If you’ve been natural for a while you’ve probably spent time trying to maximize your hair growth and reach your terminal length. Most naturals have experienced hair longer than they have ever experienced before; especially compared to the days they permed their hair. We all remember the struggles experienced when first going natural, especially if you big chopped. Not only was it a time to come accustomed to having natural hair, it was also an adjustment to wear extremely short hair, many for the first time. Whether you shaved your head or cut it into a TWA (teeny-weeny Afro), the big chop required a level of boldness, never required before. For many, it was empowering and liberating to no longer be tied to the conventional mandates of beauty.
So why would anyone want to go through the process again, when they have been natural for years? Some of our favorite vloggers have big chopped for a second time, even those who had waist length hair. Have you ever thought of big chopping again. Maybe you are going through a hair rut. Here are eight reasons to big chop again.
1. You can grow it back
The first time a person big chops, it really is a big deal. For most it takes a great deal of courage. However, if you’ve been natural for a while you would have learned to manage your hair and ensure its healthy growth. Simply being natural means the hair is no longer weakened by chemicals, unlike in your relaxed hair days. Therefore, your natural hair retains much more length. In the past, many of us have looked at women of other races who cut their hair all the time and grow it back effortlessly. Women with Afro textured hair can do the same and many of us are beginning to realize this. Don’t let fear prevent you from changing your style and going for the big chop again. What you have learned about managing your natural hair will ensure you are able to grow it back when you’re ready.
2. You can enjoy the convenience of having short hair again
Long, thick, luscious hair is desirable. However, for those who have had long hair for years, it can become tiresome. Long hair doesn’t necessarily allow you to get up and go. Wash days and detangling can take much longer than they would with short hair. Styling can also be more time-consuming with long hair. Although short hair can also have its challenges, it usually offers more convenience. If you cut your hair into a short-cropped style, you really can just get up and go. Wearing your hair in a TWA is also very convenient. The shorter the hair, the less need to incorporate styling methods, such as twist outs and braid outs. When my hair was a TWA, I simply sprayed it with water and glycerin, fluffed it out, and was ready to go.
3. It will instantly eliminate damaged hair
Unfortunately, a person may not have a choice but to big chop again, due to: severe damage, caused by heat; chemicals, such as hair dyes; and excessive use of protective styles, such as weaves, wigs and braids. Vlogger Jenell B Stewart big chopped for a second time due to damage from prolonged and continuous protective styling. Taren Guy discovered her natural hair texture was very different from what she thought it was, after a second big chop. She had more heat damage than she had realized, it wasn’t until she cut off her damaged ends that she discovered her curls were a lot tighter. Now, she has transformed her style and usually wears her hair in thick Afros.
Holding onto damaged hair for the sake of length may simply be putting length before healthy hair. Hair that is long but looks unhealthy may simply not be worth holding onto. Shorter healthier looking hair will look and feel much better. It will be fuller and you will experience less shedding and breakage. Don’t be afraid to address any damage your hair has suffered. The longer it is ignored the more harm done to the hair.
4. A second big chop doesn’t have to be boring and limited to one style
A second big chop doesn’t have to mean simply grabbing a razor and shaving your head. There are numerous short styles to choose from, such as: Deva Cuts, Tapered Cuts, Undercuts and TWAs. You do not have to go as short as you did when you first went natural. You can use your length to play around with layers and rock a style of different proportions. It may be an opportunity to be more adventurous with your hair, and researching different styles can be a fun project. Be clear on what you want when you speak with your hairstylist or barber; take pictures and give clear descriptions. Some people even like to go into the salon with no idea of what they want and leave it entirely up to the stylist to surprise them. It depends on how daring you want to be, and of course you have to go to a stylist you can trust.
6. It can boost confidence.
A second big chop may simply be a reminder that your beauty isn’t defined by your hair length. Many women have a tendency to equate hair length to beauty and even self-worth. It may also affect the way you are perceived by others; some women feel like others define them by their hair. For this reason, cutting your hair can be liberating, in the same way it was when you first big chopped. For some women it is a deeply personal decision to cut their hair. It may cause them, and others, to focus on different aspects of their beauty, besides hair. It may truly become a learning experience for everyone concerned.
8. It may be about more than just hair
Some reasons for a second big chop may come from changes in lifestyle. New mothers for instance do it to reduce the amount of time they spend styling their hair. There are also some women who big chop for very serious reasons, for example: to show solidarity to a friend or family member who has lost their hair due to sickness. There are even people sponsored by certain charities to cut their hair to raise money, and awareness of certain causes. Some women donate their hair to make wigs for young girls and women battling cancer. Young black girls benefit from these Afro textured wigs that match their natural hair texture; as opposed to straight European style wigs, which are more prevalent. Check out the video below of Nikki Mae of Natural Chica donating her precious tresses. Remember, all hair textures are valued and considered worthy of donating, contrary to common misconceptions and myths about natural hair.
Would you ever consider big chopping again? Or, have you already done it? Share your reasons below.
Thanks for reading!