Pressures of the “BIG CHOP”

Image

The ladies at BlackGirlLongHair.com wrote interesting take on how to respond to the pressures of whether or not you should take the leap and do the “big chop.” Below is an excerpt from the post.

“Girl your hair is gorgeous! Just cut those ends off!”

“Are you chopping soon?”

“You should chop your hair, I did and I love it!”

While I do realize the consequences of a public transition, I still maintain that this is my head of hair, and nobody has to wear it but me. When confronted with this commentary, I politely inform that I am not ready to cut my hair (often citing my being accustomed to having longer hair, or that my head is too big for short hair), and that when I’m ready to chop it will be just as public as my transition. Don’t get me wrong — there are some fierce looking TWA’s, neck, and shoulder length natural hair icons out there. Their courage to forge ahead and chop away something perceived as so aesthetically vital is to be applauded. By no means is this writing intended to diminish those that choose to chop their hair and start over. I am simply utilizing my own experience in transitioning to support and encourage those ladies who may be battling the same pressure – externally and internally.

Here are a few tips for navigating those choppy waters:

1. Don’t let someone else’s agenda dictate what YOU do with YOUR hair.
NOTHING rubs me the wrong way as much as someone trying to get you to do something as a part of their agenda. Not just when it comes to my hair, but in everyday life. If I’m busy pushing your agenda, who’s moving mine forward? But I digress. Whenever you come upon someone more eager for you to chop your hair than you are, kindly tell them to dial it back and have a few seats. Don’t get into debates and arguments with folks about what you should do with your hair…because it’s YOUR hair. You have to wear it, care for it, style it, and everything in between; so why would you let them pressure you into doing something they won’t be responsible for maintaining? They’ll tell you that you will feel so free when you cut it, or that those scraggly ends are holding you back from reaching your full potential. Thank them for their opinions, and keep it moving.

2. Skip the Big Chop vs Transition Drama
In the natural hair community, there are several areas of contention: from hair typing, to if x, y, z manipulated hair is still considered natural, and of course big choppers versus transitioners. Do not by any means become consumed with this drama…or any natural hair drama, for that matter. As each side makes their case for and against, all you will do is become more uncertain, unsure, and uncomfortable. Transitioning is already hard enough. Don’t make it more difficult on yourself by allowing other’s opinions to dictate how you feel about your decisions… and your hair.

3. Stop Internalizing
Following the myriad of natural hair products and accounts on Instagram and Pinterest is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s beautiful to see women of color affirming themselves, embracing their hair, and just generally rocking some kick-ass styles. On the other hand, it can be hard to constantly digest those pictures when your hair isn’t quite on that page. I’ve had to catch myself several times from saying “Gosh I wish my hair looked like…”Yes, their hair is beautiful — those kinks, coils, and curls are envied by everyone. But I had to stop gushing over their tresses while simultaneously hating mine. In due time, your hair will look like everyone else’s; full, fro-licious, and kinky/curly to the max. But in the meantime, we will have to patiently wait and love every part of this process and what it is teaching us.

Read the Rest

Here’s what Hair Rules Founder, Dickey, has to say on the so-called “big chop”

#QA – What Can I Do To Get My Curls Back?

Question:  I have been without a relaxer since 2006, but I have been blow drying, pressing and flat ironing my hair from then until 4 weeks ago. I want to go back to curly and natural. When wet, my curls and hair look great, but when it air dries it looks like straw. It is still curly at the roots but half way down it is totally straight. What can I do to get my curls back?

Dickey’s Answer:  What’s happening is that the majority of styles that you are wearing are straight, and at some point you are going to have to depart from the damage that is occurring from your straight  styling.  Your hair does have a lot of versatility it’s just your primary styling is straight and if you style natural hair too much away from what it is, which is curly, you get heat damage.  Being curly or being natural is, you’re actually living in a moisturizing world, because the idea of being natural is that you’re incorporating your whole haircare and styling routine into your shower routine.  I suspect that your hair in its natural state as it is now is not getting styled in that manner and probably doesn’t see water until the end of the week or two weeks when you shampoo probably with a shampoo that strips your hair.  Then you go in and use a full on country press that hard press where the only objective is to get it straight and wear it straight.   At this point you have heat damage.  The only way to get back to your natural curl is to depart from the straight stuff.   I’m not sure you really want to do that today or you want to do that in the summertime.  It’s entirely up to you, but at some point  you are going to have to refrain from using so much heat on it.  Please stop using shampoos that have suds they were never designed for your hair.  Use the Daily Cleansing Cream Non Sudsing Shampoo that we have at Hair Rules .  It’s a cream non sudsing shampoo that has incredible moisturizing properties which gently cleans your scalp, it’s like skin care for your hair and it doesn’t strip your hair.  The idea is that if the hair is left softer then it’s going to be more pliable.  That should help to stop the damage that’s occurring by your heat styling.  I don’t know if you want to do straw sets but it sounds like you really want to get back to your natural curl pattern.  The only way to do that is is get off the fence and depart  from that straight stuff that is on the ends of your beautiful curly hair and start to wear your hair curly three to four days a week and then you can do straight styling on the other days.  There’s no way to get curl back on a texture that has been permanently straightened via heat damage.  The only thing I can tell you is to avoid shampoos that have suds, use the daily cleansing cream, and a comb attachment.  You’re in a cold season you won’t have to deal with humidity and negative effects of trying to wear a straight style in the humidity.  You shouldn’t have to use so much heat on your hair.  Only use a flat iron once a week when you do your blow dry and press if you don’t feel like departing with the straight stuff on the end maybe you should just do it in the spring or the summer so that you can continue to wear it straight.  Avoid excessive heat on the new hair that is not permanently straight.  I hope this helps.  If you have anymore questions I’m here to answer them.

#QA I have a really nice curl pattern when it is still wet. How do I keep this look once dry?

This is a good one because I find that a lot of women once you go natural I think the challenge has been that is difficult to find out methods that have been suitable to your texture, so you end up doing alternative things like twist outs, or other styles that are not necessarily the easiest ones.  The great thing about being natural and having a curl pattern when it’s wet is that those are just small indicators.  Whenever you have conditioner in your hair and it’s wet, or you have shampoo in your hair, you see curls.  The problem is that you can never capture those curls or know what to do, so that’s kind of the missing link in going natural.  How do I capture this great curl pattern that I see when my hair is super wet with either shampoo or conditioner.? That’s always exciting to me because the answer is simple…it simply means that you capture that curl pattern with your favorite styling product.

Hopefully all you naturals are avoiding shampoos that have suds because they are so damaging for your hair.  I am talking about the sulfate free ones as well.  Hair Rules has a sulfate free shampoo with Aloe Grapefruit or a Volumizing Shampoo.  They’re both sulfate free, but we don’t suggest them to any of our clients or textures who have textures 3 or  4, unless it’s for removing buildup every few months or so.  Because those textures are naturally drier, they will never need anything that has suds be it sulfate free or not.  What was missing from your arsenal were these new cream shampoos, non-sudsing cream shampoos, that are the missing link to textures that are naturally dry to getting great versatility through proper hair care.  These non-sudsing cream shampoos  of course Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream Moisturizing No Suds Shampoo is just the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to natural hair.  It’s a cream shampoo that allows you to de-tangle while you are shampooing and it doesn’t dry out your hair, so your hair is left soft, and de-tangled, and freshly cleansed.  That’s your go to weekly shampoo and that of course helps to bring out the curl pattern.

Once you’re finished you have your Hair Rules Quench Ultra Rich Conditioner for textures that are naturally drier or kinkier or curlier textures.  Conditioners are there to help further soften the hair and to help you recognize your curl pattern.  Once you put your conditioner in you should be able to see a great curl pattern because  soft hair is the only hair that wants to curl up which is why you only see curls when you have conditioner on.  The great thing about the quench conditioner is that it will allow you to see the curl pattern that you have, and it also preps your hair for your styling products.  So after shampooing with your cream shampoo you want to use your quench conditioner or if you’re co-washing you’ll use your quench conditioner daily   to simply rinse and condition and use your quench conditioner to co-wash.  That  method  of co-washing and wash and wear styling helps to transform your texture to one that is soft and elongated and curlier, it will just get curlier and curlier.  Of course you are looking to find out how you capture that curl pattern.  These are small indicators, when you see a curl pattern when the hair is wet and has conditioner on it that’s just a small indicator that’s where you are going to apply your styling products. Again, your conditioner helps to prep your hair which softens it and de-tangles and elongates.

The moment you rinse out your conditioner, the instant you rinse it out,  that instant while you are conditioning the hair and your fingers are feeling your texture and you’re feeling these curls that are so prevalent as you’re rinsing your conditioner.  That active rinsing the conditioner helps you become more familiar with the texture that you will learn to love.  The moment you feel these great curls that you have as you’re rinsing out your conditioner you’ll then stop rinsing.  The moment you rinse out the conditioner the hair is super wet and super soft and still curly reapply your styling product, your favorite styling product. Be it the Kinky Curling Cream or the Curly Whip.  Hair Rules has a number of different styling products for different textures a lot of them can cross over to other textures.  A lot of women that we know that have kinky hair also use the Curly Whip and a lot of women with curlier hair use Kinky Curling Cream so a lot of times it’s just a matter of your preference.  They both work similar but remember you want to use as much of your styling product to re-saturate your hair.

I don’t know if any of  you remember getting a roller set or wet set in your hair when you had a relaxer or your hair was straight.  What’s a roller set?  You’re not going to put a towel dry section around a roller you’re going to saturate it and put it on the sections which are going to be very wet.  You are going to set it and you’re not going to disturb it until it is dry.  Setting your natural curl pattern is essentially the same concept you’re wet setting your natural curl pattern.  You’re going to condition, get the hair soft, rinse it so it is super wet, and you’re going to saturate your hair with your favorite styling product that should also act as the conditioning agent.  The Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream and the Curly Whip also will condition the hair.  Make sure you use enough. You can’t overuse these products.  Make sure to saturate the hair with it.  You might use a handful of it or a golf-ball size amount depending on your thickness of hair.  You might use more if your hair is longer.  Use your product as a tool.  Use your styling product to saturate your hair.  Once you’ve worked that product through in a manner de-tangles and stretches out, I like to add a little water sometime so the hair really hangs and then set it.  Whether you want it defused, sit under a portable hood dryer and if you don’t want to do it in the morning than do it at night and stretch it out afterward.  You’ve got to work it into your lifestyle. The wash and wear styling, the more frequently you do it, the softer and easier it will be to capture your curl pattern and your curls will get better and better by doing this.  Wash and wear styling also allows you to go forward with a lot of versatility styling ,whether you’re going to do twist outs, braid outs or straight styling  – you don’t get heat damage because you’re doing a lot of wash and wear on top of hair that is thoroughly moisturized through the method of wash and wear styling.

I hope this helps.  Go to hairrules.com also has a how-to section with how-to videos and it has application videos on how to achieve all of this looks.  By all means go to hairrules.com and look to see in the how-to video section will show you how to apply the product and step by step methods so you can see for yourself.

#QA – Products for Shedding and Hair Breakage While Going Natural

Can I go to Walgreens here in my home town and have them order it? Also, what products should I use for shedding, and hair breakage while going natural? I’ve relaxed my hair for years and don’t want to cut it.

If you would like to know where Hair Rules products can be found go to our website at www.hairrules.com ;and scroll to the bottom where it has retail locator and just click on that and put in your zip code or state and your location in your area for Walgreens or Target should come up. (You can also order online at walgreens.com and target.com)

There’s never one product that will prevent shedding, shedding is more preventative than anything. There could  be an existing problem. From the question it looks as though you’re transitioning from relaxers to natural.  It is rumored that if you stop relaxing your hair will break all off and that’s not true.  Where that actually applies is if you’ve over relaxed the hair and you have a very kinky type 4 texture that has very little curl pattern.  Then there’s that really processed hair, because  you’ve taken the hair to the limit with the relaxer, and then there’s the new hair coming and you can get breakage from that.  I’m not sure if that’s where it’s coming from or the kind of damaging techniques that you’re using to style your hair.  Congratulations! Now that you are transitioning out of a relaxer, if properly care for your texture you will get great results and you will have a lot of versatility.

One of the first big things with transitioning out of a relaxer, the most important thing that has to happen, is you have to stop using shampoos that has suds at all costs.  Avoid entirely any shampoo that has suds.  We have an amazing non sudsing cream shampoo, it’s the Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream. It will allow you to clean your hair without drying it out.  You want to be mindful of the new texture coming in and the one that is still processed. You want to keep the one that’s coming in soft so it’s easy to blow dry and you don’t want to do any damage to to the relaxed hair that you have.  I would suggest using a blow dryer with a comb attachment to style it, and smooth out the roots while they’re wet, after you’ve cleansed with Daily Cleansing Cream and conditioned with Quench Conditioner.  We also have a great blowout styling product called Blow It All Out and that should also help to further moisturize your hair so that it is more pliable and soft.

The last thing you ever want to do to your new hair texture coming in is to dry it out.  (Remember it’s naturally dry so the last thing you want to do is put a shampoo that has suds that is going to dry it out or strip it.) Your hair will never need anything.  Textures that are naturally dry, say the 3′s, the 4′s, the curly, and the kinky, their textures will never need any shampoos that have suds , maybe to remove buildup every three months or so. Beyond that, we don’t suggest using it on those hair textures any suds (sulfate free or not).  Sulfate free happens to be an ingredient that has sulfate has been taken out of shampoos that have suds, the fact remains that any shampoo that ever existed that had suds should have been sulfate free.  That doesn’t mean they were for every hair texture. Now you know that kinkier textures should avoid shampoos that have suds at all costs, sulfate free or not.  Daily cleansing cream is sulfate free, it’s paraben free, phthalates free, it’s great for kids.  It’s a cream shampoo so you want to use enough to get your hair juicy. This part of your hair care regimen, it  will keep the hair soft  and the new hair coming in so you can transition it into your natural texture without any damage.  Shedding usually comes from having dried out your texture that’s naturally dry on top of that and then your relaxed hair which is also dry and damaged technically that’s how you straighten hair.  When you use sodium hydroxide relaxers there’s a certain amount of damage that has to occur so if you start to dry it out it starts to shed.  There can be a normal amount of shedding there can be an unusual amount of shedding which comes with bad hair care.  Don’t feel that you have to cut your hair to transition your hair to natural.  Terms that we hear like big chop are not necessary for everybody it’s a choice you can make.  Or wait until you are comfortable with chopping off and departing from the straight and just have your natural texture.  All in time, that’s what transitioning means it means that time is a healer.  How you think of your hair today, the day you stop relaxing your hair, will be different six months from now,  where you will feel more comfortable with the texture that you have that  you’ve been living with, that you’ve become familiar with at that point maybe you will decide to cut it off.  I hope this helps and go to Walgreen’s  get some Hair Rules products.

#HairRulesQA – #KinkyCurlingCream is drying my hair out, what am I doing wrong?

Question:

I have 4a/b hair. I followed the steps for kinky hair. I find that after my hair dries I have great spirl curl definition, but my hair is extremely dry for the Kinky Curling Cream. I dont know what i’m doing wrong. My hair is color treated and I sit under the dryer with the Quench Conditioner and I also use the Leave In Conditioner before I apply the kinky cream.

Answer:

Kinky Curly Cream does not dry out the hair.  What could be drying out the hair?  It does hold the hair, so that hold after you work it in and break the bond and it softens up.  There is hold to the curly cream  but in no way does it dry the hair out, it is not formulated that way. It is super moisturizing.  What could be drying it out is, what you could be feeling, is the ends of the hair that can become coarse and hard if you haven’t trimmed or cut them. If your color has been applied over the whole head instead of at the roots , this could also be causing the hair to be dry. Try using the Hydrating Finishing Cream after your hair is dry and let me know the last time you had a trim .  I hope this helps and thanks for writing in.

Customer Q and A – “What is the Best Product for Color Treated, Fine, Curly Hair?”

Dickey answers the following customer question:

“What is the best product for color treated, fine, curly hair?  It has a tendency to lie flat on top.”

 

Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream is ideal for any color treated hair.  It will help to prevent the color from bleaching and fading so it stays vibrant and it won’t fade your hair.  If your hair is flat, or fine and curly and lies flat on top then you want to stay away from products that are too heavy.  I would go with the Wavy Mousse which is a lightweight kind of non-dense water based mousse that will adhere to any curl pattern without causing it to be flat or sticky.  So you feel healthy hair not sticky hair and then you get a lot of buoyancy out of your curl pattern.  I hope this helps Nancy and good luck.

Customer Q and A “What Am I Supposed To Do With My Natural Kinky Hair At Night?

Dickey answers the customer question:

“What am I suppose to do with my natural kinky hair at night?  When my hair was long and relaxed, pin curling and a satin bonnet did the trick.  However, I have no idea what to do with my natural hair other than wear my bonnet at night.  In the morning, my kinky hair is matted and requires wetting everyday to style. What’s the right answer here?”

Wet it and restyle.  The beauty of natural hair is that now you are not bound by styles that keep you away from the one thing your texture wants, or wanted all these years, which is water and conditioner.  Remember Jeri curls? You didn’t see a dry Jeri curl out there.  You couldn’t. No matter whether they were processed or not, you couldn’t afford to dry the hair out because it wouldn’t curl, it would only fall out.  When you’re considering going natural you have to get rid of all of the ideas, or misconceptions, or rules for your straight styles when you wore relaxers or pressed your hair.  Those are all styles that get you from shampoo to shampoo because you didn’t have to concern yourself with the fact that they might lock up, matt up, and draw up.  They were straight and there was no fear of the hair being compromised or breaking off because of that.  When you are natural there’s a completely different set of rules. The idea of being natural is that you’re incorporating your hair care and styling routine into your shower routine.  Which makes your hair texture be at its best because you know that it’s naturally dry, so it’s constantly getting conditioned, so it starts to perform better.  There are women who are natural that don’t want to wear straight styles or do heat styling because of the heat damage, because usually they are coming to the table natural having very little knowledge about what natural really means, so they don’t get their hair wet and their texture dries out.  There’s no amount of oil, or grease, or anything, or there’s not a product out there that is going to restore moisture back to a texture that’s naturally drier, that you kept away from water and conditioner for a week at a time and let lock up.  The sheer nature of the texture is that it tightens up and the idea of keeping it soft is so that it loosens up and has some type of a curl pattern and becomes pliable.  So it doesn’t need a lot of heat and tension when you go to blow dry it with a comb attachment because it’s soft.  When it gets dried out it is when you need a lot of muscle power and you end up breaking the hair, you end up using heat on top of hair that’s been dried out all week long, or stripped and now it won’t go back to its natural state because it has no more flexibility, so it doesn’t have the ability to go back straight. Then in your protective styles you would just rather twist it up and leave it alone instead of prepping the hair for the long haul of being kept away from water and conditioner by blowing in leave in conditioners into the hair and oils and all of those things so then you twist your hair up on hair that you’ve prepped and twist it up with your favorite styling product.  We twist up all our protective styles with Nourishment Leave In Conditioner, with the comb attachment that we blow into the hair so that the hair is getting a conditioning treatment. Then we take the oils and then we blow those into the hair and the hair gets stretched out and is super hydrated and moisturized and then we twist out hair that has been stretched out.  So the hair then gets a lot more versatility or curl pattern and definition, so at the end of the week your protective style is not dried out or broken off, your protective style really is a protective style.  It really has protected your hair.  If you’re going to do heat styling again I recommend at least three days of wash and wear styling or at least sleep with a cap over conditioner overnight so the hair gets super hydrated before you go and use heat on it.  These are all things that really promote the versatility in a texture that has been deemed problematic.  Just because you decided to go natural doesn’t mean that you want to just wear natural hair all the time.  Women sometimes want to walk into the boardroom with straight hair, it’s entirely up to them. I would say that continue to look at the Hair Rules how-to section or rules by texture in the kinky section and the idea is to take your hair into the shower with you, and incorporate your hair care and style routine into your shower routine, and that should answer your question on whether or not you can sleep on it.  Of course you can sleep on it.  Do it at your convenience.  I hope this helps.

Customer Q and A – Can I Use Hydrating Finishing Cream Before Flat Ironing?

Dickey answers the following customer question:

“I was looking at the label for your Hair Rules Hydrating Finishing Cream. I noticed that it stated it is for use as the last step in the styling routine and to apply it on dry hair. However, I was wondering if it is ok to use this on the hair before flat ironing?”

Sure.  Use a small amount of  Hydrating Finishing Cream after you’ve used the Blow It All Out in your hair, and blown out your hair ,then you put a dime sized amount in your hand. Rub it together so that it completely disappears, and then run it through your hair to add that little bit of moisture so that when you add heat it’s penetrating more moisture into your hair.  I hope this helps.

Customer Q and A – Are There Oils That Can Help Stop Hair Breakage/Shedding?”

Dickey responds to this question that came in via Twitter:

“Hi, I’m a natural who was wondering if you would happen to know of any oils that can stop the shedding/breaking of hair.”

Customer Q and A – Tired of “Fairy Knots”, What Else Can I Do?”

Dickey helps out a customer in search of new styling tips….

“I’m so tired of these “Fairy Knots”, what else can I do??”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47,744 other followers