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Going Natural: Tips for the Big Chop and TWA Hair

Posted Wednesday, 23 January 2013

"The Big Chop" is essentially cutting or shaving off all texturised, relaxed, chemically processed or damaged hair in one go with little or no growing out of hair and it's a great option for those of you eager to just to get started with natural hair as the process take less patience then transitioning.

The big chop can be exciting or on the other hand completely nerve-racking! So I've complied this guide for all those considering doing a big chop as a process of going natural or those who have done the big chop and need a bit more information, tips and advice. 

My Experience
In 2009 I choose to cut off all of my relaxed hair and boy, was it shock to my system! I'd been trying to transition to natural hair initially but I just knew I didn't have the patience for it at all plus my hair was breaking quite a bit - I want to compare it to a cat malting. So eventually I managed to get myself down to my regular salon to get it chopped. Now let me tell you, I'd be straight lying if I was to say I immediately loved my new Teenie Weenie Afro (also known as  a TWA). I wore a hat to college for the first couple of week to cover what I had done to my once beautiful hair. But once I got over my insecurity and confidence issue, I realised my TWA was cute and I looked naturally beautiful regardless. 

What I'm trying to say is... the big chop can be quite a daunting experience and you can worry yourself with thoughts of "what will everybody else think?" but that doesn't really matter, it's what you want to do that matters. I'm sure people thought I was absolutely crazy for cutting my "good hair" (so was I at stages) but now I completely love my natural hair and I think it was my best decisions. And it was only mine to make.


Tops tips for the big chop and TWA hair
  • Know what you are getting into and prepare yourself. Do your research and ask others about there experience big chopping so you can establish whether this is right for you and get advice about what works and doesn't.
  • Get your big chop done by the professionals. I say this because they'll have a better idea of how much to take off and they can give you a shorter cut that flatters your face.
  • Have an idea about what brands and products you want to try. Once again do your research into what brand and products could be good. Try to stay away from buying products just to try them out - product junkism (not sure if that's even a word) is an expensive habit.
  • Look into building a regime. Preparing this in advance can prevent from being overwhelmed when you are natural. I have a post on a building a simple natural hair care regime which can give you idea on what kinds of products are necessary and when and how to use them. Check that out here.
  • Moisture and condition! A lot of people complain of dryness after the big chop so make sure you find a good water-based moisturiser or leave-in conditioner plus you want to be sealing in moisture with a natural oil or butter. Deep conditioner are also a great way to restore moisture to dry hair and prevent damage.
  • Look at styles for short natural hair or TWAs. Google images, blogs and YouTube are always a good starting point. Oh and of course the My Kinks and Curls blog!
  • Be confident and don't worry about negative. Confidence is beautiful. Walk and talk with confidence and people will drawn to you because of it. Own your natural hair and don't worry about the haters.
  • Keep track of your progress and consider joining a natural hair forum. So many times I could of  thrown in the towel in but looking back on how far I had come and having people supporting on the same journey kept driving me forward. Also natural hair forum are great for picking up advice on products and styling techniques.
  • Play up your femininity. If you're like me, you might of thought or be thinking, "without long hair I look like a boy". And you most probably don't however, buying some cute accessories, wearing feminine outfits or some make-up can help you feel more comfortable with your short locks.
  • Enjoy your short hair. Don't let yourself ponder on the loss of your hair and all the styles you can't do with your short hair. Instead focus on the ease of the TWA and all the cute natural hair styles you can try out now and will be trying out in the future!


Hairstyle ideas for short natural hair:
Using Accessories
Twists
Flat Twists
Afro puff
Twistout
Coils and Finger coils
Bantu Knots
Parts


Recommended Products:
Once again I'd like to note, there is no one set of products that will work for everybody but I just wanted to compile a list of products  as a starting point to finding out what works well for you as an individual. Also check out some of my favourite products.
  • Shampoo (SLS-Free) - Australian Organics Intensive Care Shampoo, Giovanni, Kinky Curly or Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Shampoo
  • Deep conditioner - Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner and Jessicurl Too Shea Deep Conditioning Treatment
  • Moisturiser/Leave-in - Giovanni Direct Leave-In or Cantu Shea Butter Leave In
  • Styling - Eco Styler Gel, S Curl and Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream
  • Ingredients - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar