Big chopping my hair instead of doing a full transition from relaxed to natural was a very personal decision. My first time ever cutting my hair short was in 2010 when I opted for a bob cut. I was in my sophomore year of college and wasn't able to make the 45 minute drive across town every two weeks to get my hair done. I was doing it myself, or having one of my friends do it, and needless to say my hair was beginning to become damaged. The cut was liberating. For the first time I felt like I was in control of my hair, like I had a real say in my appearance.
Me, two days after doing my big chop.
(Cut to March 2012).
After growing out my relaxer for seven months, I decided to do the big chop on a whim while sitting at my cousin's dining room table. I knew I wanted to big chop, but it wasn't planned. For me, getting rid of my relaxer was about accepting myself for me. I was in my last semester of college and as I embarked on my career and my path in life I wanted to be as organically me as possible. I had also researched many of the horrible diseases that have been linked to perms in African American women like uterine fibroids.
Me last week, 11 months post-relaxer, 4 months post big chop.
Big chopping probably one of the most spontaneous things I've ever done in my life. I spent the next two to three weeks very self-conscious about my hair and how I looked.On the one hand I loved it. Then two seconds later I hated it. It was a pain to twist. The reactions from family and friends ranged from loving it and highlighting my new edgy look to complete disdain.
Today, going I am 100% sure that going natural was one of the best experiences of my life. It was liberating. I felt like I could see the world clearly for the first time in my life. I even wrote an article in Urbanite Magazine "A Woman's Hair Is Like Her Helmet," highlighting my natural hair journey and local entrepreneurs who are creating a hub for natural hair in Baltimore.