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The Natural Hair Pop Quiz – 5: Does Transitioning to Natural Hair mean Hair Suicide?

Adeola Adegbusi

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Natural Hair Pop Quiz - BellaNaija - April2015

A few weeks back, we started a quiz series on the myth of natural hair, where we look at popular myths and misconceptions about natural hair in greater detail.

To get caught up, please check out quiz #1quiz #2quiz #3, quiz #4, but make sure to come back so we can debunk another natural hair myth. This week, we’ll be looking at Quiz #5, which is;

True or False: One way to transition to natural hair is to let your relaxed hair break off on its own?

Natural Hair Pop Quiz - BellaNaija - June2015
Answer: False!

Before we get into why this is false, let’s first get one thing straight – Breakage is NOT cool!

I once read a comment somewhere where the person gave an advice to a newbie ‘transitioner’ that she should let her relaxed hair just fall off like hers did when she transitioned to natural hair.  To tell you that I was shocked would be an understatement because I couldn’t understand why anyone would think committing “hair suicide” (Yes, you read it right) is right; talkless of them advising someone else to do the same thing.

So what are the proper ways to transition?
There are actually three different routes that you could take to becoming a Naturalista, giving you more choices to choose from.

1. Big Chop
This is when you decide to cut your relaxed hair off after only a few months of relaxing your hair. Since it hasn’t been long since you relaxed your roots, you’ll only have a tiny bit of hair, called a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) to start with. Women who do the big chop will choose to go through this route for reasons such as freedom from expensive and time-consuming hairstyles, the ability to go through the different stages of hair growth (i.e. TWA->Small Afro-> Big Hair) or an impulse decision to join the natural hair community.

If  you choose to go through this route, I can guarantee that you won’t have to worry about dealing with two different hair textures during the initial stages of your hair journey.

2. Transition + Big Chop
This second route is often chosen by women who want to have a sizable amount of hair on their head before cutting off the relaxed ends. This is a great choice for someone who isn’t completely convinced about the natural hair route and would like to wait it out before taking the leap. It’s also a great choice for someone who wants to get a sneak peak into what their natural hair is like, before going all in.

3. Transition + Mini Chop
This third route is often chosen by people who can’t imagine wearing shorter hair, particularly if they are not weave/wig wearers. So to avoid the sudden changes, they will choose to transition for an extended period of time (up to two years in some cases). While transitioning, they will gradually trim about 1-2 inches off their relaxed hair on a regular basis until their natural hair has grown to a length that they’re most comfortable with.

One of the great benefits of going through this route is that it gives you lots of hair to work with when you’ve cut off all your relaxed hair.  This method is also great for tracking growth because the curly roots are “protected” by the relaxed ends which normally goes through the split ends and dryness that breaks the hair. And so, they’re able to keep almost all of their new growth, which then allows them to effectively measure their average hair growth rate.

To summarize, the routes you can take to go natural could either be to BIG CHOP right now, TRANSITION for a few short months and then do the BIG CHOP later,  or you can TRANSITION for a longer period of time and then do a MINI CHOP every few weeks.

As you can see, none of these routes involves any form of hair suicide, but an active decision to cut off the relaxed portion of the hair at a set time chosen by the person.

Let’s hear from you, which route did you take to becoming a Naturalista?

We’re social too, don’t forget to tag us in your hair conversations online – @BellanaijaBeauty and @CoilsAndGlory

Photo Credit: CoilsAndGlory | Dreamstime/Atholpady

Hi, my name is Adeola, I'm a natural hair blogger who is passionate about helping YOU to achieve your hair goals, whether it be to have longer hair, softer hair or a healthy head of hair in general. I know what it’s like to be clueless about natural hair, and this is why I’m here to help you create a practical hair care routine that will give you softer hair that is less painful to comb, easier to manage and that can grow long. To get these practical tips, VISIT my WEBSITE to DOWNLOAD MY FREE E-BOOK.

10 Comments

  1. Phyllis

    June 16, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Transitioned for 10 months, did a couple of mini chops and was finally able to let go. 😀

  2. Shannie

    June 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I am currently transitioning. I think this was the right choice for me. I’ve been transitioning for about 1 year and 2 months. It was difficult at first and it still has its challenges, but it was worth it. I’ve fallen in love with my natural hair and can’t wait to finish my transition. I’ve been mini chopping because I’d like to retain length to work with.

    Honestly, transitioning isn’t for everyone, but if you want to take this natural hair movement one day at a time, it may work for you.

  3. bitterlemon

    June 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I did a big chop as soon as i felt like going natural……

  4. dobzi

    June 16, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I started transitioning some months ago, I’m not bold enough to go for the big chop. The best route for me would be transition + mini chop

    http://www.dobzifingers.com/?m=1

  5. Eve

    June 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I just did the big chop,its been 2 months now and I can say am enjoying every bit of it.its stress free.

  6. Missy

    June 16, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I am currently transitioning and doing mini chops every few weeks. actuall y feels good as am not confident enuf to do the big chop

  7. Kiki

    June 16, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Well call it suicide or whatever rocks your boat, been 4 years natural, never did a big, small, medium, tiny or whatever chop. I have loads of hair on my head now. Volume, volume, volume!!!

  8. Stale!!!

    June 17, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Enough of these natchy hair recycled gist!!!

  9. sweery

    June 17, 2015 at 9:18 am

    am still transitioning, will be a year june ending and planning trimming off the remaining relaxed ends.

  10. St Cathy

    June 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I did the big chop because I couldn’t stand the pain of wearing two hair textures. That thing hurts like hell, no point enduring such pain.

    Now my biggest concern was how would look spotting a cut, especially since research showed that I would have to wear a lot of makeup, chunky earrings and a whole of trouble that I do not normally care for. Plus I didn’t know much about styling a TWA and I would’t like to just wash and go like a 40s woman. So I found a smart solution. I got a pretty, good-quality wig.

    Buying that wig has turned out to be such a smart move because I still get to do my daily workouts without any worries of carrying a smelly weave and I don’t have to stress over styling my TWA when I’m going out to work or wherever or I’m running late for an occasion.

    On other days, I wear my TWA and experiment with the different styles I see on youtube. My hair is starting to grow now, and I’m wearing the wig less often. Soon enough, I’d be tossing it completely, Or I just might keep it for those lazy days.

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