Natural Hair 101- Big Chop Vs Transistioning

Big Chop vs Transitioning

Sometimes as a natural hair blogger I tend to assume that everyone knows what the big chop means or what transitioning means and that’s a big error on my part because, lots of women have no clue what those two words mean in natural hair lingo. So I’ve decided to write a few posts on Natural Hair basics in the coming months. These posts will explain what some words in natural hair lingo mean and how they may or may not affect your natural hair journey.

So, the big question, to Big Chop or to Transition? 

My answer is, it depends on you.

The big chop means to cut all or most of your hair off to have a fresh start.

To transition means to slowly grow out your natural hair while leaving your relaxed ends attached.

So if you want a new start immediately and you are truly fine with shaving all your hair off then by all means do the big chop. Just don’t do it because someone else did it, do it for you!

Just recently, I met someone who had already mentally prepared herself to cut her hair and she came all the way from Abuja to make sure no one would talk her out of it.

That’s what I mean by do it for you and rock your bald head or short fro with confidence. Eventually everyone comes around to your decision.

To transition requires dealing with two different textures on ones head. It requires patience, gentle hands and optimal care because the point at which the relaxed and natural hair meet is very fragile and prone to breakage.

Four years ago, I chose to transition because I wanted to be able to style my natural hair in a bun before cutting my relaxed ends off. I transitioned for approximately 7 months and then spontaneously decided to cut off my relaxed ends.

In summary, choosing between doing the big chop or transitioning should be a personal decision. Just know that, the big chop liberates you from your relaxed ends immediately while transitioning allows you to grow your hair for as long as you want before cutting your relaxed ends off. Either way, you’ve made one of the best decisions for your hair, and that is. to grow and care for it naturally.
Did you big chop or transition? Why? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

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  1. It’s always good to get back to basics. I am currently transitioing and I’m over 8 momths post relaxer. I decided to transition because the first time I went natural I did the big chop. I really didn’t like have very short hair. Also, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do it.

  2. I did a big chop…Cause i wanted to rock d low cut..and pour water on my head always..and barb my hair in different styles…..and honestly am enjoying it….but want to start growing my natural hair now….pls would love you to recommend good products so i can start with…thanks!

    1. My mum did that too. There’s just this liberating feeling when one does the big chop. I’d love to recommend products to you but first, where do you live so I can recommend products within your area.

  3. I just started out and did the big chop. I just wanna know how do I keep my hair moisturized? Which products are best for it? And for when I sleep? Thank u

              1. I use Pantene shampoo and conditioner. I shampoo my hair once every two weeks (I also use olive oil after I shampoo and before I condition) I condition once a week. Afterwards I use coconut oil and tie my hair in a plastic bag for about an hour and let it air dry. I use the coconut oil every two days tho

                1. Do you tie your hair in a plastic bag to air dry or deep condition? Try to add a leave in conditioner or hair spritz before you use your coconut oil. It’ll help you retain more moisture. I recommend Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier & Dr Miracles Curl Care Leave in Conditioner.

  4. I did the big chop for my hair and I just wanna know what’s the best product to keep my hair moisturized? And to use when I’m sleeping?

  5. I did the big chop so I was wondering which products will keep my hair most? Which products are best when I’m sleeping?

  6. I did the big chop cos my edges were receding and it was ugly. Am one month and a week down do road now and it feels good and the edges look better. I use the can’t range of products though I don’t know my hair type and it works for me . I also use a sea butter,castor oil and coconut oil to help my edges grow back ,heal the follicles and massage my scalp.

  7. Hi I just decided to transition to natural hair. My hair is 3 months post relaxing it. Pls recommend products to use. I’m in Lagos Nigeria. I av long hair n my hair is thinning. Don’t want to big chop. Saw ur hair and got encouraged. My 12 year old daughter wants to join me bt is scared of the pain. I hear local Shea Butter n coconut oil is good. Can I braid to grow my hair meantime?

    1. Hi Mercy! Thank you for being encouraged. First of all, yes you cam grow your hair under braids but you will still need to moisturize it to prevent it from breaking. I recommend my favorite hair spritz which you can find here.!/Taliah-Waajid-Protective-Mist-Bodifier/p/66757584/category=19572337 Shea butter and coconut oil are great sealants for natural hair but you’ll still need a water based moisturizer before applying both or one of them. Once you get the technique and products right, your hair will always be soft. In other words, there is no pain so your daughter doesn’t need to worry at all.

  8. Hi want to transition to natural hair. My long hair is thinning. I’m 3 months post relaxing. My daughter wants to join me bt scared of the pain. Pls recommend products to use. I’m in Lagos Nigeria. Can I braid meantime to grow my hair?

  9. Hi Chinwe,
    Saw your hair and I was really encouraged to embark on this natural hair journey I’ve been scared of. I would like to transition I haven’t applied relaxer since July. I would like to know the range of products to be using because I haven’t started using any product yet. How do I care and wash the hair to make it all soft for combing?

    1. Hi Fechi!
      I’m so glad you are inspired. Have you downloaded my App yet? It will help you with your regimen. That is, to keep your hair soft and manageable for combing. Where do you live so I can recommend products for you.

      1. Hie juliet. Thanks for your blog dear. I am transitioning l have always liked my natural hair but was clueless on how to take care of it and really grow it to great length.


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