Should I Transition? Or BIG CHOP?

Written By: Lucindy L. Lumu

And remember, though itsknotsoeasy, its worth it!

woman-with-natural-hairWhat is a transitioner? What is meant by the term “Big Chop?” These words can be heard circulating around the “textured” hair community. Both terms share a common bond and that bond is that both use to be married to relaxer. After experiencing the damage that came as a result of this union, transitioner and big chop decided that they had enough of the lyes and that it was time for them to divorce their other half, however, they had different ways of going about it. Transitioner decided to draw out her divorce proceedings, sometimes even years while “Big Chop” decided to cut to the chase, cut her losses and move on with her new love….her natural curly hair!

Transitioner = This is a person who is ‘growing their relaxer out’ in an effort to go total napptural   

There’s no set time for a transitioner to end their transition before cutting the remainder of their relaxed ends. This process is left up to the individual. Usually, the person who decided to transition chose to do so in order to be left with some natural ‘length’ before cutting the remainder of the relaxed ends. This can range from 2 months to 2 years or more. There are pros and cons to being a transitioner. Let’s take a look at a few:

Allows you to keep your current length while growing out your textured mane Styling can become a challenge w/ two different textures
Gives you time to learn how to manage your natural texture before going natural You have to learn how to manage two different textures
Allows you to transition as long as you need to Hair becomes more prone to breakage due to the “line of demarcation”**

Big Chop = cutting/shaving the relaxer out of the hair entirely

This process usually leaves the individual with little or no hair depending on how much relaxer needed to be removed. The Big Chop is not for everyone. It’s a good idea to transition if you struggle with short hair or even if you have not yet learned how to manage your textured hair. The Big Chop can have a devastating effect on an individual if they did not prepare themselves mentally for the ‘Big Change’. Its vital, that as an individual, if you are considering the Big Chop, make sure you research and take time to prepare your mindset for what will come and may come as a result. Remember, not everyone will feel the same way you do about this change in your life. You can do this by visiting or joining social media outlets that’s geared towards women going natural. You may also want to get a support team together. This can come from friends, family or social media outlets as well. It doesn’t matter where you go to for the support as long as its encouraging and positive. The Big Chop is not all bad: Let’s look at some pros and cons of doing the ‘Big Chop’; the end result is achieving a full, chemical free mane!


NO more relaxed ends Missing your relaxed ends *maybe
Thicker Hair More time consuming to manage
All Natural

So, whether you decide to transition or big chop always remember to read, research and re-new.

Read as much information as you can on the topic.

Research by gathering as much information about your topic as you can

Re-new your mind so that you’re prepared to handle whatever may come your way as a result.

Transitioner and Big Chop!? Now that you’ve gone over the pros and cons of your decisions, I hereby grant you your divorce from relaxer on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

**Line of Demarcation- the line that separates the relaxed hair from the natural hair

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