A: Originally I am from Kentucky, but currently I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for grad school. To my surprise, there are plenty of naturals in and around Pittsburgh! Seeing girls my age going to school day in and day out, yet rocking their natural hair encouraged me to go ahead and do my big chop a little early!
A: I transitioned for a year and a half before doing my big chop. As a child, I longed for silky flowing long hair. When I was younger I would pull my grandmothers scarves over my head, pretending it was my actual hair. At the same time, when I saw kids my age, with poofy kinky strands, it made me wonder what my hair was like not relaxed.
After undergrad I took the big step of getting rid of my relaxed hair. It was a very tedious and sometimes frustrating process! In the beginning, roller sets were my best friend, but when the new growth kept coming in, I had to resort to other options.
My rollersets became two strand twists with the ends rolled up. Even with this style, my straight ends were obvious. After a while, I would wear tiny two strand twists, and every now and then I would blow my hair out. Before doing my big chop, I actually invested in wigs for my bad hair days, which was extremely beneficial. Regarding my big chop, the week before this Thanksgiving, I had the urge to cut off my relaxed ends. My flight was leaving that evening and I was not leaving the house until the relaxed hair was gone! I’m loving the new me and discovering this hair that is on my head.
A. While transitioning the support was sparse! My family is big on straight relaxed hair and sometimes made it obvious that I should just get another relaxer. To my surprise, once I big chopped their opinions changed. They love my hair and how soft and versatile the styling options are. They are constantly complementing me on my two strand twists/twist-outs and the different natural hair styles I can do with my hair!
A: For me, the main positive thing is knowing that I am who I should have been all along. I can wash my hair and wear it in a puff and be satisfied. To me, natural hair has a lot more to offer than relaxed. With a little hair butter and some rollers, my natural hair takes on the appearance of being roller set, without the hassle of a relaxer.
A: Thus far I haven’t had any negative experiences that I was aware of. I keep telling myself, if I do encounter negativity, it’s their issue and not mine…I love my natural hair!
A: I am beginning to figure out a routine, however two strand twists seem to be working just fine for me these days.
A: I would recommend the individual to do as much research as possible. In order to maintain your natural hair, you have to put a lot of time into it. If you do not do your home work your hair will be a major fail. Reading labels and trying to find the best product for your hair is important. it is not as easy as it looks. Also stay away for the heat (flat-ironing, pressing, blowdrying etc.).
A: My advice would be to stick with it. In the end, the benefits out weigh the frustration of transitioning. You will love your hair in the end and even when you do big chop, discovering your hair each and every day will make you love it more! If you have the patience, transitioning for a year and a half helped me so much. Even though my hair is the shortest it has been in my life, it still isn’t in the TWA stage and the style options are numerous.