By: Shea Harris
On January 16, 2016 it will be my 1st anniversary of being natural. Going natural wasn’t really something I had been thinking about for an extended amount of time. Going natural kind of came out of no where. A lot of my peers were transitioning to the natural side and me, oh I was just getting my relaxers. Unfortunately, once my hairstylist retired my hair stopped growing. When I realized my hair wouldn’t grow past my shoulders, I had to make a decision. I transitioned for 3 petty months and just became impatient. No matter what I did, my new growth wasn’t growing as much as I wanted it to.
On January 16, 2015 I made the bold decision to do the big chop. I was tired of becoming frustrated with my hair being two textures. My go to hair styles were not cute any more and I convinced myself it was just hair. I only told about 3 people I was doing the big chop and for the most part, they did not believe me. Everyone around me was so used to seeing my long, relaxed hair it was a shock to see me with no hair. I mean if I’m being honest with myself, I was shocked to start over as well.
I didn’t cut my hair off to join the natural wave or because of issues I was having in my personal life. I cut my hair off because it was completely unhealthy. My hair would not grow and hairstyles were difficult to manage. A few people have asked me which side I like better: natural or relaxed? To be honest don’t have a problem with either. It took me 2 hours to wash, style and dry my relaxed hair. It takes me 3 hours to wash, deep condition and style my natural hair (I let my hair air dry). The hour difference is because of the deep conditioning. My hair has always been thick, tough to detangle and manage to style in a reasonable amount of time.
I knew once I became natural, I would have to take extra care of my hair. With my very dry and coarse hair, I have no choice but to keep my hair moisturized. Prior to the big chop, I immediately did my research online to figure out how to keep it moisturized. Over this past year, my hair has become a fan of deep conditioning and the L.O.C. method (leave in conditioner, oil, cream). As I expressed earlier, my wash day takes hours and afterwards I don’t want to do anything else. As long as you keep your hair moisturized, you’re good to go! Now let me be clear, what works for me may not necessarily work for you. I was fortunate enough to use the same products I used when I transitioned.
If you’re thinking of doing the big chop, I would definitely suggest it. The best part of my big chop was being able to wake up in the morning and not messing in my hair (too bad I can’t do that now).
If you’re interested in the products I use, here they are
- Shampoo: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shampoo (Walmart, Target, etc.)
- Deep Conditioner: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle conditioner
- L: Cantu Leave-In Conditioning repair cream (Walmart)
- O: Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Unrefined (Walmart)
- C: Bekura Honey Latte Detangling Hair Milk (Beauty by Nature)
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (Walmart, Target, etc.)