Friday, September 21, 2012

Big Chop or Big Mistake?


Clutch is one of my favorite online magazines, and while browsing through the website earlier this week one headline grabbed my attention instantly: The Big Chop Might've Been My Big Mistake. In the post Janelle Harris expressed many of the feelings that kept me from even considering going natural until I realized there was more than one way to "skin a cat" as the old expression goes.


If you're unfamiliar with the Big Chop or BC as it's known in the natural hair community, its cutting off all of your relaxed ends which generally results is a tiny afro, that can be really flattering for some (just look at the picture of Solange in this post-Stunning!) and not so much on others. I have a really round face, and straight or curly, I've never looked good with short hair. (I tried out a few wigs to see how short hair would work on me and it was never my best look). While I know people who have loved their BC and said it made them feel liberated, stylish, and sexy, I was certain I wouldn't have the same response.
The first choice you have to make when you decide to go natural is do I BC or Transition, and that choice brought me face to face with the truth about how I feel about my beauty and how much my hair affects my self esteem. Growing up I can recall refusing to trim my damaged split ends in an effort to hang on to every inch of hair growing from my scalp. I didn't want to be the girl with short hair. The term "good hair" is one that's not PC but it was a very real factor when I was growing up. For black girls, long hair curly or straight was good and short hair was bad. That way of thinking is ridiculous and I'm glad I grew out of it because women are beautiful no matter what length their hair is.

However, if I'm being honest about my motive to go natural, I made the decision after seeing naturals achieve bra strap and even waist length hair after just a few years. As I'm writing this I realize my reasons sound shallow and vain, but I've always wanted long hair, and I knew that going natural had the potential to give me what I wanted. I just couldn't begin that journey with the BC.

The decision to BC is a big one, and it's going to change more than just the way you look, it could change the way you feel about yourself. So if you're not emotionally ready to the girl with the short hair the big chop may not be the way for you to go, and that's ok. It's better to admit to a little vanity than to be the girl with fresh big chop and serious regrets.



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