4 Things You Must Do Before Your Big Chop

4 Things You Must Do Before Your Big Chop

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, but going from relaxed or artificial hair to natural hair is a big deal! As much as I would like to believe that all you have to do is big chop (cut all your relaxed hair off, leaving you with your much shorter, natural hair) and call it a day, I know for many women it is not that simple. There are many emotional aspects to embracing your natural hair as well. Many times, when a woman chooses to publicly display her natural hair texture she not only has to overcome the opinions of others but she has to overcome her own negative thoughts about her curly-kinky or afro textured hair.

With that emotional journey in mind, please find below four things to do before your big chop, which will help you avoid or at the very least help you better navigate the obstacles that may attempt to overtake and discourage you while on your quest. And keep in mind, HerNaturalSunshine.com is here to help you every step along the way. Visit this site often to see what other tips and encouragement I have for you. You are not alone in your journey!

#1 Decide Why You Are Going Natural…

The first thing you must do before making any changes to your hair whatsoever is decide why you are going natural in the first place. What’s your reason? It’s important you know the reason behind your decision because it can be used as motivation when the going gets tough.  There are going to be ups and downs in your natural hair journey, just as there are ups and downs when we attempt to make any changes in our lives.  Knowing the reason behind your decision will come in handy when the downs overwhelm you and you are ready to throw in the towel.

I decided to go natural because I was tired of looking like every other young woman I saw walking the streets of Atlanta, Georgia in 2008. In addition to being fed up with my look, I was tired of solely relying on my physical appearance as my meal ticket in life. I wanted something new and thought the most drastic way to embark on and commit to a new path would be to remove all the aspects of myself that were feeding the lifestyle I was letting go of.   So off came the weave, the makeup, the acrylic nails and the party girl lifestyle.  I got all my relaxed hair cut off into a fade and set out on a new journey. So I guess you could say my reason for going natural was a spiritual one.

By keeping my reason in front me at all times, I was able to keep my hair short even when the majority of naturals in the online community were motivated by length. As a natural hair blogger and vlogger, throughout my career, there has been pressure for me to grow my hair longer. I was only able to overcome the criticism by keeping my personal reasons for going natural in the forefront of my mind.

Make Your Reason Work for You!

Once you are sure of your reason for going natural, condense it to one or two short sentences and memorize them. You may find yourself being asked why (you went natural) a lot. When asked that question, it’s much easier to recite an answer you don’t have to think about. Don’t get caught off guard, stumbling over your words, when someone tries to put you on the spot at a family get together by yelling across the room, “So Stephanie, why did you cut all your pretty hair off?!” Have your reason ready to roll of your tongue with a cool confidence!

#2 Decide You are Going to Accept Your Hair No Matter the Texture…

Black, natural hair is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.  With that in mind, the easiest and most satisfactory way to approach your natural hair, is with an open mind.  Don’t put unrealistic expectations on your hair before you have even seen it. Give it a chance! Decide before you go through with your big chop that whatever texture you find beneath the years of relaxers or hiding underneath your wig is going to be fine with you. Do that, and trust me, half the battle is already won.

You can come to this conviction when you willfully increase your belief in yourself independent of other peoples praise and learn to be your own cheerleader and best friend.

#3 Step Up Your Self-Confidence

As you embark on your natural hair journey, this could be the first time in your life that you are going against the grain and doing something really different from the norm. There may be people in your life who don’t respond too kindly to you flipping the script. You may encounter anything from shock and disappointment to down right insults. To be prepared for this you need to be confident in yourself!

You must know that what makes you beautiful and smart and amazing is not your hair texture. And subsequently, changing your hairstyle, does not have the power to take away who and what you are. You have to know this because some ignorant person out there just might try to make you believe that without your long relaxed hair or weave, you are no longer attractive. You are going to have to shake the foolishness off and keep it moving. Quickly! The only way to move beyond the less than edifying comments is to already know the truth about yourself…

Your hair may enhance your look and express your unique style, but there is so much more to you than that. You are a valuable, strong, beautiful woman and with each change in your hair you will continue to be so. You really aren’t your hair, you are so much more.

Practical Confidence

To be confident in yourself you have to be willing to make your own decisions (like your decision to go natural) and stand firmly on the decision without needing any other people to support it. Yes, you will find people that support you, like me, but you need to make up your mind that you know what is best for you and you don’t need anyone to agree with you on it. Get this mindset and your natural hair journey just got that much easier.

#4 Take a Two-Week Break From Mainstream Media…

For the most part, just about everything we see in mainstream media is a lie.  Everyone has been airbrushed, taped, corrected and wigged up. An entire team is on call to get them ready before you ever lay eyes on them. The image of beauty, which is all over mainstream media in popular magazines, on the red carpet, etc. is something that the people portraying it don’t even look like!

You will benefit tremendously from taking a break from digesting these images in the two weeks leading up to your big chop. Instead, spend your time looking at inspirational photos of natural hair.  Watch YouTube videos, see what styles other naturals have come up with and get use to seeing women with hair that more closely resembles what you are going to be rocking soon!

Ready, Set, Go!

These four tips are not the only ways in which you can prepare for going natural, but if you complete all four you will be much closer to having a successful natural hair journey. You can do it!

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