Once you have taken the decision to stop putting chemicals on your hair, the next step is to decide on how you may want to go about it. You could either transition or go for a Big Chop (BC). Either ways, there are pros and cons that you may want to consider before taking the major decision.
- BC (Big Chop):This may be an easier way for some people to grow out their natural hair. It is the process of cutting off all the relaxed ends of the hair and having a low cut. Timing when to do a BC could differ, If you go for a BC from the start then It could be a lot easier to manage because;
a) Low cuts are very easy to maintain
b) You don’t take a lot of time doing the hair routine since you would be skipping combing and detangling.
c) You have one hair texture from the onset; you grow to learn about your hair and how to work with it at an early stage.
d) No need to worry about what styles to do as wash and go is the best you can do at this point. Little styling if you want, depends on what works for you.
e) No breakage.
f) No problem with weather conditions; you can walk in the rain without looking for plastic caps or umbrella to cover the hair.
- Transitioning to Natural: Transitioning may not be so easy for everyone. Some people start it and along the way go back to using relaxers or hot iron. In transitioning to natural, no need to cut off all the relaxed hair. You grow out natural hair in protective styles (that require no heat) until you decide to cut the rest of the relaxed hair. For a lot of reason I chose to transition for about a year and some months. I have actually cut half of my hair; I didn’t want to go all low. To do this the following should be noted;
a) If you prefer to have a longer hair look; some people don’t feel too comfortable going all low maybe because they may not like their look in the mirror or a lot of criticism from family, friends and even colleagues. If you also think you can’t have a low cut because of the nature of your job then transitioning to natural is a better option for you.
b) You have a variety of styling options to choose from while transitioning. You can choose protective hairstyles to enable less manipulation of the hair like corn rows, weaves, wigs, extensions or braids, however without heat. You need to always keep your scalp clean hair remains moisturized.
c) You have to deal with two textures of your hair which can be frustrating sometimes. You could have a problem having to deal with the natural hair and the relaxed ends which is why you avoid stressing your hair by combing,pulling even when you have a protective style on.
Sometimes people get carried with protective styles and they forget how to manage the growth. You have to work between embracing your texture and growing out healthy hair.
d) You MUST have breakages; as you go further into transitioning the ends become weaker and snags easily. Put your hair in sections while shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning and moisturizing as this helps to manage breakage.
Its very important you weigh out your options before deciding which is best for you,don’t expect everyone to accept your decision. A lot of people don’t like natural hair and may never accept it, there’s nothing you can do to make them approve your choice. Your real friends would genuinely love, support and respect your decision on this.
If you are too concerned about people’s opinion then going natural is NOT for you.
What method do you prefer, what are your challenges? Please share your opinions.