UPDATE | 3-months post big chop (ADVICE ALERT!)
“I love my hair because it’s a reflection of my soul. It’s dense, it’s kinky, it’s soft, it’s textured, it’s difficult, it’s easy and it’s fun. That’s why I love my hair.”
- Tracee Ellis Ross
Good Morning, everyone!
Hope you all are having a good week! I'm doing what I promised and giving y'all a three-months post big chop update!
First, I wanted to let you know that my natural hair wasn't a "big change" in my life. I did go from 22 inches of (real) hair to about 5 inches within the last 3 years. However, I've been wanting to try something different, but wasn't ready to totally "chop" my hair until June of this year.
I haven't had any drastic "pitfalls" so far, in regards to my hair texture or using the wrong products. But, I feel the need to give some advice if you're looking to retain some length.
Disclaimer: This all depends on your hair. My hair does naturally grow fast. However, I think this advice could be universal, especially if you're just starting out.
1. YouTube and Pinterest will be your best friend during and after your transition (if you decide to transition)!
I can guarantee all of your questions are going to be answered.
There's hundreds of videos on big chops, twist-outs, bantu knots, curly hair products, hair typing (don't like those), etc.
Don't be afraid to start doing research and learning about new things. You want to start your natural hair journey off right.
2. You don't have to spend unnecessary money on products.
I made the worst decision by paying hundreds of dollars on products, when all I needed were a couple of "staples." Staple products are your "go-to" products.
The main reason why I did buy those products was so I could quickly find my staples and get that process over with. Take your time and see what your hair likes and what it doesn't.
3. Don't be scared to ask your friends for advice.
Find out what they struggled with while they were transitioning/going natural for the first time.
Just asking for advice could save you from personal struggles, ALONE.
You don't want to make the same mistakes!
4. Make your own homemade deep conditioners/protein treatments!
If you have eggs, mayo, olive oil, and more in your kitchen, USE IT!
You come out cheaper and can use the same things you put in your mouth, in your head too!
5. Deep condition your hair every week!
Moisture retention is a must for healthy hair growth.
Hair always grows, but that doesn't mean it's growing HEALTHY.
You have to take care of your scalp and oil it with natural oils. Try to stay away from old school hair grease. (It worked for me back then, but my acne says issa no, now.)
6. Make your own hair routine!
Try to fit your wash day schedule around your personal schedule.
You can't do a wash day going off of someone else's schedule.
I do my wash days on Sundays, because that's when I have the most free time. Even then, I still have to work around that day sometimes.
7. Be gentle with your hair & don't rush while styling!
Try to finger comb, instead of using a regular comb.
If you are a comb person, try either a Denman brush or a wide-tooth comb. Only use rat-tails for slicking edges or parting hair. Nothing else!
8. I noticed my hair was growing when I didn't have to pick it anymore.
I used to pick, and pick, and pick my hair until it couldn't be picked anymore! You can get a pick from Walmart or Sallys, but I recommend that you don't pick it everyday (like I did at first)!
Something clicked when I realized my hair would still shrink (because it was healthy), but my 'fro was getting bigger! I didn't need a pick anymore and haven't picked my hair since July!
9. Protective styling is a MUST!
Box braid, sew-ins (w/o leave-out), bantu knots, twist-outs, wigs and the list goes on! You need these in order to achieve hair growth "faster."
Manipulation with natural hair needs to be at a minimum to prevent breakage and overall thinning.
Take care of your hair & make sure you take all styles out gently.
Make sure you try to do a hot oil and/or deep conditioning treatment before PS and a protein treatment after PS, because you do/can leave these styles in for 1-3 months max.
10. All hair grows!!! Your hair is growing--regardless if you see it or you don't!
A lot of POC don't like when others say this, but hair does grow. However, it does depend on genetics sometimes and how well you take care of your hair for how LONG/THICK/THIN/CURLY/KINKY/STRAIGHT it grows.
Genetics, not meaning race/ethnicity, but how healthy you are; do you have people in your family with long hair---is their hair growth consistent, regardless of manipulation? So on and so forth.
Don't forget your trims!
I will put a gallery below on how my hair looked in the past and just more comparisons between then and now!