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Readers Respond: Reactions to My Big Chop

Responses: 29


Big Regrets

I decided to do the Big Chop when I woke up one day and my long hair got on my nerves. It reached my lower back close to my butt. I got it cut a little above my shoulder. At first I loved it, but at the middle stage I hate it! Im having so much trouble growing it back. I miss my long hair. I used to get complimented all the time. My boyfriend loved it. He still loves my hair, but I know deep down, he misses my long hair.
—Guest MC

Big chop

I decided to do the Big Chop on March 26, 2011. I had thought about it for months & with help from a dear friend, decided to do it. I felt like another person, relieved!! No more relaxers, no more sitting under the dryer with extra large rollers for 3+ hours, no more frizzies from the humid weather, no more tub stopped from my hair falling out from the perms, I can go on & on. I love my curly hair, it is absolutely beautiful & healthy. I just wash and I also make my own conditioners & shampoos. And, yes, I do have people touch my hair. I don't mind, I tell them it won't bite!! What I do not like is when another race touch my hair they rub their hands together because my hair does have oils in it & they are not accustomed to it, which makes me a little angry, but other than that, I don't mind at all. I feel free!!!! I wish all black women would do the big chop, they would save themselves from grief big time!!!

Remember Nothing Beats a Try

Did the BC in August 2010. First I liked it, then I didn't because of the frustrations of styling it. I mostly loved it because I didn't have to spend too much time with it, it was like wash and go. Sometimes I think about going back to the crack, but when I think about how much time and money I spent messing with the crack (perm), I ask myself are you crazy. I have gotten used to my natural short hair style and it has become me. My husband loves it, he tells me all the time to just leave my hair alone. My children have gotten used to it and tells me I look great with my natural hair. Tee in New Orleans
—Guest I Didn't Think It Would Work For Me

Natural and LOVING EVERY BIT of it!

I did the Big Chop when I was 17 years old, July 2010. I decided to go natural after watching old episodes of Soul Train. I admired the men and women who wore their natural hair freely. I have had my hair pulled out from micros and from hair coloring. My edges were barely there, and I did know what to do with my hair. Subsequently, I suffered from low self-esteem. I knew of the term natural but the only naturals I had ever seen were Erykah Badu, India Arie, and Jill Scott. I decided to go natural, but I did not want to transition. I wanted to be completely FREE of my relaxed hair. My mother did not agree with me getting the BC done, but she took me to the hair salon to get it done. I got 7-8 inches of relaxed hair cut off, and I was glowing from the inside. The two hair stylists had thought I had gone crazy and kept asking me, “Are you sure that you want your hair this short?”, “I’d even put a perm in for free.” I left the salon feeling like a BEAUTIFUL BLACK YOUNG WOMAN.
—Guest Jasmine


I did the big chop in June 26, 2009. Everyone looked at me as if i was a mental patient because they saw nothing wrong with my long relaxed tresses. I saw plenty wrong with it, total stress. The constant maintenance it required, the lengthy salon visits, the constant chemical burns because the stylist was a perfectionist. At first I missed the versatility and my kinks were exactly that. Finding styles were very difficult, so I searched online for different styles and products for managibility. I made it...going on two years and I wouldn't dream of going back. My hair is over 8 inches long when wet and my afro is so dramatic, I love being me and my identity is unique
—Guest Jannafer Jersey City

Loving my Big Chop

I did the big chop and was very happy with the outcome. Everyone loved it, so that kind of make it easier for me to deal with my bald head.
—Guest outerbeautysupply

Big Chop

Just did the big chop yesterday after a couple weeks of transitioning. My husband has been supportive through the whole process. My mother and sisters saw me today and mother said that she was not going to talk to me until my hair grew back and sisters were in shock. After the shock wore off they all like it...for me not them.
—Guest Tiffany

Big Chop

{ did the big chop 2 months ago and after the cut my hair was very dry. I am using Carols Daughter products and it is good. To enhance my curls I am using carefree curls and it works wonders.
—Guest Lady S

Away we Go!

I had shoulder-length, naturally curly hair and wanted to wear it straight so I permed it. What a mistake! So, I cut it short... to get that perm out. My family (mom especially) couldn't keep quiet, stating "Why u cut your pretty hair?! Just let it GROW!" And my response was, "It'll grow back." period. It'll. Grow. Back. And it has. Now it's in the 'middle stage' and I'm sometimes frustrated with what medium length style looks best. But, thank God for the wig, braids, twists and natural slick-back. I love being black. Our hair is so versatile and manipulative. Press it out, curl it up, wear it in wet rings or twist it down! Thank you, God!
—Guest halal_gal

Reponses were "Meh"

I was so self-conscious about being in public after my big chop but it turned out no one really cared. Most family and co-workers didn't think the style was attractive per se, but they didn't think I looked like a wildebeast either. I too had scab hair and so the hair felt dry and brittle to the touch; products didn't do much for it, I ended up having to cut off the first few inches. Overall I simply felt invisible after the BC, no one thought I looked great but I didn't get insulted either. I will admit that the sharp decrease in male attention bothered me and I ended up putting braids in for a few months. Intense reaction came later as my hair grew out.

Don't sweat the small stuff !

Folks worry too much about other folks' hair! To each her own & do what you want with YOUR hair! I chopped off my curly perm Feb 2009 & noticed my new growth was what's called "scab hair." Not my normal texture, wiry, brittle & breaking off, unmanageable,etc. I wore a wig while I learned about new products & hair care regimens from YouTube & natural hair sites. Got my hair back healthy again. Refused to wear a twa [editor's note: twa=teeny weeny afro] 'cause I always had a full head of hair & look better that way. Bro (who is BALD) nagged me to just do a twa 'cause it's the style. Told him DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF & I'll do things my way! Now hair's long enough to style & I did 2 strand twists & a synthetic afro puff. Loads of compliments from everyone! To all sisters out there who get negativity about their hair decisions, just tell folks there are more important things to worry about than other folks' hair so stop sweating the small stuff. Then just do what YOU want with YOUR HAIR!
—Guest NubianPrize

I did IT!!!

I did the big chop but I cut it leaving about 1 inch of relaxed hair. So yes my hair was short but I really just felt it was time to get rid of the hair and have a new beginning.
—Guest Cyan

Big Chop

I'd travelled outside of the country a few summers ago and hadn't been able to get a touch-up before my trip because my stylist overbooked and I didn't want to sit and wait, so I left. On my trip I mainly wore a ponytail, but kept thinking about what it would be like to just go natural. During the trip I convinced myself that I would transition for a year and then do the big chop. Needless to say that it did not work out that way. After just a few months of transitioning, I decided to cut it off out of sheer frustration. This was Fall 2007. I had the tiniest afro ever, but I didn't care. Since then my has has grown out and is now just past my shoulders in length because I had to get it cut so that both sides were even(one side was a lot longer than the other). I like having natural hair and I am no longer a slave to a hairdresser or products; I feel free!
—Guest mswilli

BC responses

Both, a few people said they hated it outright, but I think they just took the whole thing personally (my hair reached APL) and Africans really love/envy long hair. My family - hubby doesn't mind, my sister says it is ok (she is snorting because i keep playing with it) and the rest have no idea that I have cut it at all, I might not tell them til much later.
—Guest NC

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