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.
Even with the abundance of information online I’m always shocked by how many women are still looking for 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 2 years now, my naivety set in for a second, thinking women would most certainly know the basics of natural hair.
Well, I was wrong. In this article, we will discuss the basics of a big chop, 5 things you must do afterwards 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 yourself, in your bathroom, vs. getting your hair cut a professional to make sure it is styled correctly. Depending on how short you go, after you big chop natural hair, I even suggest finding a trusted barber.
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 for 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 even sell smaller size product samples in stores now 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 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.
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 in 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!
- 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
ALSO READ: 12 TWA Vloggers You Should Follow After You Big Chop
What other questions do you have about the big chop? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!
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So its been 2 months since i had my big chop and my hair refuses to grow long. Its just gets thicker and thicker. It’s still too short to braid and i have no idea what to do! I’m sick of wigs and need some idea to make me look presentable to work.Thanks!
Hi Eva! Thanks for reading and commenting. Patience, patience, patience! Your hair might grow thicker before it grows longer. If it’s getting thicker that is also a great sign! Continue moisturizing, deep conditioning every week and drinking tons of water. 🙂
I have been playing with the idea of doing a big chop several months now, the main reason is because of my front hair that is sooo straight and thin, definitely doesn’t have the same pattern and fullness as the rest of my hair. I’m just so scared ill be majorly disappointed if it doesn’t turn out to grow thick. I’ve been natural for the last years and have been transitioning
I am thinking about doing a big chop talked to hubby he is very supportive the only concern I have is the front of my hair is holding from poor edges I don’t know how that would look when I chop it off
I did my big chop 2-3 months ago! My edges were ghost until my chop! My edges are growing back and the thickness of my hair is awesome! I go to my stylist every 4 weeks for trim, shampoo and deep conditioning! Although everyone’s journey is different however your hair will grow back unless there are other issues! Stay strong in your journey!
Yes! Love to hear that. So happy you had a great experience and your hair is growing and flourishing.
Hi, I big chopped my hair yesterday. It was quite spontaneous and in my bathroom with a pair of scissors. I am glad i did it, but i am nervous the scissors will cause some kind of damage to my hair after reading it an article. Would it affect my hair significantly? I also found out I have low porosity hair, but don’t know what products to use and was hoping you could please recommend some. Also i live in a small town in Michigan so most of the barbershops are tailored towards white people, what do you suggest I do?
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! No the scissors won’t significantly damage your hair but I do recommend using hair scissors instead if you will continue to cut your hair on your own. For low porosity hair your goal is to open the hair cuticle for maximum moisture. Deep condition with heat, under a hooded dryer with a deep conditioning hat will help. I like Mielle Organics and Adwoa Beauty products.
Hi, i big chopped my hair last night. It was badly damaged and i just couldnt take looking at it anymore. Im concerned my hair wont grow because its all so u even from me chopping it off. It also has absolutely no shape, and my edges were already preety much gone. Im feeling vulnerable, and scared! Will my hair grow back? Im too self councious to walk into a barbershop now. Also, it ok to keep my hair covered up and it still grow? Like with scarves etc
Most certainly your hair will grow back. Focus on keeping your hair moisturized. Deep condition WEEKLY, moisturize daily. Wearing scarves and head wraps are OK but you want to make sure you are giving your hair ample time to breathe as well. It’s also OK to take hair care supplements to help with healthy hair growth.
I did the big chop on August 4, 2018. I hate it, the barber mess up my hair. Also my hair is so dry and bristle
Omg same, my barber cut mine way too short, until I started breaking down my mom had to by texturizer and hair curling products please love your hair the way it is because I love mine now, it will grow anyways
You getting a texturizing is no different from getting a relaxer ..so u dont even have natural hair right now ..learn the difference between moisturizer and relaxers/texturing
My barber cut my hair way too short as well. I’m just hoping it turns out how I imagined when it grows back!
Hello, I did the Big chop really my barber cut to much off. He cut to much off the top, I want that part to grow back. I like the curly look, can you help me. Donna.
Sounds like you just have to be patient, it will grow back with time. 🙂
Thanks for your lovely blog! You gave some awesome tips for the big chop. This those tips are really helpful and whomever mistakenly mess with the hair will get the relief. If they follow they could grow their hair easily. Thanks for the post and I will remember what to do after big chop.
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Hi Charlene I will like to know what can I do to keep my hair moisturizer, l wake up in the morning like I have not put anything on my hair at night I had that problem every sent I was a little girl ,I love my hair sent I went natural
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Check out this post about moisturizing natural hair. https://www.texturedtalk.com/7-ways-to-get-super-moisturized-natural-hair-right-now/
Thanks for the info. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and the useful information it contained.
I made the big chop in October 2018 and is loving it every since then. I am on the right track with the five steps but trimming every 8 -12 weeks seems awfully long, I would have a forest by then. I will try the Refresher Hair spray suggested.
Yay! That’s so great. Trim as you see necessary for your hair :).
Great connecting this page. I cut my hair low three weeks ago, and I’m enjoying it. My hair is getting thicker but not growing long as expected. Combing it is not smooth too. Kindly advise and the hair product(s) I can use to grow my hair (I love Afro), make it soft, shinny and healthy, yet natural.
Thanks for the blog! I’m in a bit of a bind. I’ve not permed my hair since March 2013 but my hair ( bsl,3b) looks fried when wet and flat when Flat-ironed. To boot, I feel hypocritical when I tell my daughter to love her curls when I’m routinely straightening mine. I want to cut myself bald to be honest, I’m sick of how “thin” my hair feels. But I’m scared. I’ve never cut it in one go before. My family is odd too, in that I’m known for my long hair so I don’t think I’ll get much support but for my husband. Do you have any tips that could help me?
Hi my name is keenna I was thinking about doing a big chop I already cut the sides of my hair but I want to be different and I always like the natural look but I’m scare of what others may say about me chopping my hair off ..
Hello my name is Rochelle did the big hair chop 2 months ago and enjoy the style and texture of my natural hair. I use the Cantu leave in condition. Always had dry scalp, use coconut hair condition.
Hi, my name is Kella. I big chopped on June 7, not by choice but by force. I put a old perm on half of my head on top of color (trying to save a few coins) & damaged my hair. After 9 weeks of deep conditioning treatments & warm combing the roots, my stylist expressed to me, that she could continue to take my money weekly (over $700) or I could do what was healthiest for my hair. I’m a girl who was known for my spiked styles & couldn’t imagine going natural. I was so afraid of what my curl pattern would look like. I was more afraid of not looking feminine. Well to my surprise many people loved it,. My Mom didn’t like it at all. I was at a funeral & a former coworker saw me as she had just viewed the body & said out LOUD> “YOU CUT YOUR HAIR & YOU LIKE IT!!!” ” I said yes, it mines, do you like your fingerwaves , looking like Red from the Heartbeats – the scene where he says My Office Hours Are?’ It was a big adjustment, but I said all that to say that my hair has really grown in the last 6 weeks. I do miss my straight days, but love the freedom I have now. Several people have giving me products & of course I’ve purchased many different items trying to figure out what my hair likes. I know it loves moisture! Thank you so much for sharing.
Thanks for your post. I had to cut my hair do to skincondition, an hair come out. I have had a short style when I was younger an it grew back quickly. Now that I have it short again my issue is I have a sensitive scalp an cant tolerate a lot of products. Tryn to find products for dry scalp is hard, an suggestions that are fine to use. I already use a shampoo that demertologist prescribed, now I’m looking for a mositerizer that helps with dry scalp.
hi I started my big chop 5 weeks ago and I have noticed I have tenderness when I rub my head and I have noticed some bald spots on my head I was wondering how I could fix that up. the reason why I even did my big chop was that I wasn’t growing any hair on the sides of my head all the way to my nape. I don’t know if its traction alopecia and I’m too scared to go to the doctor and find out. I’m also in 9th grad I am currently getting bullied because of my hair it is so hard to feel good about myself. doing my big chop I felt great but as soon as I stepped into school reality hit it’s scary. I just wanna know how I can grow my hair I ruined my hair once with heat damage and I don’t wanna look back I am doing this for me I would just really like to know why I am not growing hair on the sides of my head to my nape it’s scaring me and I don’t know if I can take it. hopefully, you guys can provide me with the information I need. also, I have 4B kinky hair I just wanna come out of this big chop victorious
I love ļove you blog , so informative.
I just big chopped a few months ago for the second time and i now have acquired alot of knowledge from blogs like yours and decided to start my own . What fonts do you use for you blog ?
I did the big chop about a month a go. I’ve straightened my hair for 17 years (since my son was born). Added extensions a few years ago. It was so expensive and really damaging. Was so nervous at first but once I did it I’m so happy to have my natural hair. It took some getting used to and I have definitely heard some comments that weren’t the most complementary but I just feel healthier overall. I feel like I’m not “pretending” any more. I love that it takes no time to style my hair and I am thrilled not to be spending thousands of dollars a year on my hair
I recently did my big chop. My back hair is curling but my front hair is so straight from the root. I don’t want to cut everything off completely. What can I do with my front hair that is so straight?
Hi, I want to do the big chop but my edges are thin and gone around the front of my head. When I cut if the sides are faded n maybe use spray from barber around my hairline until my hair start growing back. Any suggestions on products that can help with growth. Please reply by sending me an email to make sure I get the info. Thanks
Can I still put heat in my hair if I did the big chop I’m extremely scared of heat damage
Hey, I plan on just getting a full haircut. My problem is, I’m scared it might not grow back like the back of my hair. I’m going to transition. I plan on shaving it all off in January because I want to keep track of the growth well. I’ve read things where you can’t moisturize your hair too much or can can all clog up and stop hair growth. I have 4C hair btw. Any suggestions?
I loved this article! After 14 years of being natural through transitioning, I big chopped on January 3rd more for a life change rather than due to unruly or damaged hair. I cut my nearly waist length strands and shaved my hair with barber clippers. I am keeping with my moisturizing routine as I had established my holy grail. However, I whole heartedly agree with using sample products and I am enjoying experimenting with new product lines. I am wondering is there a certain way to brush my hair so that I can train it properly. When I cut it, I was shocked at the shape of my head with its grooves and swivels but I love the confidence I have with this bolder, fresher cut. Should I brush my hair or just let it grow?
Good Article Helpfull
I got about 4 inches cut off from my hair sylist ( she used a razor and texturized it) and my curls are having a very very hard time coming back. I am using the same products I did when it was curly – the shea butter line. Any thoughts on what I can do, its been almost 2 months since the hair cut