How To Prepare Yourself For A Big Chop |

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How To Prepare Yourself For A Big Chop

21 May 2018
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Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Associate Editor,

As an employee of L'Oréal, Jelani brings her knowledge and passion for hair care to Before joining the team, she spent time at Celebuzz, Seventeen, and Cosmo for Latinas.

After months of thinking about it, you finally decide you’re ready to ditch your relaxer and go natural. It starts off easy enough. You cancel your touch up appointment and begin experimenting with styles that work with both your old and next texture. You get more excited the more new growth you see, but in the back of your mind you know it’s only a matter of time before you have to completely part ways with your relaxed hair.

Whether you’re waiting for your natural hair to get to a certain length before you cut off your relaxed ends or want to shave it all off, it can be a nerve-wracking decision.

If you know what to expect, the decision will be that much easier to make. Daryce Brown-Willis, Mizani brand ambassador and stylist, explains everything you need to know to prepare yourself for a big chop.

How do you know it’s time for a big chop?

Deciding when it’s time for a big chop is a very personal decision, but Brown-Willis says most clients ask about a big chop once they start to become disappointed with their transitioning hair.

Usually it’s time for a big chop when transitioning from relaxer to natural has become frustrating and damaging enough.

Daryce Brown-Willis

Big chops aren’t just reserved for people with transitioning hair. The stylist says sometimes her clients are just sick of having long hair.

“Big chops have happened once clients realize that long hair isn’t all it's cracked up to be—especially if you have a lot of it,” she says.

How do you mentally prepare yourself for the big chop?

Let’s be real here, having long hair is a crucial part of many women's identities. Women are often made to feel like long hair is the only way to look and feel feminine, so chopping off you precious locks can sometimes be a blow to your self esteem. If you’re feeling a bit uneasy about your big chop, Brown-Willis says the best thing you can do is talk to your stylist.

“In my chair, there are a lot of heart-to-heart conversations. I ask questions like, ‘What about short hair scares you?’ Or, ‘What made you get to this point in the first place?’ Most are never ready to cut it all off if they’ve never had short hair,” she explains. “However, I suggest we treat the situation like a Band-Aid because it's easier when just ‘ripped off.’”

How do most clients react when they see themselves after a big chop?

Whether you’re just getting rid of you relaxed ends or shaving off most of your hair, drastically changing your hairstyle can be very emotional, so Brown-Willis says every client's reaction is very different.

“Some burst into laughter, as they can’t believe they just went through with it. Others cry either tears of joy or shock or mixed emotions,” she explains.

Whether you laugh or cry or do a little bit of both, try to remember why you decided to get a big chop in the first place. Remembering the purpose of your big chop will go a long way in helping you feel better about your new look. A great stylist will do their best to highlight all of the amazing things about your cut.

“Either way, I try my best to be a comforting shoulder to either laugh or cry on as I remember vividly how I felt the first time I shaved all my hair,” she says. “I have wine and I will ‘yas girl yas’ them as if we are best friends because we all need a little uplifting cheerleader,” she says.

What can you do if you don’t like the way your hair looks after the big chop?

If you finally took the plunge and chopped off all of your hair—and you hate it. Getting a haircut you don’t love is never fun, but it can be even worse when you’re not left with enough hair to play with. All hope is not lost just yet! Brown-Willis says there are a few simple solutions if you’re really missing your long locks.

Wigs are super popular right now, so if you opt for one you won't feel too out of place,” she says.

Her best advice is to give the haircut a little time to grow on you.

“Even clients who doubt their final look and break into tears, after a couple days I always received messages of how it grew on them. Sometimes it just takes a couple days after a new look to adjust,” she explains. “I tell all my clients, ‘As a woman who has worn her hair short for the last 10 years, it is not for the faint at heart. You have to find a way to own it. There’s almost nothing big hoop earring and some lipstick can't fix.’”

If all else fails, just know that you won’t have short locks forever. In no time, your hair will be back to its former lengthy glory. Only this time, your hair will look and feel healthier than it’s ever felt before. Furthermore, you’ll love experimenting with your hair even more now that you know you can successfully pull off any style.

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