We often associate long hair with beauty and femininity. But what if it’s damaged and holding your healthy hair back? Going for The Big Chop can help your natural curls reach their full potential after years of damage from color, bleaching, blow outs, relaxing and straightening. Here’s my story and the epiphany I had while going for a shorter do!
The Big Chop is a Big Thing in the Curly Girl World
I started the Curly Girl Method this past summer, June 2018, with pretty long hair. When it was wet, it was down to the middle of my back. Dry, it was several inches past my shoulders. It was heavy, thick and long! I had every intention of keeping it that way until I started to see it was a “thing” in the curly world of Instagram to chop off your damaged hair to get a new start and have healthier hair as many women straighten and color their hair before starting this method and have very, very damaged hair.
I had Split Ends and Knots
It got me thinking about my ends and I noticed how they often got knots in them, and were split and pretty frizzy, even after months of doing regular OlaPlex and protein treatments (read more about those here).
The health of my hair had improved drastically since starting the Curly Girl Method, even the split ends look better. But they were still curling wonky and I hadn’t gotten a cut since May of 2019, so I knew I was due for a good trim and shaping up.
When in for Just a Trim
So just last week (the end of October), I scheduled an appointment for a Deva cut at a salon in Atlanta that specializes in curly hair. As I sat down in the chair, my stylist, Brynn, noticed I had a lot of split, frizzy ends and knots so she recommended we cut several inches off. I was all for it and she got to work, the big chop was a go!
Arrive for Your Deva Cut with Freshly Washed Hair
I need to back this story up just a bit – I broke the Deva cut rules because you’re supposed to arrive with hair that’s pretty freshly washed and style since they cut your hair dry. That way the stylist can see the way your hair normal looks and curls, and will cut it based on that.
I came with 3-day old hair that was looking pretty rough! Most of the curl had fallen out, even after refreshing it. So she had a hard time seeing my natural curl pattern and style!
Layering Hair Color Really Damaged my Hair
Despite that, she gave me a nice cut and shape, washed and dried my hair, and then went back in and cleaned it up even more. As she was cutting, she noticed that my hair was damaged up to my ears! I told her I was confused because I haven’t been straightening my hair – in fact, it’s never something I’ve done regularly!
But I have been coloring my hair since I have grey hair coming in. The problem is that I was coloring my hair at home, and had been pulling the color out 3-4 inches every time, instead of just coloring the roots. Yikes! Seems like common sense to not to do that, but I hadn’t figure it out until June. She told me it doesn’t really matter which brand of hair color you use, as long as you only color the roots each time, it should be fine!
So I had only a few months of good, healthy hair growth (about 3-4 inches) and that was it. She asked if I wanted more cut off.
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The (accidental) Big Chop pt 2! So I know it’s every curly girl’s nightmare to walk into a salon wanting to keep your long hair, only to walk out with it chopped off! Like they took gardening shears to it. ?? But that’s what happened to me, and it thankfully wasn’t a nightmare! ⠀ So my stylist, Brynn, carefully cut my hair the first time, making sure to preserve my length as I asked her to do. She gave me a Deva cut, which is a technique created by the #curlygirlmethod founder, Lorraine Massey, where your hair is cut dry, curl by curl. She said I had a lot of split ends and cut those off. Then, she washed it and I sat under the dryer for a while. Then went back to the chair. ⠀ And she looked at my hair to work on the shape a little more. She began to notice that I had damage all the way up to my ears! I honestly had been noticing this for a while as parts of my hair curl all wonky. ⠀ So she asked if I wanted her to cut off more to get rid of the damage – I had a huge epiphany in that moment (which I’ll share with you tomorrow) about hair, and what it means to be a woman, and carrying around dead weight, and beauty and I sat up straight and just said, “ya know, I just want my hair to be healthy! Cut off whatever you need to so it’s healthy.” And she did! ???♀️ (come back tomorrow for part 3!) #curlybob #shortcurlyhair #deadends ⠀
My Big Epiphany
At first, I totally hesitated. I’ve worked for a long time to grow my hair out and really liked it long! Except that it took sooo much time to wash, style and dry it.
I was thinking and then locked eyes with myself in the mirror and had a come to Jesus moment. I thought, “Sara! What are you doing! Hanging onto to dead weight – for what?” And I let her go for the big chop. Then later, as I collected my thoughts while driving home, still shocked my hair was a good 6-8 inches shorter, everything became clear. ⠀
I’d become afraid of having short hair. I thought it was much more feminine, sexy and beautiful to have long hair and had been avoiding getting the damage cut off for a long time. Hair length has nothing to do with beauty – it’s how we feel about ourselves that radiates beauty and peace or shame and fear. ⠀
I have done a ton of spiritual work on myself the past four years – reprogramming my brain to believe the truth about myself and the world, releasing shame and bitterness, forgiving myself and others, and getting to know myself. It’s been the most freeing and miraculous time of my life! ⠀
The Cut Was an Physical Sign of My Spiritual Freedom
So on the way home, I started crying. Realizing that I dropped so much dead weight mentally and spiritually, and now have an outward sign of what’s happened on the inside. This made me really, really like my new short do! This. Is. Freedom. Walking in the truth of who we are.
What I didn’t expect is that going for the big chop would give courage to so many of my curly haired followers on Instagram (follow me here) who’e been wanting to do the same. ? ⠀
My Encouragement to You
My encouragement to you is – know you are beautiful because you believe yourself to be so from within. ? Whatever you do with your hair on the outside will reflect your inner beauty (peace) – long, short, medium, thick, long, curly, wavy, kinky, transitioning, damaged. It doesn’t matter.
Let the dead weight go – forgive yourself and others, get to know yourself and release shame, know that you’re an amazing, worthy, special and important woman and nothing about your body changes that. What you do with your hair from there will reflect your truth, your being, your true beauty! ?
What I’m Loving About The Big Chop and Having Short Hair
? It’s bouncy & fun
? I use way less shampoo & especially conditioner
? I use less styling products
? Styling is much faster
? Drying time is about 15 mins shorter!
? It doesn’t fall down in my face and get in the way
? Change is fun!
? My hair is curlier and healthier
Check out my post on How I Found Emotional Freedom (Top 10 Tips) to learn more about how to forgive and release shame.
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