Story written by Michaela Cammack, Dailyflipz Health Reporter
When thinking about going natural, or having your hair in a state with no chemical manipulation, there are two ways of doing so.
One route is through the big chop. What this simply means is that you cut all chemically manipulated, or damaged hair and start new.
Jordan McClain, a natural hair advocate, believes big chopping is “...more liberating and forces you to actually get to ‘know’ your hair and yourself in the process.”
Before big chopping, it is essential to know what your next steps will be after you've gone through with it.
Protective styling for your newly chopped hair is one way to care for it post chop. Wearing your hair in it’s natural state, braiding, and other such styles are good for the beginning stages of one's natural hair journey. These styles require minimum manipulation of the hair strand promoting growth.
In Jordan's personal experience “[Big chopping] takes the dependency off length and social norms.” For some this may reign true, but it can sometimes be hard to shake off preconceived ideas on how society has viewed short textured hair.
As Jordan has stated, this is a time to get to know and grow along with your hair, so experiment with what works best for you and your hair.
The other route you can take is to transition over time with the chemically manipulated hair still intact. Pramae Glinton, a managing cosmetology graduate from carousel, says this method is used for individuals who are not fond of short hair.
She says “this allows one to get the hang of taking care of their hair before cutting it all off and starting over.” This method could be damaging to the natural hair underneath if not done properly.
The two different textures oppose each other and Pramae would not recommend transitioning for long periods of time. This is because it causes “...unnecessary strain on the healthy hair.”
Protective styles or low manipulation styles are best. This way the two strands do not interfere with each other and cause more damage.
Combining the transitioning and big chop method is also an option. Transitioning til you've reached a desired hair length then cutting it off is most popular among the natural hair community.
This article lays out the Pros and Cons of transitioning vs the "Big Chop"!
This is a photo of what transitioning looks like.
Story edited by Health & Business Editor Taylor Whitney