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Beauty & Fashion

The Big Chop: Naturally...I'm just saying!

Going Natural: The Big Chop
Posted by Shelby Sanders on Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I did the big chop June 30, 2010. That means I went to the salon and had all of the chemicals cut out of my hair. It was one of the best choices I have made in my life. I could have waited to let the relaxer grow out over time. That meant walking around with a lot of new growth, and not being able to comb my hair to the roots because that would cause more breakage.

I knew I had to do something because when I would go to the salons to get my hair done. I felt so disappointed when I left. Deep inside I knew I didn’t need a retouch, but the only question I was asked is when is the last time you had a retouch, and if they felt like enough time had passed, they would give me an appointment. I tried waiting the “adequate” amount of time.  Going natural begun to sound be tter and better to me especially after reading articles and noticing how healthy natural hair looked on other women.

My hair was a mess. It had broken off in the back and on the sides, but ut because my length was long enough to cover the breakage, no one could really tell. Or so I thought. I had two friends at the time that were natural and I would talk to them about their hair and comment on healthy it looked. One day, they decided to do an intervention on me.  Not only were they there, but they had also invited a natural hair salon owner. I told her that I was considering going natural. She looked at my hair, lifted it up and asked me how much I paid for a relaxer. I was too embarrassed to tell her that I was paying $70. After further accessing the damage to my hair she told me that she felt I would benefit the most from the big chop. I think my hesitation was getting all of my hair cut off-how would it look; what would my family say etc.. She explained that getting the big chop would bring more attention to my features and how hair distracted from our natural features. My friends told me I had nothing to lose. They told me I was always talking about their hair, so they knew if I could get pass the fear I wouldn’t regret. One of them even volunteered to go with me if I decided to do it.

By the time I left my intervention, my mind had been made up. I was going to take a leap of faith and do it. I felt I had nothing to lose. A week later, I was sitting in the salon chair getting the big chop. I felt different emotions – sadness, fear, and hopefulness. But I still thought my hair could only get better, it couldn’t get worse. After the process was completed, I looked in the mirror and thought Wow. I really did it. I need some earrings. What will my husband say? I looked totally different. My friend and I went to the mall. Visited the make-up counters, brought earrings and just walked around. I felt I needed that time before I faced my family.

When I did get home about 8:30 that evening, my family was very supportive. They said they liked it. They admitted it was different, but as long as I was happy, they were too. Now a year later, my hair has grown tremendously. I hear from people constantly that they can’t believe how much thicker and healthier my hair is. Sometimes I spend hours on the internet or reading blogs on natural hair care. I attended a natural hair festival a few months ago that offered classes, instruction and products for natural hair care. It has been fun accessorizing with different headbands and earrings. It has been a process and I’m still learning about the care of natural hair. I’ve learned that not all natural hair is the same and its trial and error process with learning what product works for you. But what I look the most about my natural hair is the freedom I have. I can double strand twist, single strand twist, cornrows, twist out or regular afro. Throw on some make up or not. Put on some earrings and hold your head up high and step.

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The Big Chop: Naturally...I'm just saying!

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