Women in of the natural hair care world know what the “The Big Chop” is, but for those that don’t I will explain. The big chop is when a women who has chemically altered hair has decided that the are ready to chop their hair off. Different women chop their hair off at different lengths. But a true big chop, to me, is 2-3 inches of new growth.
Although, many women do decide to do the big chop, this is not just a decision of whether or not to go natural. It is also an emotional experience. Most women their whole lives are told that their hair is their glory. Length and texture of hair is also expressed as equally important. Many women of color are told from a young age that their natural texture is nappy or ugly and the only way to achieve beautiful hair is to be a slave to a relaxer, newly named “creamy crack”.
I remember as a young child the first time I had to get a big chop because of a jerry curl gone wrong. I literally cried as the beautician cut off my long hair and applied my first relaxer. My hair was so short it was a shock to me. Everyone loved it but me. In hind sight I know that letting go of the big drip(jerry curl) was possibly the best thing that could have happened. I grew to love my relaxer.
As I grew older I decided that I wanted something more free. That is when I decided to go natural. I never really did the big chop. I just let my hair grow out naturally. However, I know plenty of women who have done the big chop and they said it was the most liberating thing they have done.
Doing the big chop brings a few things to light. One is the amount of money you will save from relaxers and processes. Two the care you will take to keep your hair healthy inside and out. Three the versatility you will have with styling your hair. Last, but not least you realize that the hair you were born with is not that bad after all.
If you are interested in doing The Big Chop, keep in mind that it is a big change. To make the transition easier take some support with you. If you have a group of friends wanting to go natural turn it into a positive experience and do the big chop together. The World Natural Hair Health and Beauty Show will be doing The Big Chop live on stage during the month of September.
If you are still not sure google The Big Chop and watch other women and their hair journeys. I am sure you will be inspired. Happy Big Chopping.