Pros and Cons of the Big Chop - The Quick Path to Natural Hair

The Good vs. the Bad

A big chop style
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Once you make the decision to stop chemically altering your hair, you need to decide how you're going to go about it. Will you transition to natural hair? This process can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the length of your hair and how quickly it grows. Or will you choose the quicker route, also known as the Big Chop? Before making your decision, check out these pros and cons of cutting all your hair at once.

Big Chop Pros

There are some good points to getting rid of all processed hair at one time.

One Texture

When you cut away all of your chemically straightened tresses, you instantly have only one texture to deal with. Transitioning women often have a difficult time working with two different textures, particularly if they're markedly different. The big chop eliminates all of that. You have one texture to style. It may not be what you were expecting, but it's yours. Whichever products and styling techniques you use, you'll get uniform results with your 100% natural mane.

Easy Care/Time Saver

Super short cuts are very low maintenance and easy to care for. In many cases, your styling routine will be cut down to mere minutes. Apply the products of your choice and brush, comb or pick your hair. You can also spritz your 'do with water if that helps in the styling department. You may have to find new products for grooming, such as water-based gels and mousses.

But shampooing and conditioning should also be quick and simple once you eliminate all of the combing and detangling.

No Weather Worries

When your hair is relaxed or pressed, how many times have you run for cover when it began to rain? Did you have a collection of plastic rain caps, umbrellas and rain coats at the ready?

Once you big chop, you may find yourself "singin' in the rain" because water won't ruin your style. This can be extremely liberating. In addition to no longer worrying about the weather forecast for the day, you can feel free to swim anytime because your 'do won't suffer from getting wet.

Big Chop Cons

As many positives as there can be to taking this route, there's also flip side to the good points of cutting off most of your hair.

Dislike Short Hair

Not everyone loves how she looks with short hair. Some women feel that their heads are too large or not the "perfect" shape for such a short snip. Other women simply prefer how they look with long hair. It's a matter of preference, and if you like longer hair, there's very little anyone will be able to tell you to change your mind. If you hate short hair, the big chop may not be the best option if you wind up being unhappy with your appearance.

Few Styles Options

With hair this short, you don't have a lot of options when it comes to styling. You will in a few months once your hair has grown out some, but at first, the teeny weeny afro will be your only choice, unless you choose to change things up with wigs from time to time. This is a good time to experiment with makeup, eye-catching earrings and to play around with headbands, if you get tired of looking at the same style day after day.

For women who love switching up their hairstyles nearly every day, this lack of versatility may feel confining and boring.

Negative Attitude from Others

It's your hair, right? Unfortunately, as some women who have big chopped have discovered, it may be their hair, but everyone has an opinion about it. This could be your parents, significant others, siblings, even strangers on the street! Many women who cut their hair ultra short will face some negativity from someone in their lives. The trick to getting through it is to remain strong and confident in your decision. At the end of the day, it is your hair and no one else's. Still, if you need to practice your responses in case you catch any negative vibes, try doing so in front of a mirror or with the assistance of a sympathetic friend.

Weighing Your Options

Before making that appointment at your salon or reaching for those shears yourself, carefully weigh the pros and cons of such a big decision.

Some women are pleasantly surprised to find that they love their new short cut; they may appreciate the wash-and-go aspect that shaves minutes off their grooming routine every day. Others may find the negative attention from those closest to them disheartening. Whichever road you choose when you decide to stop relaxing your hair, it should be a way that works for you, your lifestyle and your hair's health.