A Conscious Blog

10 Apr 2015

#BlackFriday- The Diary Edit

Dear Diary,
Yesterday I decided to big chop*. When I last cut my hair, I took off quite a bit, but wasn’t brave enough to hack off all my hair, so decided to transition instead. Whilst transitioning I found it quite hard working with two textures of hair (e.g. my natural hair* and the relaxed ends.) My hair was breaking* quite a bit, particularly at the line of demarcation* so I decided to get all my relaxed ends cut off. Reading Malcom X's autobiography which makes several references to the practises black people used to do to fit in with/ pass as white people, also made me realise that I don't feel comfortable with the origins and roots of relaxers*, so therefore don't wish to perm my hair anymore.
I decided to go to the barbers to cut my hair as opposed to the hairdressers, as it was cheaper. My brother's barber Adrian, from Fresh Cutz in Streatham, hooked me up and he was literally amazing. He spent hours cutting my hair and making sure that I was OK with the length after each cut. I can't begin to commend him enough.

Before: 04/03/15 (Big Chop No.1)
After: 06/04/14 (Big Chop No.2) Final Big Chop

I was convinced I was going to cry, but I didn't. I think it's probably because I did my big chop in 2 stages as opposed to 1, so the change was drastic but not so cray. Secondly, I watched various Youtube videos about people that big chopped and had the same length hair as me (post big-chop) so I was very mentally prepared.

I'm still getting used to my hair on me. At times I'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and it will take an extra second or two for my brain to register that the woman staring back at me is actually me and not an imposter. Cutting my hair this short has been a major shock to the system, as I’ve never had my hair shorter than 6-8 inches before. Now that I am completely natural and this length I feel so liberated. I am enjoying my hair at this length, as it’s halved the time it usually takes me to wash and style my hair.
This process has been and will continue to be a big self-discovery journey. I am having to re-learn and rediscover my hair all over again, as I started perming my hair when I was about 12/13, so that’s almost a decade. Also I normally get my hair done at the salon, so there’s so much about my hair that I don’t know and am discovering. I didn’t even know my hair was this curly, as since I’ve been little, every time my hair was washed, it was always blow-dryed, so that was quite a shock in itself.

My hair type is 3c/4a 

Although I'm natural, I'm not a natural hair nazi, and firmly believe that what an individual decides to do with their hair is nobody’s business but that their own. 

P.S. I am aware that not all my readers are au fair with black hair and it's terminology so decided to provide definitions for terms you might be familiar with. I think I managed to get everything, but if I forgot something, either Google the word for a definition or let me know in the comments section and I'll try my best to explain it to you :)


big chop- The process of cutting relaxed/ permed hair from one's head in order to start growing one's natural hair. This can be done in one big chop, or in many stages. If a person opts for the many stages option, then an individual is considered to be transitioning. 
demarcation/ line of demarcation- Refers to the line where one's chemically treated/processed hair meets their natural hair
natural hair- Hair that has not been altered by heat or chemicals (e.g. straighteners, tongs, hot combs, relaxers, or texturisers.
permed/relaxed hair- Hair that has been chemically processed in order to be straighter. Depending on one's wants/desires, relaxing/perming hair can result in bone-straight hair or hair that is less curlier
perm/relaxer- A chemical kit used to make hair less curly, coarse and thick. Prolonged use makes hair straighter, softer, longer and thinner.
trans-curious- A term coined by me, used to describe someone whose hair is currently chemically processed (e.g. permed, tex-laxed, or texturised etc.) but is considering going natural.

transitioning- A method used to slowly revert hair back to one’s original natural hair texture. This is an alternative to the big chop.

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