The Big Chop: Marci’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
Hi, my name is Marci. I’m a working mother of 2 living in the south.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I’ve been going back and forth with going natural for about 10 years. There were several times that I started transitioning from my relaxer, but I never made it past 3 months before I relaxed again – mainly due to lack of patience and lack of information on how to care for/transition to natural hair. The biggest factor in me finally doing it was discovering the wealth of information online about natural hair care. That gave me the confidence that I could make the transition and properly care for my hair. I think natural hair just suits my personality. I enjoy the freedom from relaxers, the way my natural hair sets me apart and I think my natural hair enhances my natural beauty.

How long did you transition before you big chopped?
I transitioned for 6 1/2 months. My last relaxer was May 17, 2011 and my big chop was December 10, 2011. I was initially planning to transition for a year, but I got to the point that I could not stand my relaxed ends any longer. I really didn’t trim them like I should have and they would tangle whenever I tried to do anything with my hair. I was also experiencing major breakage.

How did you feel immediately before and immediately after your big chop?
As soon as I decided I just wanted to go ahead and cut it, I was determined and nervous. I knew that I couldn’t wait too long or I would chicken out. So I decided on a Friday morning to do it, then I called my stylist. I didn’t hear back from her that day, so I called a family member, and she cut it for me the next day. She cut it dry, so I went home and washed it right after and I hated it. The next day, it was dry and shrunken and not at all how I pictured it, and I hated it more.

How do you feel now?
Now I love it. It has been almost 3 weeks and, after the first 2 days, I started experimenting with products and most have worked for me so far. I think I look better than I ever thought I would have with the short hair. I can see already that my natural hair just looks better with my face and I’m excited to experience the different lengths as it grows out. I feel a different confidence than I did before that I think comes with being comfortable with being myself – unedited – and not caring about other’s opinions about how I look. I get complimented daily on my hair since I big chopped, but I know that, even without the compliments, I would still love it because it feels like me.

What is your current regimen? Go to products?
It’s only been a few weeks, so I’m still fine tuning. So far, co-washing is working well for me. I washed with Giovani 50/50 right after my big chop and haven’t used a shampoo since. I co-wash every 3 to 4 days with V05 Moisture Milk conditioner. I follow with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner (sometimes adding EVOO) and rinse with cool water. I use Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in. I use Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Hair Milk as a moisturizer/styler and then seal with castor oil. I very loosely two strand twist my hair at night. If I don’t, my hair will be matted and flat in the morning. The twisting helps with a little stretch as well as preserving my curls overnight. In the morning, I take down my twists and fluff my hair with my fingers to give it the shape I want. Sometimes I will use a little pure Aloe Vera Gel to help define some curls.

I just tried an apple cider vinegar rinse and, so far, I think I love it. I deep conditioned with Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner and EVOO on dry hair before I co-washed. Then, I co-washed with V05. After I co-washed, I rinsed my hair with the ACV rinse. I then applied a little more Aubrey Organics conditioner. I reapplied the conditioner, because I read stories online about some people experiencing frizz and I thought that the conditioner could help avoid that. I worked the conditioner through and finger detangled, then rinsed it out with cool water. After that, I proceeded with my usual regimen. The next morning, when I took out my twists, my hair was softer and the most moisturized since my big chop. Now, I just have to figure out how often to do the ACV rinse.

What are your hair plans/goals?
Right now, my hair goal is to grow my hair out while keeping it healthy. Since I have a twa (2 1/2″ to 3″), my short-term goal is chin length, then I will move to shoulder length. Eventually I want it past my shoulders.

What, if any, “Hair Crazies” have you developed since big chopping?
So far, it’s just hard not to feel on my curls all day! And all the hair sites are, like, brand new all over again! LOL

Do you have a hair crush? If so, who and why?
I love Shelli and Curly Nikki’s hair, because both heads of hair look so healthy, shiny, and bouncy. I love Corrine Baily Rae and Yvette Nicole Brown. I see naturals all the time that aren’t famous that have beautiful hair and they are rocking it with confidence – those are my true inspirations that always made me pause and rethink my relaxer.

Who is your favorite natural blogger, youtuber and/or fotkier and why?
I haven’t really followed many YouTubers or Fotkiers. Curly Nikki was the first blogger I found and I loved her site, because there was soooo much information. And I loved the different hair stories that I found on there. I found Hairscapades through Curly Nikki and I liked how Shelli shares so much of her personal experiences and also reviews product information. These sites have been the easiest for me to follow and I go to them every day because I want more!

Anything else that you would like to add?
I would encourage anyone thinking of transitioning or big chopping to research and soak up as much information as possible. I know that there is so much out there that can be confusing or overwhelming. But, I think the more informed you are, the more likely you are to step out and take the natural leap.

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11 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing your transitioning story, Marci. I’m going through the bad breakage thing right now. I’m encouraged by how well you’ve done. You look fabulous with your beautiful curls!

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  2. Hi Lavendar! The worst thing I did while transitioning was not get my ends trimmed. I always got my ends trimmed whenever I would have my relaxer touched up (every 8 to 10 weeks), but once I started transitioning, I just stopped trimming them. Towards the end, they were so unmanageable. So my advice to you is to trim your ends regularly and deep condition regularly while transitioning. Good luck, and thanks for the compliment!

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    • Thanks for the reply, Marci! My problem is my hair is extremely fine; the fact that it’s relaxed makes it even more fragile. This natural hair is growing in and taking over! I cut 8 inches off to start my transition and I’m maintaining at shoulder length. I dust the ends once a month and DC at l least once a week, plus use a strong protein every 3 weeks; but still my hair has lost about 2/3 of its thickness. It’s okay though…I’m determined to see it through, even if I have to chop earlier than I anticipated. Stories like yours help build my confidence.

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  3. I decided to go natural a few years ago. Instead off cutting off my relaxed hair, I grew it out and now I have locs. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life! I’m still experimenting with hair care products though. I need to find one that moisturizes my hair without leaving it greasy or oily. Thanks for the post!

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  4. Your hair looks amazing with that TWA style, and it really brings out your facial features. I actually like that length on you, do you plan on letting it grow out real long?

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  5. Hi Zyaran! Thanks for the compliment! I plan on growing it out, but I am enjoying it short, and I want to enjoy every stage. Now that I have big chopped, I won’t ever be scared of how I will look with short hair again. Having said all of that, my goal is big full hair.

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