Transitioning Talk: I Big Chopped… and I Didn’t Tell You

Hi all, long time no talk. Gather ’round, I’ve a story for your today. Once upon a little there was a lady that loved to do her hair…  then she transitioned for 20 months and towards the end she got tired of dealing with her hair, so she hid it away in marley twists. She fell in love with marley twists and has been wearing her like that for the last couple of months. Ok I’ll stop being a weirdo and speaking in third person…

Two weeks ago, while getting ready to reinstall my marley twists, I stared at my hair in the mirror and was just totally over my transition. I had reached 21 months + 1 week post and I was just ovvvveeerrrrr it all. I’d been cutting so much that I’d only had about 5 inches of relaxed hair left so cutting off large chunks of hair wasn’t too foreign a feeling by that time. Before I could change my mind, I picked up my hair shears, grabbed a chunk of hair and snipped.

At the end I looked at the hair in my sink and had a WHAT THE EFF DID I JUST DO?!?!?!?! moment. In my mind I heard Boyz II Men “although we’ve come to the end of the road, still I can’t let go” playing as I stared at my relaxed ends. My relaxed ends love to clump together, so that made it fairly easy to spot the straighter strands but I made sure I worked in smallish chunks.

Once I’d finished, I may or may not have pranced around my entire apartment saying “OMG this transition is over!”

One thing is for sure, my texture is not uniform.

 

 

With conditioner + oil

 

WHY DID I TRANSITION TO NATURAL?

I made the decision to transition to natural back in April of last year to support my mother who is natural, but not a fan of her natural hair. My mom had the firm belief that only relaxed hair could grow long, and seeing my long, relaxed hair only solidified that idea. To help her see that she could do it and having relaxed hair does not equal long hair, I decided to stash my jar or ORS lye in my closet and transition. You can check out my full post on my decision to transition here.

HOW LONG DID I TRANSITION?

21 months + 1 week.

WHY DID I TRANSITION LONG-TERM?

By the time I made up my mind about going natural, I was already deep into a relaxer stretch. Since the thought of cutting off my then waist-length made my head spin, transitioning long term was on my only option really.

WHY DID I KEEP IT A SECRET?

Well, it wasn’t intentional. I promise! Right after big chopping I re-did my marley twists and had them in for two straight weeks. With my hair tucked away it was easy to forget that I had actually ended my transition; out of sight, out of mind. I think tucking away my hair right after chopped actually helped me cope with the shock factor. Right after chopping I had no idea what to do with my hair. I probably would’ve cried out of frustration had I not tucked it away.

HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT IT?

The OMGdfdkjfidgjdigj?!?!?!?! feeling has worn off and I love it. I miss the way my hair used to be but it’s moreso I miss the length and not fact that it was relaxed. The length will return, I just have to be patient. Which I’m not right now, my mindset is totally on grow, grow, grow. My blog name is totally relevant again lol.

I took my twists out a couple days ago and fell in love with my hair. I definitely had a moment where I looked in the mirror and thought “is that me????” To put my reaction is perspective: my mother relaxed my hair when I was very little. Before this transition I had no memory of what my natural texture looked it. I had done very few braid outs on my relaxed hair and none of them had the level of texture the picture below has, so seeing my hair like this was definitely a shocker.

This is the result of an unintentional twist out, after taking out my marley braids I didn’t feel like washing my hair. See, told you I’ve gotten lazy.

What surprised me the most is how much my grandmother likes my natural hair. She’s never really been a fan of me taking care of my hair on my own… even after growing to waist length and proving I could care for my hair on my own, whenever I visited her she’d still manage to tell me that I should go straighten my hair (because my texlaxed hair wasn’t straight enough apparently) and that I should let a “professional” do it or else my hair was going to break off. When my granny called my twist out beautiful, I just about fainted.

I hope wearing my hair out prompts my mother to want to wear her hair out as well. She still hasn’t but I’m going to try my best to get her comfortable with the thought.

 

WILL I EVER GO BACK TO RELAXING MY HAIR?

Maybe, maybe not. I’m still all for healthy relaxed hair so I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to relaxing my hair again if that’s what I wanted to do. My answer right this moment would be ‘no,’ but only because I just finished a super long transition and the thought of going through another long term transition just makes me cringe.

New hair, new hair journey, but still the same on old Jen. For my relaxed readers, I’m not abandoning you. I will still continue to share relaxed hair tips. The fun apart about starting a new journey? I get to play around and try out a bunch of new products! The product junkie in me lives again 🙂

61 Comments


  1. Seeing your natural hair reminds me so much of my hair. It makes me sad that I have to get texlaxed. The reason I say have to because it's a decision I've made out of necessity. It is the best choice for my current situation. But seeing your hair makes me really not want to.

  2. That means you can help me right?
    Hello I am Jéssica and my hair is recently relaxed. I love it but my hair is not very accepting of this fact and it hurts like a b**** and in certain areas… it was previously burned. This time I tried one last time to relax with someone who has a long healthy hair… But since my scalp was sensitive and something was applied to detangle the hair (that we completely forgot on one specific area) a small part of the hair is under processed… And I am going on a trip in about 2 months (hopefully) so my solution was to, for a second time, to go natural.
    I wish I could relax my hair myself and do everything myself but I fear the worst. My hair may look beautiful and my roots are now strong enough but I am restarting. The big problem is my type of hair. What I see as ugly. You see, your hair is beautiful and its curly and you can manage it… My natural hair is the most curly and dry, I think it's 4C? The big afros ones. The one type of hair that is so hard to handle and I don't think I would look pretty… You know, unattractive. And Relaxing my hair is not going well knowing the pain I feel due to the sensitive scalp I have and that one burn that was previously inflicted. It. Hurt. Bad.
    I mean I just found you and you went through both stages. The relaxer I used was Activilong No-lye Relaxer Junior. You use a lye relaxer… Never heard of them. Are they good? Differences?
    Should I just go natural already? But I look unattractive. Do I look unattractive or is just in my head? Can you help me?

    Thank you for reading this far
    Jéssica Pina

    Sorry for the long comment…

  3. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! First of all, it looks friggin amazing! I'm so behind in reading others' blogs its sickening so I totally missed this (but luckily I'm not too behind)! Congratulations on ending your transition! I'm 20 months post now and about to go into another weave, but after the takedown, that's it. It's gonna be over. I'm so DONE with the process and ready to grow grow grow like you said! Gonna try to keep up with you (and all my hair friends) more reguarly. Congrats again girlie!

  4. Congratulations! Welcome to the natural world! I've been following your journey for a while now! Feel free to check out my blog as well for any ideas or help with your journey. I too, was a long -haired relaxed girl (but only for 2 or 3 years… I actually was natural most my life but never EVER wore it curly before). I donated my relaxed hair… Now I'm 2 years post big chop and I'm loving my curls.

  5. YAAAAAAAAAAASS!
    Im pretty late to the celebration lol but WOW you look amazing! I love it!!! Congrats Jen!!!!

  6. CONGRATS! I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOU AND KLP FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS AND I REALLY APPRECIAED ALL OF THE ADVISE YOU BOTH OFFERED TO US TRANSITIONING GIRLS. I ONLY MADE IT 17MO. I JUST COULDN'T DO IT ANYMORE. ONE WEEK I PULLED OUT MY SHEERS AND CHOPPED THE BACK. THEN I GOT A PROFESSIONAL TRIM (I GO TO A NATURAL SALON EVERY 3 MONTHS) THE NEXT WEEK I WAS SHAMPOOING MY HAIR AND THE BACK (WHERE I BC'D DETANGLED LIKE A DREAM) THE TOP, NO SO MUCH. IT WAS AT THAT MOMENT THAT I KNEW I WAS DONE. I TOLD HUBBY (HE LOVES MY LONG HAIR) THAT I JUST NEEDED IT TO BE OVER, I WANTED MY LIFE BACK FROM AN ALL DAY WASH DAY.

    IT WAS THE BEST THING I EVER DID!!!!!

    OMG, MY HAIR DETANGLES SO EASILY NOW.

    AND, I HAVE HAIR LIKE YOURS (FROM WHAT I CAN SEE) IT IS KINKIER AT THE TOP AND CURLY AT THE BACK. WE ARE UNIQUE! THE TOP CAN BE CHALLENGING, SO I CAN'T WAIT TO BE INSPIRED BY WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR HAIR. 😉

  7. Woooo! look at hair! I now seeing the added pics, gorgeous! The middle of your hair grows faster than the edges it looks like, mine does that too. Omg congrats on such a successful transition!! Your hair looks lovely 🙂

  8. You look lovely with natural hair! I'm kind of mad at you for this….you're making me miss my years as a natural, I forgot how beautiful the afro was.

  9. I see your hair is naturally curly, must be your hair type or genes i guess….oh wow! always showing people your hair and now you have gone to chop it off!! Now im excited to see you hair grow through this journey, should be fun!!!

  10. Jen! wow wow wow on 2 things
    1. you transitioned for 21 months!! girl!! I was loosing my mind at 5months post relaxer.
    2. the long stretch was totally worth it coz your hair is looking fierce right now.
    well done! (let me go before I wear out my exclamation marks)

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