Many men and women ask me questions about transitioning and wearing their hair naturally and, of late, the big chops seems to be on my radar again so I thought I’d share my five most important tips when venturing down the natural path.
- Be sure of your choice (to big chop or transition)
A big chop is when you cut off all or most of your hair (whether healthy or damaged) and start the growing process from scratch. This is the method I chose and it can be really liberating as you rediscover yourself both physically and emotionally, as hair often embodies bits of how we feel about ourselves. But this option can be daunting because it is a really big change so if you are not ready to venture down the, ‘I have little to no hair on my head,’ route, you can always go through the process of transitioning. Transitioning is when you allow your natural hair to grow out without chopping off the length while you begin to practice good hair habits to keep the regrowth healthy. Some of those habits include little to no heat, regular treatments and protective styling. It is important to trim your hair regularly and to cut off dead ends once your natural hair has grown to the length you are satisfied with. This option is ‘safer’ in that it isn’t a big, sudden change but it can be frustrating as you won’t see results while your limp, damaged hair hangs at the ends of what would be some gorgeous coils and curls. Either way, you should make the decision that feels most comfortable for you.
- Do research on styling your hair.
If you’ve chosen the big chop, have a look at different styles and hair accessories that would suit your new do. If you’re in the process of transitioning, search for protective hairstyles and updos that are pretty as they will make the different textures on your head less frustrating to deal with. I spent forever (seriously, it was a good few months) on Pinterest before my big chop and have found many women, since, on Instagram who have a similar hair type and style to mine. Wherever you search, be sure to find inspiration for your hair type/ texture as well as your face shape to give you a realistic idea of what to expect.
- Get a diffuser
A diffuser dries your hair without breaking up your curl pattern; so it minimises frizz. More importantly, a diffuser distributes heat evenly, resulting in a spread concentration of heat and a reduced risk of damage to your hair. Be sure to use heat protectant sprays when you choose to diffuse your hair. I know that I love my diffuser in the colder months as it helps to take the moisture off my roots and scalp before I leave home on wash days.
- Find a product that gives you your desired results.
Personally, I like my hair as close to its natural state but without the frizz. Curling custards and creams are my go-to product choices as it gives me my desired results with my curls. I know many women who use gels and oil sprays because they prefer a glossy look and crunchier texture to their hair. There is no right answer to product selection; it’s really about what you want your hair to look like and which product can deliver that while keeping your hair healthy and moisturised. Remember that different products are suited to different hair types so you may need to do some research and go through a process of trial and error while finding what works for you.
- Be confident in your decision!
I think the worst part about going natural is the comments that are made by others who don’t understand your process or your journey. Ignore them! You know why you have chosen your natural hair journey so allow the confidence of that decision to see you through. Your future self will thank you for persevering and your hair will reward you for all you put into it!
I hope that these five simple tips help with making the decision. Of course there is more to say but I thought to keep it simple to help you make your decision. Let me know in the comments section if you found this information helpful.
Until my next post, Bronny