For a very long time I’ve adored women with voluminous,healthy,black hair. Its ability to retain strength and create a special glow on its owner is simply magical to me.
In 2011, (after rocking my low cut for 3 years)I grew my hair for about 1 year and 6 months before I decided to relax it due to instructions from my secondary school management. I obeyed so I would not get my newly groomed hair chopped off by the soldiers in my strict,military managed secondary school. My dark,voluminous Nigerian hair fell flat on my head immediately it was touched with Relaxers.
Prior to getting my hair relaxed,my go-to hairstyle was the rubber tying threads that usually cost as little as 300 Naira to make. These hairstyles were known to strengthen hair and increase hair length. Natural hair was not as popular in Nigeria as it is today and I kept getting comments from my hairstylists like: Why you no just relax this your hair now? Your hair no go reach for that style,This your hair too strong o,I go increase money. There was little awareness about why one should be persistent in carrying natural hair or avoiding chemicals on the hair,I simply felt bad about my hair type and when instructions came to either plait ‘weaving’ or get your hair chopped,I jumped on it.
For the first 2 years,my hair increased in length and I felt everything was alright with my hair.I was still getting my hair relaxed regularly and making my hair regularly as well. I paid little attention to hair care apart from relaxing,washing and conditioning which was usually rinsed out and blow dried.
In my 4th year of hair making,I began to notice white patches and itching on my hair. It was really embarrassing such that I’d be in school or with my friends and someone would say: “There’s something white on your hair” and they would try to take it out for me. I just couldn’t keep my hands out from my hair- I was always scratching. It made me spend a lot of money on making my hair because I couldn’t carry my hairstyles for as long as I wanted. The diagnosis from my hairstylists was dandruff.
My hair color which was usually ebony black began to turn light brown. Perhaps it’s the result of constant relaxing,too much manipulation or poor hair care? I just couldn’t tell. As much as I hated to admit it, I was ashamed of my hair.
Fast forward to 2016,I began to see and hear about the natural hair trend. Which is simply women rocking their hair in its natural texture while avoiding harsh chemicals,sulfates and the likes. I was in love! Girls were rocking the trends in mo-hawks,cantu knots and my personal favorite- The fro bun. I began to crave the natural hair trend,not because I wanted to but because I needed to for my self esteem and for my hair health.
I finally got the heart to get the big chop in April,2018 and I was extremely nervous lol! I asked my mom to accompany me to the barbing salon to get my hair chopped! What? Getting a big chop with such long hair? Ah! You needed to see the stares of the guys in the salon when my hair was chopped off,I had dusty white tint on my head and had to get my first wash at the salon before going home to give it a second wash. I was deeply relieved!
What are the blessings of the big chop you may ask?
- You may notice the skin around your forehead getting clearer- Prior to the big chop, I usually had break outs on my forehead but as soon as the chop was done,this reduced drastically.
- Healthy hair- You give your hair an opportunity to grow out longer and healthier
- You get to shower without worrying about water getting in your hair-Pouring water on my head on a hot day is like water to a thirsty soul lol
- The big chop period lets you strategize your hair growth plan
THE BIG CHOP AND MY SELF-ESTEEM
I was loving the big chop but something in me kept telling me I had done the wrong thing,I felt like I was ugly and would not be attractive to guys anymore. There were times I’d just look at myself in the mirror and ask myself who sent me to chop off my hair. What would people say? How would their reactions be? For the first 3 months I covered my hair with wigs,only my close friends knew I had gotten the big chop. The day I revealed my big chop,I got reverse reactions from people- I was told I’m still beautiful with my big chop and got a lot of attention from guys.
The good things I learnt about the big chop are:
- I am beautiful with or with my hair even when I have little or no make up on
- People would always talk no matter what you do so just live your life anyway
- Do what is right not what you like or want
- My self-esteem isn’t just about how people see me but what’s on the inside and how I see myself
Fam,my hair would be 4 months old by the end of September and I’m really excited by this journey. I wish I had chopped off my hair earlier! These days,it’s no more wigs for me I just go out with my growing fro,big earrings and pretty smile!
What do you think of my big chop? Is the big chop something you’d like to try soon?
Let’s have a conversation.You are loved!