the transition and the (semi) big chop

So, most of you who I talk to on a regular basis know that I’ve been going natural for the past 14 months.  Going natural basically means no longer using any chemical relaxers in my hair and letting it grow out, well, naturally.  A chemical relaxer would relax the curl, allowing for straight hair and to manage new hair growth, I used to get a re-touch (aka touch-up) of my hair every 10-12 weeks.  However, I got tired. Tired of relaxing and essentially damaging my hair not to mention paying for it.  Dependent upon the salon/stylist, I could spend anywhere from $60-120 every 10-12 weeks and without a consistent stylist administering it (all my transition between NJ and NC didn’t help), I was just damaging it even more.

So last October (2010), I decided enough is enough and that I would go natural.  I wanted the flexibility to wash ‘n go (wear it curly) or straighten it at the drop of a dime (the “old fashioned” blow dry and flat iron way) without using any chemicals, whatsoever.  This process is a big step for me though, as I’ve had relaxed hair since I was 7 years old with a pretty decent length to it.  Going natural would mean learning a whole new way of styling and maintaining my hair and to be quite honest, I had no idea it’d be this difficult.

When you transition, there are two main ways you can go about it — (1) chop all your straight hair off and start from scratch (also known as the big chop) or (2) let your hair continue to grow without relaxing it and slowly cut off the straight hair as the new natural curly hair grows in (also known as transitioning). Given my length, I chose option number 2.

Example of transitioning hair...see the curly, then straight? Exactly what my hair looks like now.

So for 14 months, I’ve been managing two different types of textures; curly roots and straight ends, which has been such a challenge. (Especially as time went on).  But as of FRIDAY, December 23, that will no longer be the case, because I’m cutting it off!

Well, not everything, but I’m making a major move here and cutting off the majority of, if not all of, the straight ends (definitely not the curly – only the straight). After looking through numerous hairstyles and cuts, and consulting with my mom, trusted-NJ stylist Lisa, and my fabulous friends (Kristin, Sinthya, Leslye, Randi and Vivian) who know how hair obsessed I am, I’ve finally decided to channel my inner Rihanna and get what is called a graduated stacked bob.  Unfortunately, her eyes, her voice and her skinny lil body are NOT included.

Yes, please!

Love, love, love!

Cutting my hair to fit the graduated bob style will basically cut off my straight ends, so the majority, if not all of my hair will be back to its natural roots.  I will be able to straighten my curly hair (with the good old blow dryer) and tap it with a curling iron to achieve the way it looks in the Rihanna photos or wash it and wear it curly (letting it dry naturally or blow-drying with a diffuser). Obviously, I will have to put some product into it (and possibly a headband here and there) so I don’t look like I have a fro or look like Crusty the Clown, lol.  But I figure because it will be shorter and I’ll have less hair, it’ll be good for working out and easier for maintenance in Argentina.  Not to mention, it’ll be a great, fun hair style for the new year.

Am I worried about having shorter hair? Yea, a tad.  But, the good thing is hair grows so worse case, it’ll grow right back.  But this time, it’ll grow in it’s natural state.

So you might be asking — what’s my end or longer-term goal for my hair?  Well, I’m still deciding but I want it to grow a bit longer and then rock the wash ‘n go style.  Here is Ya-Ya (from America’s Next Top Model) and some ways I could wear it, or what the “curls” could look like.

Love this!
Bold and Beautiful!

Anyway, I will be sure to post pictures after my cut.  Wish me luck!

(And shout out to my mom who did the big chop a while ago…and Leslye and Randi who both went natural a few years ago and Vivian who is currently transitioning, too!)

4 thoughts on “the transition and the (semi) big chop

  1. AH! i love that you are channeling your inner rihanna. love that girl and i think the look will suit you. can’t wait to see it!!! i really love that you took the pics of your hair to share with us too!!!

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