Why I Did a Year and a Half Long Transition Instead of a Big Chop

For my natural hair journey, I chose to transition for a year and half before cutting my relaxed ends for several reasons. I cut my relaxed ends in January of 2012.

tori bonafidestyle natural hair transitioning

Transitioning Hair: Braidout

In the beginning of my hair journey, my main focus was on restoring the health of my relaxed hair. I began doing research using YouTube and found products, regimens, and techniques that were great guides for my own personal hair journey. While researching, I found out about a technique called ‘stretching’. This was the term used to describe waiting longer periods of time in between relaxers. So, instead of relaxing every 6 weeks, I began waiting 8 weeks or 12 weeks, etc. For my last ‘stretch’ I wanted to challenge myself, so I set a goal to relax my hair in 6 months. During this time a couple of things happened. First, as my natural roots began to get longer, I began falling in love with my natural texture and did not want to go back to relaxers. It was also during this time that I found out I had Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune condition that caused random bald spots all over my head. Although I was treated for the Alopecia Areata and my hair began to regrow, I still felt self-conscious. So I made the decision to continue transitioning until my hair was long enough to cover any remaining bald spots.

Also, from what I can recall, my hair has never been shorter than ‘ear length’. So, to be honest, a more vain reason I chose to transition was because I did not want wear my hair super short and I felt like I would not know how to style or care for a twa.

tori bonafidestyle natural hair big chop

Picture above: 1 month post “big chop”/cutting relaxed ends

I have no regrets about transitioning instead of doing a big chop because it offered a couple benefits. I think this approach allowed me to learn more about my hair and how to take care of both my relaxed and natural textures simultaneously. It also allowed me to practice different hairstyles that could be used while I was transitioning and when I was fully natural. I also enjoyed the perk of having more hair to ‘work with’ after cutting the relaxed ends.

Although figuring out how to care for both your relaxed and natural textures at the same time can be a great learning experience, it also puts you at risk for severe breakage where the two hair textures meet. But, with proper care and maintenance breakage can be minimized. Overall, I would say my transitioning experience was a pleasant one.

tori bonafidestyle natural hair comparison

Ladies, why did you transition or big chop?

12 thoughts on “Why I Did a Year and a Half Long Transition Instead of a Big Chop

  1. lovely post. I am transitioning as well. However, I am transitioning from heat damage to healthy hair. It is a frustrating period but I am staying strong

  2. My hair was already buzzed off, so I had no choice with how my journey went. I don’t like extensions, wigs or weave so… twa it was. I’ve subsisted on braids, combs twists, twist outs and stretched updos since then. Now that my hair can be gathered into a bun at my crown, I keep it stretched and loosely style my bangs.

  3. I transition from relaxed to natural. I too searched YouTube for hair care tips. I also learned about stretching my relaxer and I soon found a hair idol in ULoveMegs. But my life change how I looked at hair care. Relaxed hair seemed like a lot of work to me after awhile, so I opted to find ways to go longer and longer with out getting a relaxer. I began using my flat Iron to achieve straight hair, and then heat damage got the best of me. So I did a series of mini chops until I just decided to let my hair grow with no cutting or heat. My hair had gotten almost to APL length when I finally decided to cut my damage/relaxed ends off July of 2014. Since then I have had significant improvement on the health and growth of my hair. So I think my length is attributed to moister/protein balance routine and heat reduction. But most of all my appreciated it when I just left it alone and let it do its own thing after I cleaned/
    moisturized it.

  4. I just snipped some off every 3 months +/- depending on my money situation. I took about a year for it all to be gone. I do have to say though it was trying and really was a test for my patience and creativity to have 2 textures.

  5. I’ve transitioned for eight month before I cut my relaxed ends. Handling two different strand of hair has beenbchallenging.

  6. I am transitioning right now and I am currently at the 6-month mark.

    When I used to relax my hair, my new growth would quickly grow back within 2 weeks and I wasn’t a fan of flat-ironing my roots. I felt like that was a sign that I needed to go natural.

    Managing the two textures is tough; but, like you, I wouldn’t know what to do with short hair. So, my goal is to transition for at least a year (hopefully longer). Getting through the winter months will be my biggest challenge.

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