transition. Photo Credit: Pinterest

Maintenance & Styling After The Big Chop

As your hair grows over the next few weeks, you’ll begin to fall in love with your natural texture. During this exciting time continue to keep your hair and scalp healthy by cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing weekly with Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing and Detangling Collection. This moisturizing trio will leave your hair moisturized with softness while bringing your natural curls to life.

If rocking the fade look follow up with Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Daily Moisturizing Lotion to hydrate and add shine as needed. Yes, styling options are limited during this time, but don’t get discouraged. With the popularity of graphic designs, adorning a fade has become a trending look and more women are embracing the big chop because of it. However, we understand that not everyone’s lifestyle is cut out for barbering graphics, so if you need to keep it subtle yet cute, try accessories like headbands and earrings to spruce up your natural look. Or consider enhancing your fade with hair color – just be sure to consult a professional hairstylist.

If you slowly transitioned before the big chop and now a have a TWA (teen-weeny-afro), our first maintenance recommendation would be visiting a professional hairstylist to ensure that your hair is evenly cut and that all the relaxed ends have been properly removed. Doing so will give your natural texture better shape and definition. Next, continue with the same maintenance suggestions mentioned earlier – keep your hair and scalp healthy by cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing weekly with Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing and Detangling Collection.

As for styling your new curls, enjoy natural hairstyles such as finger coils, wash and gos, sponge curls, or twists-sets to name a few. To create these textured styles we recommend using Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Curling Creme and Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Twist & Set Setting Lotion – both products are perfect for beautifully defining natural curl patterns while adding moisture and controlling frizz.

All and all when it comes to transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, it definitely has its share of pros and cons. But if you’re looking for a new beginning to hair that is healthy, defined in texture, and retains length with little to no effort in regards to time, maintenance, and everyday styling – then the big chop is where it’s at! 

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