Lost on what to do after you big chop natural hair? Recently, I’ve received more questions than ever from women who have finally big chopped and finally entered the world of natural hair.
Despite the abundance of information online, I’m always shocked by how many women are still seeking help and guidance. In the past two weeks alone, I’ve had my sister, a close friend, and a stranger ask for advice. Because I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, my naivety set in for a second, thinking women would most certainly know the basics of natural hair.
Well, I was wrong. This article will discuss the basics of a big chop, 5 things you must do afterward and a few key products to use after your beautiful cut.
What Is a Big Chop?
A big chop is a term coined in the natural hair community where you either cut off all of the relaxed ends of your hair or cut a significant amount of your hair that results in a very very short style.
Many women who decide to go natural make the “big chop” as a way of starting fresh and wearing their natural curls for the first time completely.
Some women also choose to transition to their natural curls, slowly cutting off the relaxed ends every couple of weeks or so. This is an alternative if the thought of doing a big chop completely scares you. Trust me girl, I get it.
What to Do After You Big Chop Natural Hair
1. Make Sure Your Cut is Styled/Shaped Up by A Professional
There’s a difference between cutting your hair off in your bathroom vs. getting your hair cut by a professional to ensure it is styled correctly. Depending on how short you go, I even suggest finding a trusted barber after you big chop natural hair.
After cutting, you may be surprised by the actual shape of your head and it’s possible you won’t know how to make sure the remaining hair frames your face well.
A professional stylist or barber will help to make sure your cut is stylish and on trend. A great shape-up goes a long way with rocking a super short look. The last thing you want is to cut all your hair off and hate the results. Talk to someone you trust and use inspiration photos to give your stylist or barber an idea of what you want.
One of my dear friends Kala (@thekglifestyle) recently big chopped for the second time. Below are her results after getting her cut shaped up and her routine for defining her curls.
2. Be Patient, Give Products A Chance & Take Advantage of Product Samples
As a new natural, I’m sure you are anxious to try every product on the market. And trust me at some point, you will (I can’t even count the number of products I’ve tried). After you big chop natural hair, take advantage of product samples before buying full-size products.
Because shorter hair will cause far less product, using product samples will save you time and money down the line until you build up your holy grail list.
Some brands now sell smaller product samples in stores to help with this. Companies are realizing women invest a ton of money into hair care but become even more frustrated after spending tons of money only to find nothing works for them.
If you can’t find samples in-store, request free samples from the brands you want to try.
3. Develop A Regimen Now…This Will Help You Later
So the number one question women ask is “What should I do to my hair now that I’m natural?” At the core, you must do the same traditional things you did with relaxed hair. Shampoo, deep condition, maintain trims, etc on a regular basis.
Those things don’t change. The biggest change, however, is the frequency of how often you choose to implement those activities. Here are my healthy hair regimen suggestions:
- Shampoo: At the minimum, every 7-9 days. Healthy hair growth starts with a clean scalp. Shampooing weekly will help to remove product build-up, environmental factors, dust, sweat etc to ensure your pores aren’t clogged and hair growth can occur freely.
- Deep Condition: Once a week or each time you shampoo. Make sure you have a great moisturizing conditioner and a balancing protein conditioner.
- Moisturize: EVERY DAY!
- Trims: Every 8-12 weeks or as suggested by your professional stylist.
Developing a healthy hair regimen after you big chop natural hair will put you in a great position for when your hair grows longer. By then you will have your favorites figured out and you will know what your hair responds well to as far as products.
For a full detailed Healthy Hair Regimen and product recommendations, see the Natura Hair for Beginners Guide.
4. Stop Stressing Over Your Curl Pattern
After you big chop your natural hair, more than likely, you will be obsessed with your curls. This is normal but you should know your curl pattern, and type (3c, 4a, 4c, etc) doesn’t matter. So stop stressing over that now.
Here’s a little secret: healthy hair isn’t determined by your curl type. It has no bearing on how long your hair will grow or how fast it will grow. Here are other things to focus on and understand.
Porosity determines your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Since dryness is the number one problem natural hair women have, understanding this after you big chop will help dramatically.
Read more about porosity here.
Density relates to how many individual strands of hair you have in total. An easy way to think of this is how many strands you have per square inch. Extremely dense hair can easily achieve big voluminous styles simply because the hair is more compact per square inch..
Texture describes the width of each individual strand of hair you have. Hair textures are classified 3 ways: Fine, medium or thick. You’ll often find people refer to thick hair as coarse – especially women categorized in the 4C category. Because fine textures are delicate, this texture is also more prone to breakage.
Elasticity measures the “stretchiness” of your hair. If your hair has a hard time stretching when wet and does not return to its natural state after pulling, your hair more than likely has low elasticity.
Low elasticity also will result in increased breakage because the hair is so fragile. Research shows elasticity cannot exist when there is an imbalance of moisture and protein.
5. Make Moisturizing Your #1 Priority
Every day. This is how often I moisturize my hair. Your naturally curly hair will be drier than your relaxed hair, so accept that now too. This doesn’t mean taking care of your natural hair has to be hard; you just have to know how to combat dryness. Leave-in conditioners, hair lotions, or just simple H20 will get the job done.
You might even think about doing an Aztec Clay Mask to really detoxify your hair for maximum moisture.
One of my favorite DIY refresher sprays consists of water, avocado oil, and aloe vera juice. You can get all of this at your local grocery store, including a $2-$3 spray bottle.
Outside of what you put on top of your hair, don’t forget what you put inside of your body is a huge factor as well. You should consume at least half your weight in ounces of water.
For example, I am 170 lbs, therefore, I need to drink at least 85 ounces of water (which is a little over 5 bottles). To make things easier at one point, I just used my H20 on the Go Water bottle. Once I finish this for the day, I’ve pretty much reached my goal.
6. Have A Great Support System
Ever heard the saying, “When a woman cuts her hair, she is about to change her life?” Well, I wholeheartedly believe this saying. For a lot of women (not all), hair is a very emotional connection. As a result, make sure you have a great support system around you after your big chop.
The last thing you need is negativity and people asking when you are going to slap a perm back in your head because your hair looks “crazy”. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Instead, follow bloggers and vloggers you love, watch their videos and draw inspiration from people online.
Here are some other things to know as you embark on your big chop natural hair journey.
Big Chop Natural Hair Products:
The good thing about embarking on a big chop journey is the amount of product you can save! Also, a little goes a long way. You do not need to pile on a ton of hair products to get results.
Eventually you will find what your hair loves the most is water but here are a few other products to check out.
- Eco Styler Gel – Yes this might sound basic, but it gets the job done and it is super easy for anyone to use! You can even use as an edge control.
- The Mane Choice 3-In-1 Co-Wash, Leave In, & Detangler
- Obia Natural Curl Moisture Cream – perfectly pH balanced and one of the best leave-in conditioners I’ve ever used
- TGIN Curl Bomb – another option for a healthy gel-based product if you prefer gels over cream curl definers
What other questions do you have about the big chop? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know.