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You did the big chop, now what? (part one)

now that you've cut off all your relaxed ends, where do you go from here?
now that you've cut off all your relaxed ends, where do you go from here?
photo taken by *jeanetteillidgedesign(.com)

There is that anticipation that builds up until the day of your big chop (BC as we call it - for a useful guide on the natural hair care abbreviations and definitions, visit www.NaturalHairGlossary.com). You go through in your head all the ways that you’re going to style it…all the wonderful and healthy products you’re going to use…the curls and twists and twirls that will allow you to wash and walk out of the house with no effort at all.

…then the strands fall and reality hits. This is you…naked and exposed, and no amount of planning can really prepare you for it. This is not a bad thing… it’s shocking at first, yes, and after the initial OMG moment, the beginning of the care of your natural hair begins!

OMG! Your hair is all gone, where do you begin?

First things first: begin by looking at yourself in the mirror. Seriously. Just stare. Look you straight in your eyes and say “I am beautiful.” A woman – and this includes women of all ethnicities, races, and heritages – is led to believe that she is her hair; that she is not as beautiful without her hair, and that the wearing of short hair is not accepted by mainstream society. This is more prevalent, or maybe more outspoken, in black culture. In the past, a woman has not be encouraged to wear her hair in its natural state without a texturizer, a texlaxer, or without having “good hair”. This is not a rant about this sometimes controversial topic (think of India Arie’s 'I Am Not My Hair').

Although a woman's hair does not define her, as she has many other qualities and personality traits that do that, her hair is her crowning glory, so women naturally want to wear styles that enhance their personalities! When it comes to hair styles, types, colors, and textures – to each her own. Variety is the spice of life and there is no right or wrong way to wear your hair. Different is beautiful. What matters is that you feel comfortable in your skin, that you know you are beautiful with a short curly style, a teeny weeny afro, or a bushel of knotty dreads! There is no way others will accept your new do, if you can’t accept it!

There are many new naturals who cut their hair and sport the wig or weave for 6 months. This is okay - many make it look great! But you won’t believe how many compliments you will receive, how much others will love your hair when they see how much YOU love it! Wear it with pride – slap a jazzy eye shadow on, a flower, some lipstick, and strut your stuff, girl!

You. Are. Beautiful.

Now that you feel great with your newly natural hair, this article will continue with learning to care for your big chop.

*This is part of a five-part series on caring for your hair after the big chop.