From Big Chop to Now: Tips and Tricks for New Naturals

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Two months after my big chop, I bought lots of earrings and hair bows to accessorize.
Year 1
If you big chopped, you're not going to have much hair. All you can do at this stage is research in preparation for when your hair gets longer and just enjoy the ease of the first year (trust me, longer hair means longer time and more complicated). 
  • Research, research, research. Even though you won't be able to really gauge which products, techniques, or hairstyles work perfectly for you, you want to ensure that when your hair is longer, you're prepared.
  • Start loving your hair now. Stop using negative terminology to describe your hair and really take the time to appreciate all your curls and kinks even when you consider it uncooperative or difficult.
  • Accessorize! Since you don't have enough hair to style yet, get some earrings, headbands, flowers, etc to glam up your hair. 
  • Don't expect anything. It's nice to have goals, but if you're hoping for your hair crush's texture, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Everyone is different and our hair does different things. It's fun to look, but don't covet.

During my second year, I wore my hair in a fro. I started trying different hairstyles later on in the year.
Year 2
This is the year to start trying new products, techniques and hairstyles. There will be a lot of trial and error and you will get very frustrated. Continue to persevere. It's worth it!
  • If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. You will be trying a lot of different hairstyles right now, and you won't get it right the first time. You'll probably go through at least 2 or 3 twist out or braid out techniques until you find one that you even remotely like. Keep trying, you'll get it!
  • Get your hands in your hair! You now have enough hair to really play in it and learn how it feels when it's well moisturized and healthy vs. dry, brittle, and unhealthy. Try different products, oils, and butters to learn which products work best for your hair.
  • Stay focused. I've noticed that a lot of naturals will get really frustrated this year, and return to relaxers. If you get frustrated, remember why you went natural, and focus on that instead of the negative.
  • Try a protective style. If you get really frustrating, consider trying a protective style. While I prefer protective styles with my own hair, like two strand twists, I know everyone is different. Find what works for you to get you over the hump. 
Showing off the texture in my twist out, I tried a lot of products during my third year and settled on Giovanni as my only moisturizer. 
3rd Year
You're no longer a newbie. You hair is growing, you know which products work for you, and you know how to get the perfect twist out. Now is the time to really zero in on the perfect regimen, and have fun playing with your hair.
  • Make everything a habit. You've figured out what works and what doesn't. Spend time perfecting you're regimen and making everything a habit so that it fits seamlessly in your life as opposed as feeling like you have to stop to take care of your hair. 
  • Have fun with hairstyles. Keep trying different hairstyles. Buy perm rods, flexi-rods, curlfomers, etc. Find that perfect hairstyle for you that will be your signature hairstyle.
  • Get an emergency hairstyle. While you're perfecting everything, you will still continue to get frustrated some times, so find styles that you know won't take to long to do and will always look good. For me, it's a low bun. 

In my fourth year, I finally began enjoying everything. Here, I am enjoying my length. 
4th Year and Beyond
By now everything should be a habit. You have you're regimen, your products, you favorite hairstyles and everything feels like second natural. The journey really never ends, so keep playing with hairstyles and even try a different product every once in awhile. 
  • There's always something new. There are always new hairstyles, techniques, and products to try, so keep trying. You never know, you may find something even better than your tried and true.
  • Don't go too crazy. I know I just said to try new things, but stay within moderation. No need to go broke trying every new product.
  • Just enjoy it! You're know your hair, you know you're beautiful, so just enjoy natural hair. It was worth it!
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  1. Really good article. I'm at 2 1/2 years and my hair is in my opinion medium to thin. It seems in my opinion those with thicker hair seem to be more successful in growing their hair in longer lengths. Have you come across women who do have medium to thin hair who have achieved longer lengths?

  2. Hey Jasmine! Thanks! If I am not mistaken Cipriana on Urban Bush Babes has thin hair, but she has a lot of hair, which is why she is almost always in protective styles. Also Sera on youtube has long hair that is also thin and she is 4c as well