Transitioning is the process of eliminating all chemical and heat processes from your regimen and allowing your natural hair to grow out over time. It is important to refrain from using heat and color treatments during this time because you run the risk of getting heat/color damage.
You have two choices when it comes to transitioning, the big chop or long term transition. Which journey you choose is up to you, because either can work for you if you decide to put in the work. Read here for more information on transitioning.
The big chop process is very simple. It involves cutting your relaxed hair off regardless of where you are in the transitioning journey. It could be 1 month, 4 months or 6 months, it doesn’t matter just as long as the hair is removed. Some women (including myself) opt for the big chop because they want to experience their hair during the early stages of the journey. I will give you some pros and cons of the big chop to help you decide if this route is for you.
- You will get the chance to learn your hair to determine what products work well for you sooner than later. Chopping your relaxed ends off in the earlier stages will give you the opportunity to find products that your hair loves, and to also figure out your staple hairstyles.
- You won’t have to deal with two different textures.
Having two different textures can be a recipe for breakage if you don’t properly care for your hair. Doing the big chop will eliminate the worries about breakage at the line of demarcation, and also the struggle of having to find different products for each texture.
- You will have a fresh start.
Chopping your relaxed/damaged hair off will give you a new start with your hair. You will need new products that work for your new curls, and you will have the opportunity to cut bad habits that you had with your relaxed hair and go into your natural hair journey a wiser woman.
- In the beginning you might feel self-concious about your hair.
Having newly natural hair can be something of a shocker for some ladies. You might be used to having long, flowing hair, so adjusting to a new look could take some time. There might be some emotional moments that come with having new hair, but love your hair regardless.
- You will want longer hair fast.
I know that when I big chopped and saw my hair, I wanted it to grow longer overnight. I was anxious for it to grow so I could do more styles and just to show off my length. But hair doesn’t grow long overnight, so we need to exercise some patience.
- You will have to learn what works for your hair on the spot.
Chopping your hair off doesn’t leave you much time before you have to deal with your new hair. Knowing what to do with it might be a challenge, so make sure you do lots of research to help you figure out some things that might work for your hair (such as styles and products).
- You might not know how to style your hair.
The styles you used on your relaxed hair will not work on your newly short natural hair. It will be very important that you look for styles (on youtube or google) that will work for your hair type and length.
Long Term Transition.
Long-term transitioning is growing your hair out (usually a year or more) until you’ve reached your desired length. Long term transitioning is something to consider if you like long hair and do not want to big chop right away. Some pros and cons of long term transitioning are:
- You get to hold on to your length.
Long term transitioning means you don’t chop your hair off right away, so for all the ladies that love their length then this is the route for you.
- You will have to deal with two textures.
You will have to figure out what products work for your relaxed hair and for your new growth. This is very important to keep both textures damage free.
- You may have a difficult time styling your hair.
When I was transitioning I had a mighty hard time getting my hair into a style. Whatever style I tried one texture would decide that it doesn’t like it. What I did was put my hair into braids and twist throughout my transition to make it easier on myself.
Your hair journey depends on you. Whichever route you take make sure that you care for your hair properly.
So ladies did you big chop or long term transition? Why?
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