If you haven’t heard the term big chopping before, let me explain exactly what it is. The big chop is the act of taking your natural hair journey from transitioning to officially 100% natural in a matter of minutes. The term “big chop” is the act of cutting off all of your relaxed hair, leaving only your beautiful new growth – which is natural hair.
This is the quickest way to go natural and extremely unlike the alternative – transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. It’s not only different in physical approach, but it’s also different mentally.
To big chop you have to emotionally detach yourself from your hair’s length and also being a little sporadic helps. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to a women’s hair length. Clearly, one length does not fit everyone. For those of you who decide to take the plunge and big chop – there are many benefits.
Top 5 Benefits of the Big Chop
5. Immediate Gratification
As you know, we now live in a world where many people want immediate gratification. We no longer want to wait for our hair to grow and would rather install weave to have immediate length. If you’re one of these people, then the big chop is definitely for you. When you big chop, your natural hair journey starts immediately. You begin your natural hair journey with whatever new growth you have at the time.
Have you ever wanted to feel like a superstar? If so, you should definitely big chop. Everyone who knows you will want to discuss your new teeny weeny afro (TWA) hairstyle. People you know will be amazed at your new cut and will probably view it as a badge of courage.
3. Products work better
Listen up – product junkies. One of the biggest benefits of big chopping is that you only have to deal with the texture(s) of your natural hair, instead of your relaxed hair texture also. It’s very difficult to cater to both relaxed hair and natural hair textures. Many women decide to big chop because of this issue, since dealing with multiple textures can be frustrating to many women. With only natural hair on your head, you will have a better understanding of how products actually work for you and your hair.
2. Girl Power
Don’t you just love accessories? What about head bands, slinky earrings, eye catching lip gloss and cute eye shadow? Big chopping allows women to accentuate their natural beauty which can be covered up by our hair at times.
To big chop a woman needs to carry a great deal of confidence and fierceness. Need I say more?
Kira’s Big Chopping Experience
When I spontaneously big chopped, I chopped off a chunk of my hair on the left side of my head.
My logic was to cut my hair in an even afro. However, once I began cutting, I felt the urge to cut more and more. I was cutting chunks from the same area, and there was a dent in the front when I picked out my natural afro.
To make the chunk of hair that I cut out less noticeable, I simply patted my afro down, extra tight, and I also wore afro puffs.
My mistake can make your journey easier. Spontaneity can be an excellent quality to have, but in hindsight, I needed a plan that explained how I was going big chop.
I needed to understand what tools to use and a visual guide to ensure that I didn’t cut off more hair than necessary. So, I needed a gauge that helped me determine when I had chopped off enough; so I could put the scissors down and back way.
After giving it much thought, I came to the determination that I could’ve used rubber bands to aid in the big chopping process. Below I’ll explain how to use rubber bands for your big chop.
You will need the following:
- Freshly washed hair that has been allowed to air dry. We don’t recommend blow drying, flat ironing or stretch your hair before big chopping because you will need to see the line of demarcation clearly. The line of demarcation is where the natural hair and relaxed hair intersect.
- Rubber Bands are needed so that you can easily mark the line of demarcation.
- It’s important to use quality hair cutting shears. Please do not cut your hair with dull scissors. Dull scissors or low quality hair cutting shears may damage your hair.
- It’s helpful if you can see your hair from different angles, so I recommend using two mirrors. Having one hand held mirror and a one wall mounted mirror is optimal to achieve the viewing angles needed to easily big chop.
- You’ll need a wide-tooth comb to make parts as you section off your hair.
- Butterfly clips or duck bill clips will help keep your hair together when you section through your hair.
- Rubber Bands / Goody Ouchless Elastics
- Hair Cutting Shears
- Hand Mirror
- Wide Tooth Comb
- Butterfly Clips / Duck Bill Clips
How To Do the Big Chop Yourself
Step 1. Using the comb, section off your freshly washed hair into four large sections using the diagram below as a guide. Remember to leave the plastic cap on the areas of your hair not currently being sectioned.
- Part or section your hair from ear to ear. Use the blue line starting with 1 and ending with 2 in the diagram below as a guide.
- Next, using the orange line starting with 3 and ending with 4 in the diagram, part your hair down the center from forehead to nape.
- Use the butterfly clips or duck bill clips to keep each section separated.
Step 2. After the hair has been separated into four sections, working from the right front section just above your ear, make two parts so that you will have three equal sections. Use the diagrams below as a guide.
Step 3. Working within the three sections, starting on row one, section your hair into square parts and place a rubber band right above the new growth. The new growth represents your natural hair. The size of each square is determined by the amount of new growth you have. If there is very little new growth the squares may be smaller. If there is a lot of new growth, the squares may be larger. The goal is to have each square sectioned off with a rubber band so that the line of demarcation is exposed above the rubber band. Having the line of demarcation visible allows you to use it as a guide as you cut the relaxed ends off of your hair.
Step 4. Continue to rubber band the entire right front section. Keep in mind two things: (1) If you want uniform hair, align each rubber band with the one beside it. This will make all the rubber bands even. When banding a new section, be sure to use a previously banded section as a guide. (2) If you are not concerned about having even hair, then rubber band the hair just below the line of demarcation. This way, you have the greatest chance of cutting off all of your relaxed ends. Once you finish, there may be a need to go back and snip a little.
Step 5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for the remaining sections of your hair. Remember to use the mirror so you’re able to see the back of your head as you create sections.
Once your entire head has been sectioned off into banded squares, cut off your relaxed hair, including the rubber band.