Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Do Your Own Big Chop

As I mention in my hair story, I did my own big chop after a 7 month transition.   Unless you are planning to just use a hair clipper to cut all of your hair down to a teeny-weenie afro (TWA), there are important things to keep in mind when doing your own big chop:

1.  Use a sharp pair of hair scissors.  Just like with trimming your hair, you must use sharp scissors or you will create split ends.  These should be scissors specifically dedicated to cutting your hair.  If you use them for other things, they may be dull.

2.  Saturate your strands to make the distinction between textures more apparent.  Personally, I preferred to use conditioner, rather than water, to do this because it really helped to clump my relaxed strands together.

3.  Do not assume that all straight pieces are relaxed hair.  Prior to doing your own big chop, you should have a good idea of how long your natural hair is.  Otherwise, if you have multiple textures on your head, you may accidentally assume that some of the looser curls are relaxed ends.  I made this mistake in a few places.  After I did my initial cut and I went back over my head to catch the straight ends I missed, I saw a few straighter ends at the top.  At the time, I thought they were relaxed strands, but they were not.  I didn't know that my curl is looser at the crown than on the sides, back and front.  A simple guideline for hair growth is 1/2 inch per month, but also look at your hair to locate the demarcation line.

4.  Take your time.  There is no hurry, and if you rush, you will either miss relaxed ends or accidentally cut your natural strands.   Start by cutting off the ends that are clearly relaxed, leaving about an inch of relaxed hair behind.  Then, using small sections, begin refining the cut.  Take each small section, gently pull it as straight as possible and then cut where you see the relaxed hair ends and the natural hair begins.  If you are nervous about cutting off too much, you can always cut down to where you feel comfortable, and then trim later as your hair grows out.

Now that you have those important points in mind, HAPPY CUTTING!  

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