A Year After the Big Chop

1:08:00 am

Big Chop; "the process of cutting off the relaxed or permed ends of one's hair when she is transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair". - NaturallyCurly.com

Two things made me cut off my permed hair last year; curiosity and adventure. I was curious and eager to find out what my natural hair looked and felt like. Before now, the only memory I had of my natural hair was from my 4th birthday pictures. Asides curiosity, I also wanted to give my hair a permanent break from relaxers. Sometimes, when I think of all the chemicals we consume in different forms, it scares me on another level. So I decided to cut relaxers off. 

After 10 months of transitioning(not applying relaxer on my hair) and researching about natural hair, I chopped off my permed hair.

It was a sort of rebirth. I had never seen my hair in this form and this is where the adventure started. Two months into my natural hair journey, I was hit with shrinkage. I had read about it but then, it seemed like everything I read didn't seem to apply to my hair. Instead of researching further, I chose to hide my hair in protective styles. Braids and crochet braids were my go-to styles. 7 months down the line, I noticed that braids were weighing down my edges so I stopped and continued with the crochet method. 

Ten months into the journey, I decided to hold off on any protective style and face this shrinkage issue. I watched Youtube videos and read articles via Pinterest and to my surprise discovered that I didn't even know my hair texture in the first place. Once I understood my curl pattern/texture, the rest fell into place. 

I picked up a few lessons from this journey and they are;

  • Research - and Research Some More; If I had read a little bit further, I would have understood how to combat shrinkage at an earlier stage. 
  • Do Not Compare Your Hair With Someone Else's; I did this early into my journey and at some point, I began to think that my hair was just abnormal. LOL!
  • Understand Your Hair and Its Needs; Generally, water is every naturalista's best friend but most times, what works for A would most likely not work for B in terms of hair products. For example, I have a friend whose hair doesn't work well with coconut oil but the reverse is the case for me.
  • Take Wash Days Seriously; Natural hair loves water so washing it once a week when you're not protective styling is apt. 
  • Twist/Braid Your Hair Before Bedtime; No matter how tired you are, this MUST be done. Unless you want to wake up with shrunken and matted hair. Not twisting my hair was the main reason for my excessive shrinkage. 
  • Shrinkage Is Good Too; It's a sign of healthy hair so don't be alarmed.
  • Maintaining Natural Hair Isn't Expensive; I don't believe in using a lot of hair products at once. Know what works for you and stick with it. All I've been using so far are coconut oil, castor oil, black soap and shea butter. 
It's been an exciting adventure this past year and I love what I see when I look at the mirror. If you've been considering going natural, I advice you to do so. As my hair continues to grow, I'll continue updating my research and sharing my findings with you.

If you're a naturalista, what made you decide to cut off your permed hair and what was the biggest challenge in your journey? Do share with me in the comments section. 

Hope your week is turning out great? I'll be back soon.

xx, Evita.

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  1. Your hair looks so healthy, good for you! Thanks for the tips...xxx


    1. Thank you so much Ifunanya. Good to have you here.

  2. The whole natural hair transition has been trending everywhere. Now while I'd love to rock my fro, natural hair is a commitment I am not ready for at all. Your hair looks so healthy and full especially for just a year old hair.

    Princess Audu

    1. Thanks Sarah! Honestly, it's indeed a commitment and something that should be thought about thoroughly.

  3. Great lessons learnt Evita. Yes I also agree with you that natural hair is not expensive compared to relaxed hair. Yes! wash days must not be taken for granted.


    1. You know this! Thank you so much Dominika.


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