The Big Chop can be a time of great excitement and anticipation and/or it can be a time of dread. From the time we are little girls we are conditioned to value, even covet long hair. For African-American women getting length can be a lifelong challenge. When we decide to transition we often look ways to make the transition from permed hair to natural hair without having to sacrifice length. But, at some point, it’s inevitable. We will have to do The Big Chop.
I will bet that I am not alone in having felt the pain associated with a truly awful Big Chop. It took years to decide to finally go natural. I had been getting my hair permed since I was 21 years old. I had an old school Mom who decided she would not perm my hair and that I could get it permed when I was old enough and could afford to pay for it. I was in college when that happened. I permed for about 25 years. I had relaxed my hair for so long that I forgot what my natural hair even looked like.
When I had finally talked myself into getting the Big Chop, I went to the stylist who had been perming my hair. I should have known things were not going to go well when I arrived and she looked frantic and busy. I had made an appointment, so I tried not to get too nervous when she was running behind schedule. I should have rescheduled at that point. But, I had spent so much time and effort to get myself to the point where I had finally made the appointment, I decided to stick it out.
The cut was terrible. This was a woman who was only used to working with straight hair. My hair was totally uneven, and each time she tried to straighten it up she cut even more off. Finally, she gave up and sent me on my way. I was so upset and horrified that I drove home in tears. Why had I done this? What was I thinking? I ended up going to someone else to shape it up and even it up. It all worked out in the end, but not without some real anguish.
I can’t end this story on a sad note. There is hope. There are fantastic stylists out there who can do magic with our natural hair. We just have to learn how to seek them out and to be willing to share with each other to spread the word.
My new policy on getting a haircut now is to look at someone who has a cut I like and ask for the number of their stylist. I will find styles on Pinterest or on the internet and take a picture to a reliable person who has shown she (or he) knows what they are doing.
I have a few local stylists now that I can trust. References for a good stylist has served me well and I highly advise using that formula. I am happy with the cuts I am getting now!!! We would love to hear your bad cut stories. I know I’m not the only one. Are you willing to share?
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