By Hadassah Agbaps - November 21, 2015

It's a big step to go from silky straight chemically relaxed hair to a full head of bouncy coils.
I have tried to highlight in a previous post the basic tools you may need as a new natural.
There are two ways of going back to your coily roots.
You may opt for the big chop or  transitioning gradually to your natural hair.
I will outline the two ways stating the pros, cons and tips you can use to make things beautiful.

                                  BIG CHOP
When I hear the "big chop", the image I have in my mind is foreboding. I see my head on a wooden block and an axe falling down.
The thought of going natural in this way can be terrifying.

It's no mean feat to let go of those long silky locks and channel "Amber Rose" and cut off all your hair.
Many questions jostle for attention in your mind...well it did in mine: )
"what will I look like?" "Will I still look feminine? "
"I don't have the right shape of head"
"I'm not tall, I'll look smaller " etc.

Granted, it's not easy and a big kudos to those that transitioned this way.
I'll admit that the big chop and the resulting teeny weeny Afro may cause you to feel exposed, naked and vulnerable but sometimes it's the best way to go natural.

1. Pros
-The big chop gives you an opportunity to gradually get used to caring for kinky hair as it grows.

-You will not be burdened with managing two different hair textures and the resultant breakage as the hair is the weakest at the junction between the curly natural hair and the straight relaxed ends.

-Hair is much stronger and healthier with little or no splits, single stranded knots and such.

-Low maintenance.

- It's a real confidence booster. Rock this and you can rock any hairstyle! Grab a pair of hot damn earrings and va va voom makeup if you wanna and "hellooo world!".

2. Cons
- No more ponytails and hair flowing down your back ( that is before it grows out again anyways)

- You may easily begin to feel the heat of the sun and cold fingers of winter as they drum a beat on your now exposed pate.... forgive me for the dramatics but....he he he)

- You run the risk of some people thinking you are crazy and some ignorant "she male" remarks...they usually come from those with extremely low self esteem.

3. Caring and Styling

When cutting your hair, make sure you use hair shears (though I used new paper scissors when I cut mine due to damage from bad hair habits ).
Hair shears reduce the likelihood of splits.

Caring and styling your teeny weeny Afro is easy.

All you have to do is shampoo or cowash with a curl friendly conditioner, moisturise with curl enhancing moisturizer and seal in with a natural oil of your choice.
As it grows, you can deep condition once in two weeks.

Recommended brands available in Nigeria  include,
*Suave Naturals,
*Aussie Moist
*Tresseme Naturals,
*Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. Shampoo and conditioners.

I love Texture My way Curl Keeper by Africa's Best as a moisturizer. 

It keeps hair moisturised for up to two days. You may not need to apply again on day two. Simply spritzing the TWA with water revives curls.
I really recommend you try this if available in your area.

As your TWA grows and reaches that awkward in between length, beautiful styles to attempt are:
-Wash and gos

-Fingercoils and sponge curls

-Cornrows and flat twists

-Box braids and kinky twists ( take down is a breeze. Just snip the hair where your short hair ends and loosen. It takes longer time with longer hair for obvious reasons)

- properly installed weaves.

- "pick and drop braided styles"

- Dyed hair...TWA is stronger than longer hair and thus respond better to hair dyes. However, caution must be taken as with all other chemical treatments. That's why I put it at the bottom. A natural alternative is the use of henna.

Have you big chopped?
 Did I miss anything?
 Do you have any questions? Feel free to add!

Live beautifully!

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