The Big Chop
In a big chop or BC, you cut off all the relaxed hair.
This is the quickest and easiest way to go natural. The result is normally called a TWA or Teeny Weeny Afro.
I would recommend getting your hair cut by a salon. Tell them that you want the relaxed hair only to be cut off.
My aunt walked into a white men's barbershop to do her BC and she's regretted it ever since: apparently the barber took an electric shaver and before she realised it he'd shaved her hair off very close to the skin. Her hair has been thinner ever since!
The Advantage of "doing the BC" is that you start learning to manage and understand your natural texture immediately.
The disadvantage of a BC is that many girls prefer longer to shorter hair so they are reluctant to cut it short. I regret not doing the BC because I realise now that it would have grown back, that's what hair does!
Transitioning involves leaving the relaxed hair as it is and cutting it off bit by bit as the natural hair grows. You can transition by braiding/twisting your hair.
I did both.
All my relaxed hair fell off at the back (an involuntary BC as it were) and I snipped the remaining relaxed hair off bit by bit over a period of eight months.
The advantage of transitioning is that you don't have to cut all your hair off.
The disadvantage of transitioning with a mixture of natural and relaxed hair is that it detracts from learning how your natural hair works and plus having two textures on your head looks a little silly.
I tried to hide my relaxed hair by sewing my own little cap (see picture to left) and I looked VERY silly.
I still haven't forgiven my hubby for letting me go into work looking like this. This picture offends me, I only keep it as a reminder of the fashion disaster and how far along I have moved from geek to chic (& sometimes geek chic).
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward