Let’s discuss the big chop. It might as well be called the big bang! Its an exciting and exhilarating time in which women who are transitioning decide to cut off all their relaxed hair in an attempt to reveal their beautifully textured mane of hair. Many of us envision defined curls that have luster, sheen, and bounce. On other hand, some of us fear our natural definition thinking we will be branded as looking “nappy.”
I will personally attest to the fact that the big chop is highly liberating but can also be bewildering and upsetting, if you place unrealistic expectations upon your hair. To begin, I certainly believe there is a preference or bias towards naturals that have a defined curl pattern, or our type 3’s as Andre Walker’s typing system labels them.
This bias makes it difficult for women of tighter curl patterns or kinkier hair to feel comfortable showcasing their natural tresses. One common expression is that, “natural isn’t for everyone” if someone doesn’t possess a loose or defined curl pattern. I myself have been called “Kunta Kinte and nappy dreads” because of my tightly curled and coiled strands.
Secondly, many naturals fail to realize that our hair needs time. Yes, I will say it again it needs time. Multiethnic hair has been subjected to years of relaxers, heating appliances, synthetic moisturizers, and improper styling techniques. We must give our hair the time it needs to revert back to its curl pattern by giving it the daily TLC it so desperately craves.
Last but not least naturals must do their research! This journey can be so rewarding and fulfilling, if one takes the time to seek out information from the natural community and more importantly to do their own personal investigation into what their hair needs. Every natural has a distinct head of hair, even naturals who have the same type of hair may have an entirely different hair care routine.
Be steadfast and strong in your natural endeavors. This is a journey with many twist and turns but the ride is worth it!