Going natural is different for everybody!! Some choose to do the big chop, where they cut all of their permed hair off and start fresh. Others choose to transition, where they let their permed hair grow out as long as they like then do a big chop. Or, some choose to be long term transitioners where they cut their permed ends off a little at a time as their hair grows out. Whichever way you choose, enjoy the journey! The picture is of me after my big chop, then of me now at 10 months natural.
For me, I transitioned for almost 7 months and then I did the big chop and cut my hair off. It was very spur of the moment because I initially wanted to go a year of transitioning before doing my big chop. It was a Saturday and I was taking my braids down because I was going to wash my hair the next day.
I kept my hair in corn roll braids under my wigs which I wore during my transitioning phase as well as during my TWA (teenie weenie Afro) phase. My hair was really tangled, and knotted, and felt like it was trying to loc up into dreads. I was so frustrated that I just grabbed my scissors, and began to snip away. Yes, I did my own big chop and I couldn't be happier! I haven't looked back.
There is a huge difference in the health of my hair now compared to when it was relaxed. Towards the end of my relaxed days, my hair became really damaged, stringy, and the ends were translucent. In the comparison picture, I'll take short, thick, and healty anyday over long, stringy, and damaged.
If you're thinking about going natural, I say go for it. But if you are serious about it, do it for you and not because it seems to be a growing trend. Not only was my hair damaged, but I developed Seborrheic Dermatitis. I tried to stretch my perm out to four months to give my scalp time to heal, but once I had my touch up put in, my scalp broke right back out. Believe me, my doctor told me to stay away from the perm but I was one of those people who said they would NEVER, and I repeat **NEVER** go natural.. and look at me now!! So with that being said, do your research and do it for you! There will be people who don't like your hair but you know what, that's tough it's your hair and your body so they can get over it.